Monday, February 3, 2014

Stood Tall

“On the first snow fall of each year,” any Elmwood citizen would tell the stranger, “Gladys Minkle takes her heels off and runs barefoot through the snow.”  The tradition had started when Humphrey had been courting Gladys years ago.
 “Humph, if you really love me and want to marry me, you will do something downright silly!” Gladys had commanded.  With that, she threw her pink shoes off and leapt from Humphrey’s chromed sedan into the Elmwood City Park, covered in freshly fallen snow.  Humphrey Minkle did not hesitate for one moment.  In his haste to get out of the car and remove his shoes, Humphrey slipped on the ice, giving Gladys a head start.  “Humph, when you run hard enough and dance even faster, you can’t even feel the cold of the snow on your toes!” Gladys had giggled. 
Gladys Minkle had grown through the years and had become the matriarch of Elmwood.   Nobody could remember a fourth of July without Gladys’ handmade fudge.  There wasn’t a living soul in the greater Elmwood area who hadn’t shared a root beer with Gladys at the Country Store granite counter on Main Street and 1st North.  Everyone talked to Gladys about their childhood dreams, recent successes and adulthood mishaps.  She knew all the juicy community details that could fill volumes in the county courthouse vaults.  From Old Man Henderson's recounting of the Carter twins terrorizing his ginger cat to Bob McVander’s creative card playing that some called cheating, Gladys knew it all.

Every Wednesday at exactly 11:25 a.m., Gladys would arrive at the Polly’s Parlor, the most popular hair salon in Elmwood.  Polly would greet her at the green bejeweled door with a grin, cup of steamed hot cocoa and the Elmwood Journal.  Three lumps of sugar were customarily swishing in the chocolate drowning with cream: Gladys never skimped on the sweet things of life. 
The streets of Elmwood had never seen Gladys without her rooster dink pink Cadillac Coupe De Ville and powder blue synthetic alligator skin purse.  Gladys always had perfect posture and stood tall at 5 foot even.  After her hair was perfectly trimmed, curled and poofed, Gladys would have Sheila fill in her red acrylic nails and Gladys was out the door.
  As she strutted down the smooth cement walks of Main Street, Gladys was known for picking out the pieces of Elmwood that did not fit the city’s standard.  The occasional crumpled soda pop can in the swept gutter was more than Gladys could handle.  With a teacher's purpose, she would march into the nearest store along the trimmed row of store fronts and demand the owner to follow her.  She watched as the store owner, red faced, removed the piece of litter.  Satisfied, Gladys would continue on through the daily life of Elmwood. Gladys stood tall at 5 foot even and expected everyone else to keep Elmwood's posture erect.

Gladys’ late husband, Humphrey Minkle, had served as Elmwood’s mayor for 19 years before his untimely death in the 1976 Veteran’s Day Parade.  Since that tragic day, Gladys had served on the Elmwood City Council as the Honorary Voice of Mayor Minkle.  Her immense contributions of time to the Elmwood community took the place of her barren womb.  Gladys and Humph had never been able to have children, but found room in their hearts for each of the children of Elmwood.
 The children have grown; many stayed close to Elmwood and have children of their own.  Gladys tenderly crocheted each newborn a Minkle blanket.   She placed her mark on each new Elmwood citizen with a soft kiss on the forehead and a whisper of the Elmwood City motto in their ear: "When you run hard enough and dance even faster, you can’t even feel the cold of the snow on your toes!”
Heels clicking on the well kept linoleum of Elmwood Elementary School, Gladys spent the rest of her Wednesday afternoons tutoring in the library amongst books that gave life to imagination.  It is common knowledge on the telephone wires of Elmwood that Gladys Minkle will pick up her week’s laundry at Harry Heimer’s Dry Cleaning and Press Shop on her way home from educating Elmwood’s youth to stand tall, run hard and dance even faster.
The adolescent Elmwood population was the only demographic who ever showed the town’s guarded hesitation with Gladys.  “Sally, your breasts are the Lord’s creation, stop putting them on display to the world,” she said with a smile as she passed Sally Corner last week.  “Tommy, if I see your under britches one more time, I’ll have to call your mother,” she said with a smirk as she tugged Tommy Jones’ sagging jeans up with her painted nails.  These subtle attacks on the young adult inhabitants of Elmwood were constant reminders of the bar set by Elmwood’s beloved matron: Stand tall.

That Wednesday evening, Gladys arrived at home, parking the Cadillac in the same red brick garage that she had ever since 1941 when she and Humph said “I do”.   She rushed through the trim brown door, eager to confirm her weekly Thursday appointment at Kent’s Klean Kars.  After placing her phone call to Kent, Gladys inspected her living room.  It was just how she had left it. Rows laid down by the vacuum traced the rich creamy carpet.  The rose colored pillows perfectly positioned on the sofa brought out the pinks in the portrait above the modest oak mantle.  The portrait was of Gladys and Humphrey.  She had always been fond of the mischievous twinkle in her oiled eye.
 The evening light had faded, and Gladys drew the thick paisley curtains closed in the quaint living room.  She often stood at the tall curtains, once they were spread across the window, and fondly gazed at the space in front of her.  The thick legged Winchester leather armchair was where Humphrey had read the Elmwood Journal newspaper ever morning while eating a bowl of ice cream.  Next to his throne at home stood Gladys' plush rocking chair.  Much smaller than Humphrey's, Gladys' rocker remembered being rocked forward and back over the years as Gladys listened to the excited voices of Elmwood over the telephone telling stories of running barefoot through the snow and never feeling the cold. 
But that night Gladys did not take any phone calls from her many admirers, well wishers or troubled friends.  She had been more tired from the day's adventure in town than she had remembered being on any other Wednesday in December.
The three paneled mirror that Gladys stood at was not original to the house.  Humph had it put in a few years before he passed away so that Gladys could get a better view of her snow white hair.  That night her hair was in perfect form.  As tradition had it, she applied a generous amount of pearly maroon lipstick on her lips in her nightly rituals.  Humph would have told her how beautiful she looked if he was there.  As she turned out the light in the bathroom, she made a mental note to write Dean Charles another thank you letter for putting that mirror in and for always being such a sweet, tall standing boy.

The next day, Gladys did not arrive at Kent's Klean Kars at 10:05 a.m. like she always has. 

Thursday at 11:00 a.m. the bingo caller at the Elmwood Community Centre looked for Gladys, but did not see her.

By noon, half the town of Elmwood had reported to Sheriff Monroe that Gladys Minkle had not been seen or heard from all day.

"Gladys Minkle was the grandmother that I never knew," said Kent of Kent's Klean Kars. "Gladys helped me learn how to read when I was in the second grade," said Harry of Harry Heimer's Dry Cleaning and Press Shop. "When I was down, Gladys' red fingernails always brought a smile to my face.  Boy, could that woman wear red," said Polly of Polly's Parlor.

The funeral service had been planned for Saturday.  Elmwood had closed down at one p.m. so that the entire town could attend Gladys' memorial.  The snow had begun to fly in flakes the size of small sparrows as the citizens of Elmwood were arriving at the familiar stone church.
 "Today, we are here in this chapel to celebrate the life of Gladys Minkle," said Dean Charles of Elmwood. "I brought with me something that you might recognize," he said as he pulled a shabby crocheted blanket onto the pulpit.  "Gladys made this blanket for me when I was born.  Who in this room has one of these?" Dean asked the silent congregation.  With his simple prompting, the majority of the audience raised their hands.  "Gladys has left us standing on our own and can't give us each hugs every time she sees us." Dean paused as he struggled to keep his composure.  "But these memories of her  love can give us her warmth every day."
  Judge Thatcher stood at the raised pulpit after Dean returned to his pew on the second row.  "I have known Gladys Minkle since the first grade when I moved to Elmwood," he said.  "When she was found, peacefully sleeping in her bed, her hair was beautifully done and her lips were freshly painted.  It was as if she wanted to be dolled up because she would be seeing Humph soon to dance again.
  As the community of Elmwood one by one paid tribute to the Gladys' friendship and life, the snow began to pile thick on the crisp grass outside the narrow glass windows.  The Carter twins, now 9 years old, were restless and fighting.  They climbed up into the arched window seal and looked at the white flakes soaring past their smashed noses.  Their mother pulled them down as the funeral procession headed into the small courtyard cemetery where Gladys would have the honor of being buried next to her husband, Humphrey.
 The snow increased its intensity as the solemn crowd shuffled out the chapel doors.  Elmwood city now surrounded a small hole in the ground that would soon be the final resting place for their Gladys.  The powder blue casket lay over the exposed chasm, but the on-looking mass of Elmwooders, noticing the first snow of the season, knew that was not the end.
Old Man Henderson was the only person there that moved.  The entire city watched in the silence of the snow as Old Man Henderson slowly bent his rickety body and unstrapped his black therapeutic dress shoes.  “We all know the legend of Gladys’ and Mayor Winkle’s first snow fall together,” he grunted as a silly grin spread across his stubborn face. As he stripped his worn stalking off his withered toes he continued, “I’d be willin’ to bet that each of us here has been chastened, jabbed at or been given advice that we didn’t want from Glady.”  Once his feet were fully naked and exposed to the cold he let his toothless grin shine while saying, “But, jeepers, she’s dead! Let’s celebrate the way she would have wanted!”  He plunged his feet into the pure white powdered that had surrounded the tombstones and stood up as tall as he could.
Old Man Henderson began dancing in the great white flakes, marking a happy trail through the snow.  Following his lead, the youngsters slipped off their shoes and raced around the hallowed site.  Within minutes, the entire town of Elmwood was barefooted, running and dancing in the swirling crystals. 
If an outsider had been there that day in December, he would have thought Elmwood had pumped moonshine into the drinking water.  The crazy behavior of Judge Thatcher and Kent of Kent’s Klean Kars, both respectable men, would have been a sure sign of too much drinking to an innocent bystander.  But the people of Elmwood knew why they were running and dancing faster than ever before in the freezing snow around them. Gladys had taught them well.
As the great people of Elmwood polkaed through the winter wonderland, their feet were not cold.  They basked in the glow that Gladys Minkle had given to them, given to Elmwood.  That day each person stood as tall as giants as they said thank you to Gladys Minkle.

Gladys Minkle
She stood tall at 5 foot even

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My top three favorite whores include heavy historical hitters Fantine (Les Miserables), Rahab (The Holy Bible) and Newt Gingrich (Grand Old Party). Each of these hormonally charged harlots have carved out a name for themselves through their illustrious careers with multiple sexual partners. Fantine lost her life to her career, Rahab found wealth and power in her work place, and Newt has an impressive record as a champion lady leapfrogger in his job. But none of these iconic lovers could have prepared me for today's adventure.

The exterior buzzer to my apartment screamed throughout the empty unit, startling my slumbering self. The maid was scheduled to clean the space this morning and with blurry eyes I buzzed her in. As I pulled the door inward into the house, a lurpy character posed awkwardly in the door frame. This lanky limbed lad cruised right past me into the living room, looked my body over with an aggressive appetite and said, "Where are we doing this?"

I stared.

Thinking that this must be the new maid, I said, "I think the kitchen would be a great place to start."

He stared.

With no inkling that this scrawny soul was not our maid, I continued to list off places in the apartment that needed special attention.  "The living room needs your services for sure. The bathroom is a top priority for me, it sees a lot of action. And do you do patios? Because mine is filthy," I innocently chatted. The hungry look in his eye started to ebb as the blood emptied from his face. Confusion replaced lust in his countenance as he slowly surveyed the scene. "How long do you think it will take?" I asked the silent man.

We both stared.

The muted man broke the awkward silence with a shuttered, "You're not Sean, are you...?" Without saying a single word, my eyes became huge and my head slowly began to sway back and forth. It was at this moment that I noticed the lavender fingernail polish adorning the well kept nails of this man, the cut off denim shorty short shorts and the heavy scent of Shalimar dripping from his tight tank top. He gracefully turned himself around, found the door and with a backwards glance that screamed apology, he was gone.

In the stillness I stood; a man befuddled, a man speechless. A male prostitute had just been in my living room. And although it may be your dirty fantasy to have a few extra services around the house, I have no need for a face to face with Fantine, a rowdy romp with Rahab, or for Newt Gingrich to try and make me his fourth wife.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Woman from Whose Womb I Woke

As each great nation from the dawn of time until our current age has been dominated by a leader with a platform of governance, the Cannon household has been gloriously ruled over by Nancy since its formation in the early 1970's. With the iron fist of motherhood, Nan P. Can indoctrinated her children with three truths: Neil Diamond is our family's favorite Jew, the Cannon family only watches Mormon church films and Charlton Heston films on Sunday, and that her choice of punishment involves a pair of very stiff slippers.

The aforementioned slippers only come off when one of the angels known as children are particularly uncouth.  One such occasion presented itself on a cloudy Sabbath evening of my youth. An untimely cheeky comment that my mother's aging ears interpreted as coming out of my saintly mouth, stirred the brimstone within her warm eyes. I knew the line had been crossed. My time had come.
I bolted towards the staircase in hopes of escaping the wrath of the Slipper.  Slow motion filming overtook my young body as my head circled around to check on the status of my forbearer's castigation. With well hidden agility and secreted elasticity, the foot flexed, the knee bent and the slipper in question found the familiar warmth of my mom's hand.  I had safely reached the first stair as the wooden sole of the Slipper felt the gentle fingers of my matron aiming it at my head.

With immaculate precision, the woman from whose womb I woke hurled the Slipper from a horizontal position. Three stairs down the case was the fleeting progress of my body when the Slipper passed through the lathed banister. A triumphant Slipper clashed with the side of my head; a better strike could not have been orchestrated by President Obama himself.

The Slipper sat motionless next to me as I lay prostrate on the linoleum.  The simple words, "Are you okay?" came from the sofa where the victorious matriarch was comfortably arranged. Such affection, kindness and love has never been crooned out of the lips of Neil Diamond.  Charlton Heston's Oscar award winning performance pales in comparison to the epic devotion that my mother has shown me and each of her children.  I will forever be in debt to this woman for her unfathomable loyalty, steadfast example and for being the architect of my childhood.  I love you mom.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor

The thunderous knocking pulled me out of my subconscious dream world with a start. With the blurred vision of slept-in contacts, I stumbled to the front door yawning away Neverland. The cold brass knob at my fingertips did little to wake me as the door swung open, revealing my next door neighbor. The nonchalant words that came flying at me from her mouth snapped me back into the living world, "Can I borrow three condoms?"

There we stood, frozen in time, as I processed with a dumbfounded glory her request. Who borrows condoms? I could understand asking for a cup of sugar, but why would she need three condoms? But neither of these logical questions passed my lips. Instead I blurted, "Pearl (name changed for my naughty neighbor's sake) It's the Sabbath!"

After equipping her with three Japanese Tie-Dye condoms that I had received as a gift several years ago, Pearl went on her nymphomaniac way. I thought my non-sexual relationship with Pearl had reached a peaceful harbor, but the textual bombs were only beginning to be dropped at my door step.

"Hi LeeLee, look out and tell me what you think of the guy who is leaving my house! QUICK!" read the first text. Not fully aware of the consequences for my actions, I looked out of the entry way and saw a middle aged man with remnants of blond hair and a tummy that looked tired exiting Pearl's abode. I texted back, "He creeps the hell out of me. Reminds me of my old Boy Scouts leader. Why?" In less than 10 seconds my phone chirped in announcement as Pearl's victorious reply arrived, "I JUST DID HIM!"

Over the next 3 days, I received similar texts from Pearl informing me to peer through my peep hole and give her feed back on the men that she was romping with. An Asian disk jockey, two blond lumber jack types, a bearded man who wore Teevas, a elfish looking critter with chicken legs, a middle school History teacher, a mechanic named Rusty, a mid 50's gentleman who drove a silver Buick Park Avenue and a very large ginger all tumbled back into society after experiencing Pearl. 

Diagraming the battlefield's pros and cons of each encounter has become my latest hobby, and like most addictions, my heart begins to race when I hear the excited tone of a text message from Pearl. Thank you, Pearl, for reminding me that it doesn't pay to be a whore.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Extra Inch

An inch is 2.54 centimeters, one thirty-sixth of a yard, half the length of an average french fry.

I entered the aircraft with all the fan fare of a coach seat ticket holder. The flight attendant greased a grin across her faded face as I passed into the rear of the plane. My seat was located on the very last row, tucked in the corner next to the soon to be rocketing restroom. As I wedged all six feet and 2 inches of my body into that cramped cranny, I caught sight of my row mate's dark eyes gazing at me.

His brown eyes verged on the spectrum of black, his skin was far more bronze than any tanning bed had hopes of making my own, and his turban was tied tight: my neighbor was an inch by inch specimen of a Middle Eastern man. Every piece of post 9/11 propaganda flooded my mind as I ignored my open minded and accepting upbringing. In conditioned ignorance, I began plotting the epic film script that would depict my lion-hearted rescue of the hijacked airplane. My heroic thoughts turned into dazed dreams as I laid my head on my lap, slipping away into slumber.

I woke suddenly, quite unaware of where I was. My legs were bound in place, my head was held captive against my knee and everything around me was dark. Memory raced back to my last conscious thought and my heart began to panic. Without a moment's more hesitation, I began screaming, "Help!" and a few far more colorful explicitives. But the man who had reclined his chair directly infront of me, pinning me in place, was in his own dreamland. All I needed was a little wiggle room, but this snoring giant would not spare me an inch.

As I lay, squished between my own fleshy thighs and the padded backside of the lowered chair, I was reminded of a meeting I had been in some months prior. As the executive leadership of Utah was gathered around a conference table discussing the needs of our diverse company, an argument was raised about the cost of a smaller product versus a larger product. I calmly stated, "I don't care who you are, it's always worth an extra hundred bucks for that extra inch." My response may have been inappropriate at the time and whorrish, but the message rang true as I was jammed in that jet next to a harmless new friend.

An inch is 2.54 centimeters, one thirty-sixth of a yard, half the length of an average french fry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

By Invitation Only

In a letter written from the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. scribed, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Today, I experienced the stinging blow of segregation. The justice that I once lived for, fought for, slept with; was stripped away from me like Anthony Weiner's dignity.  Perhaps it was the hue of my skin, the girth of my thighs or the Buick that I drove that erected an invisible barricade between me and the rest of the population.  I will never know why I was blocked out, but in a flash of spandex I was pushed aside by a film crew recording an exercise video at my gym.

Apparently this workout video was a "by invitation only" segment featuring awesome people having an awesome time drinking awesome shooters and then sitting around and soaking up each other's awesomeness. I was not up to their awesome-esque standard obviously and did not receive an invitation to participate in the sweaty soiree. Poor choice.

I proceeded to place myself in the background of every shot of said movie. Whether it was a graceless pair of cartwheels or the walk-by-body-scratch, I found every opportunity to make my mark on the silver screen. A floundering foot found its way into the ranks of the steamy society, accidentally tripping into an outlying female. Grunting became the name of the game as I clamoured on top of a near by treadmill to adjust the overhead fan. Next, the sultry songs of Neil Diamond began pouring from my pouted lips. When they motioned for me to be quiet, I held my hand up to my ear and mouthed the words, "I can't hear you, sorry buddy." The most glorious part of this engagement was that I did not have earphones in. Oh the price one pays when Lee Cannon is not invited to play.

I have a dream that one day I will be featured in the foreground of a low budget exercise video. Today, that dream was fulfilled. I took justice into my own hands and handed the crew my contact information, letting them know where they can send the invitation for our next perspiring production.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Forgive Me For I Have Sinned

When the high priest Moses ascended the slope of Mount Siani he was in search of an answer. 40 days and 40 nights later he found his way back with the Ten Commandments. While I am thankful for the crisp clarity of the milenia old damning guidelines, I place confidence in the fact that the centuries have erased the fingered disclaimer scrawled in short hand upon the tablets. The said disclaimer allows us to cheat on a commandment or two when we are in a life threatening situation, of course.

I found myself on the same life threatening threshold that the Lawgiver found himself on while hillside: toilet paperless. The past 13 days I have been without toosh tissue. Every time I drop off a deposit, I am reminded that I hate buying potty paper and have forgotten to once again pick up an illusive roll.

The only solution to this moral dilemma: take a shower. I have never had 13 consecutive days filled with so much soapy nudity. Two or three times I day, I find myself pleasantly surprised by yet another burst of hot water cascading down over my body. This fine solution became a highlight in my toilet paper conservation program until house guests began asking to use my restroom. To their surprise, I invited them to stroll across the street to the local convenience store where they could poop freely and use the sandpaper-esque toilet paper.

Finally, on the 13th day of my Mount Siani, I found myself in a public restroom delivering my digested product to the porcelain god. There was an extra roll of toilet tissue perched along side the throne. It seemed to call to me in ways no other inanimate object ever has. "Take me. Wipe thy tender bum and be free of thy burden," it chanted. In a moment surely to cause the Parter of the Red Sea grief, I stole that roll of wonderful wiping weave.

A commandment may have been broken, but I feel that the long lost disclaimer applies to such languished lavatory laments. Forgive me, for I have sinned.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Period Preaching

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It is a festivity for all the major social groups: couples, single individuals, and those with eating disorders. For many around the world it is a time to celebrate those who have passed from this life, but for everybody else it is a time to wear the least amount of clothes possible and try to avoid frost bite. Whether it is an overly exposed abundance of flesh or a creepy costume, nothing will scare me this Halloween compared to my recent rendezvous with religion.

I found myself in an unfamiliar chapel for church services. Several laymen expressed their devotion to God and the Holy Writ. The mood was believing and canonical until she made her way to the pulpit.

The slender framed ginger with a forceful chin stood upon the podium and declared, "I became a woman this week." I glanced around to see if anyone else thought that this was a bizarre statement for a 15 year old to be making, but found most of the congregation drooling. She continued.

"I didn't understand why I was bleeding," she announced. I wanted to dissolve into the cushioned pew in horror, shock and awe as she proceeded to inform the throng of innocent worshipers about her loss of vital fluids through the meridional escape route. Panic terrorized my anxiety as an extensive personal account of this young lady's female functions was unfurled and compared to the crimson suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. I must exclude many of her poignant sentences in fear of being struck by lightening, but the finale came in a spin-chilling aphorism, "He bled for me."

This was by far the spookiest moment of my Halloween holy day.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Was Blind, But Now I See

The blind have always held a very special spot in my heart. It was my pleasure to raise two Guide Dogs for the Blind in my youth. Seeing the immense help they gave to their sightless counterparts gave me insight to a world I could never understand. But it was a universe that I decided to explore on Saturday at the Jiffy Lube.

I parked my Buick along side the Jiffy Lube on 5400 South. After taking a deep breath, calming my nerves, I exited the Buick and began stumbling toward the brick building. Groping for the entrance, my fingers touched the door handle and I shuffled into the lobby of the garage. One of the grease monkeys approached me and asked if he could help me. I let him know that I had parked my car on the west side of the building and that I needed him to change my oil. With that, I handed him my keys and felt my way to a chair.

Reverently, quietly, I waited for the man to come back. He opened the door and beckoned for me to follow him. I, of course, ignored him because I was blind. Clearing his throat he muttered, "Mr. Cannon, your car is ready. I'd like to go over what we did today." I stood up and waited for him to come over and escort me, arm in arm, to the computer screen. Keeping my lazy glazed eyes loosely glued to his face, I began tearing up as he said, "You can read here what we changed on your car today." Swallowing every nerve to giggle, my voice quivering I said, "I can't see."

The poor man who was waiting on me shrank when he realized his blunder against the blind. Reading each and every word on the screen took the articulately challenged man an eternity and I soaked up each and every moment of it! Finishing the check list, I took his arm and let him guide his visionless patron to the awaiting Buick.

"Are you sure you don't need some help? Someone to drive you home?" he repeatedly asked. To which I assured him, "I do this all the time."

Feeling my way into the car, I slid my body into the driver's seat with the grace of a sightless swan and buckled up. Pushing on the gas and break one after another, the sedan lurched forward with amazing gumption for such an old girl. "HEY STOP!" screamed the lube man, but it was too late. I slammed on the gas, spun the steering wheel and the tires screamed as I barreled away from that Jiffy Lube and onto amaurotic freedom.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee

Tropical Storm Lee has ravaged the shores of Louisiana as Mother Nature continues her bizarre menstruation cycle this summer. Chaos ridden and draped with washed up seaweed, the relief efforts have begun to clean up Lee's wake. But there is another Lee that strikes fear in the hearts of the innocent, the peaceful office staff and pocket sized pygmies throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

We recently installed a new printer in the office where I pretend to work. The genius tech guy decided that it would best suit the office staff to place the over sized paper producer directly outside of my office door. Poor choice.

As I briskly exited my luxury suite, I always walk quickly and with purpose so that onlookers think I am occupied and unapproachable, my wide set hips clipped the fancy font fabricator and flung the five folder trays through the air. The whole office stopped and starred as I froze mid-mishap.

In my best angry voice I said, "This junk is always getting in my way!" With a sheepish tone that would have swooned Little Bo Peep, Hellewell said, "Sorry, I will have the printer moved." To which I promptly replied, "No, no I was talking about my bum."

Looks like our own Lee tempest has hit the office coast line: Please evacuate the area and avoid airborne articles previous attached to printers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The "Right" Song

I was recently asked to perform at my little brother Stinky' wedding. With all the sincerity of my heart I began searching for just the "right" song to capture the love of this developing duo of devotion. The following paragraph is littered with links to my failed list of possible pieces:

The Police's magic melody of "Every Breath You Take" is a popular early 80's tune that might appear appealing as an aria for the wedding of a creepy stalker. If stalking isn't your flavor, perhaps "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion will be able to capture the essence of death and love. And if for some bizarre reason you don't want a funeral piece performed at your nuptial ceremony, perhaps the ulta romantic lines of "When I'm 64" by the Beatles will suit your ceremony better.

And then I found it: The perfect hymn to encapsulate the passion, the purity, the eternal pining for each other's heart. Like a cherry atop a mount of heavy whipped cream, like the chipotle jalapeno relish upon a greased up hot dog, like a large bird turd on a newly washed Buick, "Like A Virgin" by Madonna is the finale to a life of celibacy for these two stalwart saplings. Thank you Madonna for providing me with this beautiful ballad and thank you Stinky for providing me with such a fabulous captured audience to croon to.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Secret of Life

Four steps to achieving the secret of life:

1) Click on this link :
2) Watch this video :
3) Comment on the YouTube video :
4) Share this video with everyone you know :

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Haunting Scars of Our Youth

When did Donald Trump first acquire his bouffant hair style? Is it reminiscent of his awkward adolescence? When did Lady Gaga first acquire her desire to wear meat? Is it a shadow of an overly carnivorous father figure? When did Adolph Hitler first acquire his square shaped mustache? Is it in memory of his overly masculine mother?

These inquires become the hinge on our window of memory that, when opened, allows us to see the haunting scars of our youth. What moment defined who we would be for the next 20, 40, or 80 years? Was it an epic failure that rocketed you into a successful career as a social worker? Or, perhaps you experienced a life changing success in your junior year of high school that, like Billy Ray Cyruss, left you with an impressive mullet? I recently witnessed this inspiring junction in the life of a young man.

While tutoring at a local elementary school, I watched the throng of 2nd graders bustling about in their microcosm of playground politics and classroom crushes. Each jockeying for their own chance to shine, one boy stood out. He was a sturdy chap with the flash of fire in his eyes and the smell of chocolate cake on his breath. Wearing an adult XL sized Cub Scout shirt busting at the seems, he paraded around his peers with the pomp of a perfectly plumed peacock. He looked hungry for an adventure, starving for a thrill, famished for fun. And then his eyes landed upon the bent over view of the student teacher Ms. Bells: his target was found.

With the stealth of a bloated walrus, he clamored his way atop the nearest work table. I could see the momentum building in his stocky body has he began a great squatting movement on the shaking desk. With one strenuous heave of his hefty human Ho Ho, this proud Cub launched himself skyward. The frail frame of the momentarily stationary student teacher did not stand a chance against the rotund mass of the airborne child.

The look of triumph rested on his glistening face as he stood over his flattened victim. This was his moment, his formalizing announcement to the world that he would be someone special: the next Rock, the next Hulk Hogan, the next President of the United States of America. His future was cemented for him in one glorious body thrust that took an authority figure to the ground. This 8 year old became king of his own mountain. What future will be haunted by this scar of his youth? Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Tale

Charles Dickens penned, "I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by into our lives." Long hours have I sat, listening, listening to a thunderous throng of thespians soaking up each other's excitement to a level of saturation. And for that abundance of life, I would like to thank each of the individuals who have added to the synergy of my Tale.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature in constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other." Listening to each of your words, listening to each of your actions, and most importantly, listening to each of your love has been a treasured secret and mystery for me to explore. Through the secret places of our hearts, we have shared the vulernabilities that allow for pure understanding to occur. Your love has been the key to opening the door to this story, to our story. Thank you for letting me listen.

Dickens wrote that Dr. Manette would often lapse back into memory and experience things "incomprehensible to those unacquainted with his story as if they had seen the shadow of the actual Bastille thrown upon him by a summer sun, when the substance was three hundred miles away." I already find myself craving your "shadow" that you cast upon me. No one outside of our production can understand the culminating adventure that we took together. Your shadow is a comfort, a safe place in my life. Thank you for letting me be in your shadow.

Together we wrote our own Tale these past few months. Each line was written by the laughter, the tears, the drama, the hard work and the passion each of us have given freely. Freely is a poor word choice; not a single one of us can walk away from this family without acknowledging our investment in each other. The price we have paid through listening and loving each other will be an unremitting shadow in our lives.

Thank you for being mine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Excuse Me?

A trio of recent events can be categorized under the title: Excuse Me?

The first Excuse Me? is brought to you by my fleshy friend, Brenda. Brenda and I met in a tragic treadmill accident involving her passing out, flying off the belt, denting the wall and me hyperventilating due to laughter. The cementing of our friendship occurred when Brenda positioned herself behind me during a squatting exercise. A low grunt escaped her pursed lips as she looked at my rump and said, "Your bum makes me crave cinnamon rolls!"

How does one respond to such a carnal statement? Excuse Me?

A second Excuse Me? came onto the scene during a recent filming of a flash mob. I was dressed as an innocent janitor who was called in to clean up the popcorn that had been thrown by an angry couple. Erupting into song, I bellowed through my part as the unsuspecting patrons were confused and delighted. At the end of the number, the performers dispersed back into the crowd and I moved several tables over and began nonchalantly sweeping again. At this point a senior member of the softer sex waved at me and said, "Will you clean this crap up?" motioning to the disarray of Diet Coke, french fries and crumpled napkins. I stared at her blankly. Why in the world would I clean up her mess? Following my confused silence the second question came, "Do you speak English?"

How does one respond to such a racist statement? Excuse Me?

Lastly, the third Excuse Me? exploded onto the stage this very night. It is my pleasure to perform at a professional theater nestled between the freeway and low income housing developments. I have been plagued by fairly abusive bowel issues as of late and made a mad dash off stage, through the empty lobby of the theater and into the abandoned restroom in hopes to avoid any soiled skivvies. The bass release that occured was of epic earth moving proportion somewhere in the key of B minor. As I opened my eyes after the reverbaration had passed, I saw through the crack of the stall the owner of the theater standing at the sink washing his hands. His was a look of awe and horror.

How does one respond to such a startled look? Excuse Me?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gluteus Maximus Pile Driver

The United States led an international conversation on Sunday to force President Hosni Mubarak to listen to the Egyptian people's demands for democracy. But there was little indication that the wrinkled dictator would budge, at least for now.

With all this confusion plaguing the pyramid strewn country, I feel that it is my duty to give the people of Egypt credit for their courage and dancing style. Thank Ra and Orsis that the Egyptians created the "Egyptian" dance move. If only I had followed in Pharaoh's footsteps and done the "Egyptian" this weekend, then an innocent life would have been left unmarred.

The scene unfolds as I was dancing on a VIP party platform several feet above the club dance floor. Please do not misinterpret that statement by painting a picture of me dancing atop a table, thank you. When the song "Apple Bottom Jeans" exploded through the sound system, my body took flight into what one may call modern art, a mating dance, or straight up booty dancing.

Unknown to me was the distance between my feet and the edge of the stage. As my body reacted to the intense beat of the song, it did a fairly common dance move, The Drop It Like It's Hot. As my rear end descended downward in a swift dropping motion it collided with a very solid object. Startled, I turned to find a large black woman laying on the ground directly under my bum. My fanny had flattened this female to the floor!

It was a run by rumping. Booty bump, tush push, rump thump, hindquarter sneak attack, it does not matter what you call it; I took that poor girl out with one gluteus maximus pile drive!

So when life gets dark and dreary in Egypt or wherever you may be, don't forget that some crazy white boy might plop his fanny down on your unsuspecting head. Hey, maybe the Rump Thump can be the dance move that gets President Hosni Mubarak out of office!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Somnambulism: A friend maker

Today, I am prepared to reveal an extremely personal piece of information. According to the National Sleep Foundation, I, Lee P.Cannon, suffer from a behavioral disorder. Now this may not come as a huge shock to those of you who have had the pleasure of being exposed to my disorder, but to the innocent reader who believes that I am merely a victim of awkward experiences, this may shake your confidence in my mental stability. I am a survivor of somnambulism.

Somnambulism is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while sleeping. In layman terms, I am a sleep walker.

Now sleepwalking might seem like a great theme for a 1940's horror film, in which the male antagonist butchers his lover Lucille with the blunt end of a plunger while "sleepwalking". It has also been the rationalization for many sex-capades throughout history (see for more details). But for me, sleepwalking is simply a way of life.

Recently, I have taken to stripping my body down to the prenatal state while sleeping and then taking adventures beyond the bedroom. When I wake, instead of being in my plush pillow top queen bed, I will find myself sprawled out in the arm chair, snuggled in the tub, or sitting on my kitchen floor: always naked. This nude awakening has always been a welcome surprise until it became a public affair.

The last time my tired eyes opened to find my exposed body in an odd location I was propped up against the railing of my patio. Some patios might be prime locations for nude nocturnal narratives, but my patio is down town Salt Lake City. Located 36 inches away from a fairly busy street lay bare the Lee Cannon modern art exhibit.

I have no excuse for my public display of flesh, but only good has come of the event. I was expecting a phone call from the police informing me that I would be appearing before a judge to be sentenced for my indecent exposure ticket. But instead, I received 16 friend requests on Facebook that day. Sixteen complete strangers from Salt Lake City happen to add me in the wee hours of the morning during and after my most recent au naturel stroll. Thank you Somnambulism, you truly are the best friend maker.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ending 2010 On A High Note

In the light of the season of goals, lifestyle change and over eating, I ventured into the world of retail therapy to rehabilitate my need for radiant raiment. Little did I know that on this innocent outing I was to be visited by own Ghost of Christmas Past, much like Charles Dickens' classic character Ebenezer Scrooge.

The spirit came to me in the form of a store clerk. A young man in his late teens with fairly poor hygienic qualities, the Ghost of Christmas Past looked at me with a quizzical excitement. When I acknowledged his eagerness for social intercourse he bleated out, "Are you Lee Cannon?" This caught me off guard, but my affirmative answer led him to explain, "I was you for Halloween last year!"

Normal children dress up as vampires, monsters, Hilary Clinton or mummies on Halloween night, but this pimpled adolescent chose to get gussied up as Lee Cannon. I could not decide if I should be flattered or offended at his outward adoration for the LeeLee of my youth. The high road was taken, and I graciously accepted his declaration with a hesitant, "Thanks?"

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I am proud to support future generations using this photo as the raw material for a spectacular Lee Cannon Halloween costume. Thanks 2010 for ending on a high note!

P.S. My favorite reaction to this piece so far has been from Claudia Bigler, "I can't think of another local mortal that this would happen to. Infamy has reached our little world."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Middle Aged Mishaps

I don't know how they find me, but they do. The few and far between freaks find me. I am convinced that at some point I forgot to uncheck the little box of an online survey that allowed Nancy Pelosi and the DNC to distribute all my private information to the mentally ill, maniacs and middle aged women of America. Now, I enjoy a thrilling adventure as much as the next young business professional, but honestly, the barrage of bizarre busty beauties is taking its toll on my sanity. I offer three brief examples of this recent onslaught of the middle aged women mania.

The Date: I was innocently casual dating this woman who I thought to be in her late 20's. After our third outing I received a call from a girl who said, "Lee, I am getting engaged! And since you are seeing my mother, I thought I would ask you to sing at my reception!" Seeing your mother?! Thank you Middle Aged Woman #1, I have now acquired an age limit in all aspects of dating.

The Party: I was innocently attending a costume party over the holidays. Without warning a very large middle aged woman wearing cheetah print teetered over me. As her 400 pound frame collapsed upon me, I could not move. The crowded room could not hear my muffled screams for help. Thank you Middle Aged Woman #2, I have now acquired a fear of inflatable toys.

The Store: I was innocently shopping for nutrients the other day when an unsolicited middle aged woman approached me. She greeted me with a smile and said, "You look like Jude Law . . . only fatter." This is not socially acceptable. No one should be allowed to comment on complete stranger's excess body fat. Thank you Middle Aged Woman #3, I have now acquired an eating disorder.

I am fully prepared for a break in the middle aged mishaps. Please, if you see me being followed by a middle aged woman, no matter how friendly or innocent she may appear, scream bloody murder and tell me to RUN!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Own Bathsheba

David of Old, he who pummeled the vertical over achiever, Goliath, found himself king of all Israel. One night, Dave was strolling about his lofty palace rooftop and "from the roof he saw a woman washing herself, and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." (2 Samuel 11:2) This yummy morsel was known as Bathsheba. One thing led to another and soon Bath was heavy with Davey's baby.

Current pop culture would have us believe that you must have been spotted fornicating upon a rooftop to be anybody now a days in Hollywood. However, in my recently acquired hobby of installing steel roofs, I do not recommend doing any strenuous activity upon any rooftop. In fact, I, like my fellow psalm writer, have spied my own Bathsheba from atop a roof.

My Bathsheba must have forgotten to read her Old Testament, as she came out onto the adjacent porch in nothing but a skimpy bikini clinging to her 93 year old not-so-beautiful body. I tried to categorize her body type as she waved at me, her arm flab flapping in the wind. She did not fit the ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph body types, but instead mastered the old pear body type featuring fairly small shoulders that descend into well rounded out hips and a rotting bottom.

The sun reflecting off her glowing white skin caught my eyes like the flashes of the paparazzi cameras documenting the lusty rooftop affair. I was stunned by the public display of wrinkled flesh. But to relieve your churning stomach, I withstood my Davidic temptations, as strong as they were, and giggled my way down the ladder. With each downward step I lost any chance to getting my name in the headlines, but at least there won't be a chapter in 2 Samuel describing my adultry with that aged angel.