Well another season slowly comes to a close in typical psychotic fashion. It’s that bitter sweet time of year. In my world, it actually becomes more complicated because at work, I’m still completely in summer mode which means I don’t get home most nights until 3:00 or 4:00 am. But everyone else in my home is either back in school, or still in diapers. I’ve said it many times, but some nights there is a very narrow window separating closing bartender from opening Daddy. Sleep is now the most valuable commodity that I’m aware of.

There was a time not so long ago, that I would routinely and voluntarily forgo sleep for lengthy periods of time, all in the name of fun. Now I’ve reached the point that every moment I’m awake, I’m fantasizing about being asleep. From the first moment I wake up in the morning, to the moment I fall asleep at night, there is not one single moment that I wouldn’t, or couldn’t lay down and take a long nap if the opportunity presented itself. But I didn’t come here to talk about sleep patterns.

As I sat down at my desk this week and started to write my header, I looked at the calendar to see what the post date would be. And wouldn’t you know it, with a fresh glass of vodka and ice cubes off to my right, and my team of writers – and by ‘team of writers’ I mean the voices in my head – surrounding me barking out ideas, I realized something. Shorebilly’s Swill is officially two years old.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing ceremonious about it. There won’t be any cupcakes, confetti, or me catapulting to a different tax bracket. It simply means that after two full years of my completely bizarre incessant ramblings, that nobody from Shorebread has approached me yet to say, “Dude, please just go away”.

It also means that there are just enough of you out there who read this loony crap that spills from my warped mind to my fingertips on the keys, that miraculously I still have a job. And I can’t possibly thank all of you enough for reading and being supportive. Barring anything unforeseen, I don’t plan on stopping this anytime soon so by all means, please keep following. As long as I have kids, a job in the bar business, and a seemingly never-ending series of bizarre ailments that seem to pop up at just the right times, I’ll have plenty to write about.

So in honor of our second birthday, there will be absolutely no structure whatsoever to this week’s column. It will be just a collection of completely random thoughts of mine, things that most rational folks would never openly speak of but may lurk in the depths of their minds. That my friends, is why I’m here – you think it, and I’ll say it.

Here’s a fun thought I had recently during one of those nights where I went home and cried on my resume. I began mentally perusing all the resumes ever in my head. I don’t mean mine, I mean everyone’s, and I was thinking who must have the freaking coolest resume ever! After a lot of careful and deep pondering, I could not get away from Val Kilmer. Now stick with me on this one, it will all make sense shortly. Now granted, I am aware that he is about as certifiably crazy as most of my clientele over the past three weeks. And yes, I am aware of his weight swings that will make him occasionally swell up like a deer tick if he is not actively pursuing a role. BUT…. If you read this dude’s filmography, and look at the roles he’s played, he is THE MAN!

On one random night, for absolutely no apparent reason, his characters started invading my skull, and he became my hero. Mainly because he played all of my heroes! So, just for fun, let’s do a quick review of characters that Val has played and then try to tell me his resume is not AWESOME! Just imagine that you are interviewing this cat, and he’s telling you who he’s been. Not as characters, but he ACTUALLY WAS these people.

He was BATMAN, DOC HOLIDAY, JIM MORRISON, JOHN HOLMES, and if that isn’t enough, ICE MAN. Wouldn’t that be a fun conversation.

Me: “So, what do you do?”

Val: “Well, I’m a super hero, the most prolific porn star ever, a wild west gunslinger /physician, one of the most genius American musician/poets ever, and of course, a Navy fighter pilot. How about you?”

Me: “Oh, well, uh, I make drinks and write about pointless observations.”

Not exactly tipping the self esteem scales in my favor. What, not impressive enough for you? Now I’ll hit you with some of the ones I just learned tonight; Chris Knight (Real Genius), Madmartigan (Willow), Montgomery (Island of Dr. Moreau), Simon Templar (The Saint), and the voice of Moses (Prince of Egypt). Are you kidding me?

I also just learned that he played Wyatt Earp, thankfully not in the same movie that he played Doc Holiday in but still impressive. And now he evidently, according to internet stuff, is playing Mark Twain, yet another hero of mine. If this goof can somehow pull off playing God, Jackie Robinson, Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Unitas, George Carlin, Hugh Heffner, Thomas Jefferson, and my Dad; he’s pretty much got the clean sweep of every hero I’ve ever had.
That’s enough about Val. It’s just a random thought which inhabited the gaping abyss that is my subconscious this past week, and I thought I’d share it with you. I appreciate your indulging me. It’s been a really crazy couple of weeks. Both at work and at home, it just seems that everyone’s behavior has been just a little bit off; like every day is another full moon.

My kids keep me grounded and usually provide me with a respite from the various levels of insanity I’ve witnessed over the bar recently. But, at the end of the day they are my kids and each are genetically predisposed to certain things. Of all the millions of genetic traits and physical similarities they could have gotten from me, the two that have shown through glaringly are my colon, and penchant for sarcasm. Imagine spending your days with two really bright total smartasses who not only wear diapers, but are constantly testing them. And I’m not talking about the final years of Abott and Costello. I know I deserve every minute of it and I’m not seeking sympathy.

Just the other day, I was seated at my dining room table with mail, bills, check book, and other paperwork spread out. I had just poured a fresh cup of coffee, and perched my reading glasses on the tip of my nose. I was prepared to be a grown up for a few minutes and see if I could figure out how to do some of the stuff usually done by my super hero wife.

Approximately two minutes earlier, I had propped my two little ones, ages one and two up on the couch each with a drink and a bowl of snacks to watch Finding Nemo for roughly the 200th time. Perhaps not a textbook parenting technique, but I just needed to buy myself about ten minutes to get some things done to lessen the burden on Mrs. Syd. I got as far as writing the date on the first check when something entered my peripheral.

I slowly looked up from my checkbook, over my glasses, and turned my head in the direction of the kitchen. Standing there staring at me was my beautiful, cherubic two-year-old. She was wearing nothing at all but a smile, and a pair of red suede cowboy boots. My immediate thought was My God, what have I created? My next thought was, how can I get her Mom to wear that same outfit? And my final thought was of course, how great would I look in that outfit? And now I’ve just thrown a disturbing mental image at all of you this week, potentially haunting your sleep patterns for the next few days. You’re welcome. Thanks for playing along! Happy 2nd birthday Swill, it’s been a fun ride so far.

Until next week,

Syd Nichols