Dandy Randy and some other ramblins’…

Here’s a post just to be posting.

So that guy walked across the grand canyon on a two inch cable. Did you see that? I watched it with my daughter and we enjoyed the spectacle. It took some huge balls and apparently some assistance from Jesus, but he did it.

Then there was a show right after it that involved the Discover Channel dumping a man and a woman in a Costa Rican jungle for 21 days butt naked. “Who watches this crap?” I asked myself! After watching the entire show in spite of the fact that I wanted to go to bed, I had my answer. Spoiler alert, they made it out alive by eating a turtle and a snake and drinking river water. I’m sure there are native people out there in jungles who do that stuff everyday, but when white Americans have to live like that for 21 days, it’s entertainment.

A few of you have inquired about how my fitness or weight loss program is going and, bless your hearts, I appreciate you asking. Unfortunately, “I’m going to start that program on Monday” has been my answer for several weeks now. So again, for those of you who’ve recently asked, I plan to start it next Monday for real.

The BMI says that I’m too heavy for my height, so I’ve been trying different things to make myself taller so my current weight would be ok. So far, I’ve had no success with this plan and I’m beginning to realize that losing the weight is probably the best way to go. The good news is that I haven’t gained any additional weight, so that’s something to be proud of, right?

The other day at a graduation for a relative, I was hanging out in the pisser with my four-year-old while he was taking a leak.

So here’s a semi-serious question.

Is it strange that my four-year old son pees sitting down and then wipes his business when he’s finished? I seem to remember as a kid that I’d always pee standing up, even at home. In his defense, he learned it from me. I pee sitting down at home even though I stand up to do it everywhere else.

That’s TMI, but you pee sitting down, Don?

Yes! I’m a man of average to above average height, so when I pee standing up, the water and piss splash all over the rim and the floor of the bathroom. That’s fucking disgusting when you have babies crawling around. That’s disgusting even if you don’t have little ones crawling about. Why create an extra mess where it can so easily be avoided? Plus, I much prefer sitting whilst doing most any activity and it gives me a few minutes to catch up on Ruzzle and WWF matches. Still, if people think I’m turning him into a Nancy boy, then I don’t mind standing him up now that I think he can reach where he needs to be to hit the target.

Here’s another character I met while policing, since many of you enjoy such tales.

I was reading through some old correspondence and came across a name I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. It was a message about one of my regular homeless folks. His name was Randy P. I’ll call him Randy though.

Randy is dead now.

Randy was an alcoholic and he was one of those people who didn’t want anybody’s help. He was fairly young when he died, 47 by my math.

Randy drove first responders crazy because we got many, many calls from people about his behavior. He hung out in a very populated neighborhood with a mix of renters and homeowners. It was a decent area with a fairly low crime rate, especially for violent crime. There is a church that feeds and shelters homeless people, so they’re always nearby. Randy didn’t care for any shelters. Randy slept in Aboussie Park in St. Louis. Its claim to fame is that it’s the smallest park in all of St. Louis. It is pretty tiny and is situated alongside a major interstate to the west and a row of houses to the east.

Randy wasn’t violent as a general rule, but if I’d spoken to him 400 times, he was completely sober maybe three or four of those times. I think he said he had a daughter and possibly an ex-wife. He suffered from seizures very regularly. That’s what most of our calls on him were about. EMS would show up and say “Randy, I should have known it was you!” They’d take him to a hospital where he’d get some new meds, he’d be released, run out of medicine, have another seizure, and the cycle would repeat itself. Randy mostly minded his own business and police officers appreciate people who mind their own business.

One night, my partner and I were nearing the end of our shift when we noticed a Dodge Durango with a broken window nearby. The windows were tinted so we couldn’t see too well inside the car.

Well, it turned out that the car was stolen so we just followed it around for a little bit, no lights on or anything. It drove very slow down a few streets and then into an alley where it stopped for a moment. Nobody got out and the car continued on. We’re not really at liberty to chase cars just for being stolen, and turning on the lights may have caused the driver to take off dangerously, so we continued to follow it while discussing what we were going to do. Well, the car turned into a gas station and all four doors opened while nearly simultaneously, four homeless guys staggered from the car and collapsed onto the parking lot. They were all too drunk to stand up. Were it not for the fact that the car was stolen and the driver was apparently driving drunk, the scene would have been hilarious.

Randy was a passenger in the car.

They all reeked of booze and piss and vomit and whatever else it was that they rolled around in and I felt bad for whoever owned this car and was going to get it back because that stank wasn’t going to be removed without a fight.

I saw Randy a few months later and it was one of the few times he didn’t appear to be drunk, even a little bit. He had no recollection of the night in the stolen Durango and about being a total douche about being arrested (I forgot to mention he acted like a total douche that night). He apologized and we laughed about it, because what more can you do but laugh about such things?

We talked about his seizures and about what a frequent flyer he was with EMS. He was always passing out or having seizures at the worst possible times, it seemed like when we were at our busiest and didn’t have time to deal with another of his episodes. I remember telling him that when he finally did die, it was no doubt going to be in fantastic fashion and disrupt something horrendously.

That something turned out to be traffic on I-55.

Before I tell how Randy died, there was this typical Randy tale as well. Randy somehow ended up in the county one evening (out of my jurisdiction) and was sleeping in a dumpster when the trash man came by to empty the dumpster of all it’s trash, including Randy. I don’t know how, but somehow the driver heard Randy screaming and stopped the machine before killing Randy. He may have broken a bone in his arm or leg, I don’t recall, but he seemed to have nine lives.

Having survived the dumpster scare, Randy was back in the City doing his thing. A clerk from the Shell station said that she had sold Randy 5 tall boy cans of beer, including a Keystone Light and that he appeared to be in good spirits.

Shortly thereafter, there was a dead man found on the highway, not too far from a bunch of personal effects, including an empty can of Keystone Light.

The first driver said that he thought something fell of the overpass and then he hit it. The second driver to hit Randy drove over his body after the first car had already struck it.

His luck had run out.

My partner the night of the Durango fiasco was working when Randy was killed; I was not. We didn’t work in the same area anymore. I vaguely recall him telling me that Randy was struck so hard that his heart was many yards down the highway from the rest of his body. I felt bad that Randy had finally succumbed to his hard lifestyle.

It appears he was drunk and wandered onto the highway for who knows what reason.

My former partner has never called me to tell me that anyone else we knew in common was dead, but he did for Randy because he was one of our regulars, and in some perverse way, we liked him.

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66 Responses to Dandy Randy and some other ramblins’…

  1. aliciabenton says:

    Don, you most certainly are not too heavy for your height. You’re just too short for your weight.

    Poor Randy.

  2. His HEART was hit out of his body? I didn’t even know hearts can be hit so heart that they leave the body. That is not a pretty mental picture. I’m so sorry for Randy. 😦

  3. I am very sorry for Randy. But, like you, I watched the whole religious wire crossing and THEN the naked and scared people in Costa Rica. Seriously? Who wants to look at naked starving bodies? I thought he was going to go postal on her, I was scared (but not naked). Are you considering this as part of your weight loss program? πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, he was starting to snap for sure! I mean faking sickness to get out of work! C’mon lady! What a great idea though! Maybe I should find a place to be naked and afraid besides my own house!

  4. tric says:

    Great story. I remember quite a few of those characters who were regulars in casualty. We had a book with descriptions of the characters and the various names they used, why they kept calling themselves different names I never found out.
    As for your exercise program beginning on Monday, I too am a follower. That is the day I will also cut back on tea and wine, and turn into a willing wife! Here’s to Monday!

  5. goldfish says:

    Poor Randy. Good luck with the getting taller thing.

  6. Kristen says:

    Make sure matt knows you are in fact a man because I have to hear about the little gay man I’m raising beause he sits at home and stands
    everywhere else!

  7. I was enjoying this post until the end. That was downright depressing. But, making fun of people that cross the grand canyon on a tight rope, or try to survive in the jungle naked is always fun. I did not watch either one of those idiotic feats. People are so stupid.

  8. Katie says:

    I wish I could pee standing up. All this up and down is so much work.

  9. ardenrr says:

    Oh Randy … at least he drank real beer and not Bud Light Lime, am I right?

  10. Hear that you pee sitting down has made my night, bet the guys at the station don’t know that! Do you put one of those papers covers on the seat beforehand too? πŸ˜‰ Still, joking apart, more men should as cleaning the loo after a bloke has used it is the grimmest of the grim….

    Poor Randy, hopefully he wouldn’t have known much about it though? His ghost is probably wandering around your beat going ‘Huh?’ and wondering why you don’t talk to him anymore.

    That old ‘diets start on Monday’ thing eh? Gonna hold you too that, and updating us every Monday following too. If only to save the strain on your lavvy seat….

  11. Daile says:

    Next Monday Don? C’mon, why wait till Monday!? Start tomorrow!

    Poor Randy, but it sounds like he survived a bit longer than what he possibly should have.

  12. flyingplatypi says:

    Every Tuesday I say I’m gonna start my diet and exercise on Monday. That was 3 years ago. But I’m a girl, so all the platform heels I own evens it all out.



  13. queenlorene says:

    I make my husband pee sitting down. My son is a lost cause. But he has his own bathroom. And the toilet loudly complains to me every time I clean it. Oh, no, that’s me loudly complaining to my son….

  14. Nadia says:

    What a very, very sad story.
    Oh, and once again, may the tacos not be with you…from next Monday.

  15. I heard about that naked show! So they drank river water. Is the next episode about how they ended up with ebola?

  16. Kerri says:

    I’m sorry for your Randy. It is hard when you lose a regular, especially when you liked him. On a lighter note, we got sucked in like fools to the crossing of the canyon. When they commented for the 100th time that there was nothing to stop his fall, my husband observed that the rocks would.

    Thankfully we averted disaster with the naked people show. We also probably avoided therapy.

  17. keladelaide says:

    Only you could weave peeing, a dead homeless man, dieting (or lack thereof) and naked reality tv shows into one post.

  18. Laura Lynn says:

    So that’s why some guys pee sitting down! I totally did not know that about the splashing thing. Also, anyone who gets dropped, naked (with another naked person) into a jungle with no food or supplies has obviously been camping with my friends. YEE HAWWW! As for Randy, well, I bartended for many years and I’ve seen my share of functioning and non functioning alcoholics. It’s ugly, even if they do seem to get by. Seeing too many has made me quit drinking for fun. No more naked camping for me. I stick to dynamite fishing now.

  19. Poor Randy. I hope he had consumed all of his beers before taking the fall. How awful. And, if you want to get taller to distribute a little extra weight, get shoe lifts.

  20. mistyslaws says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard tell of a grown man sitting down to pee. Huh. Makes sense, though. Just because you CAN stand to pee, doesn’t mean you HAVE to. My youngest sat and wiped for the longest time. He has just recently become tall enough to even be able to reach over the rim of the toilet when he stands. His dad started instructing him to do it, and he also wanted to stand like his much taller and older brother. With three boys in my house, I guess you can imagine what the toilets in my joint look like. No babies, thankfully, but still. Yuck!

    • I started doing it when I was alone and had to clean my own bathrooms, which admittedly didn’t happen very often. I’m glad to hear that your son stands now. I do let mine pee outside every now and then, just because he can. I had two brothers, so I recognize the toilet of which you speak!

  21. Cordelia says:

    So this started out as a funny post and the ended as a sad post and now I’m feeling all confused and little bipolar… great.

  22. ceruleanstarshine says:

    Peeing sitting down is no less manly. Trust me, men, the women in your life or whoever is cleaning your bathroom appreciates the effort!!!!!!!

    • Sadly, I think my little man manages to pee still between the seat and the rim many times, even though he’s seated. My wife is beside herself as to how we live with our penises. Lol. Thanks for commenting!

  23. Maggie O'C says:

    Couple things. Have you tried hanging from the swing set or monkey bars? I believe that worked for Bobby Brady or Greg was moving the tape but still give it a go.

    Also, Derwood pees sitting down and it is much appreciated. All the best guys do it.

    • That is a relief (about the peeing). It’s reassuring to know that other manly men do it as well.

      I’ve thought about hanging from the monkey bars from a noose around my neck after a particularly humbling day with the children, yes. Would that work?

  24. Maggie O'C says:

    Why am I not on your Community list or Top Clicks or ANYWHERE on your blog home page? Huh, Don?! What the hell????

  25. Ouch, poor Randy. I also feel for the dudes who ran into him.

  26. Amy says:

    I don’t think it’s weird to sit down to pee at all. I do it all the time. OH..right.
    Poor Randy. What a way to go.

  27. barbtaub says:

    Three things:
    1. Like you, I had my girl first. That whole period (the 80s) is a bit blurry, but as I recall we explained the girl-plumbing situation, she got it, and that pretty much covered potty training. So I’d hear about people who had different experiences (ie sons) and I figured they just had incompetent parents. I do think having a son is what made me fat, because I ended up having to eat so many of my words. Certainly, nobody ever told me I’d have a toddler balancing on my feet so he would be tall enough to reach over the edge and sink the ships (Cheerios) we were using as targets. Not to mention the absolute law that you couldn’t walk past the bathroom while he was at stand-and-deliver because he would turn — everything– to watch you go by…
    2. If I ever become a homeless alcoholic, I want to be wherever you are a policing. Not only do I enjoy the picture of annoying you on 500+ occasions, but I’m incredibly touched by the fact that you and your partner really cared about Randy enough to find out about his family and how he died. Very touching story.
    3. I have nominated you for the Best Moment Award. For more info, see http://wp.me/p2SHpT-kS.

    • My daughter and son were both super easy to potty train, it’s just that he pees sitting down is all! I won’t call other parents incompetent until I have the third one potty trained though. He might be the one who puts us in our place. Thank you so much for the award! It’s nice to know that somebody still likes me! A grown up even!

  28. mamamlk says:

    I think watching people fight to survive is an addiction now. We have survivor on its bagillionth season. Survivor Man. Whatever that Bear Gillis films and more. People want to know how to survive and have fun watching others try (and many times fail) in their attempts. I think it makes I feel better in some twisted way.

    As for your son, no worried. Lil C is almost 5 and used to pee standing up all the time. Till he got sick a few months ago that is. He was going potty when diarrhea hit him. Needless to say….he’s to afraid to pee standing up again. In other words…..it could be worse.

    • Lol, poor Lil C! That sounds like a traumatic event! You’re right about our thrill in watching others trying to get by. I’ve not seen any Survivor or shows like it, but I like nature stuff so this was sort of interesting. sort of.

  29. I’m not sure I could have picked a better post to read as my first one here. You reeled me in with the funny (I am of the too-short-for-my-weight club too … damn those genes!) and kept me interested with the tale o’ Randy. I’ll be your newest fan! Glad I found you on Barb’s page!! (Congrats on the award, btw!)

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading! It wasn’t one of my better posts, but it’s pretty par for the course around these parts. Barb is great, isn’t she? That a semi-intelligent grown up like her reads my blog makes me happy.

  30. Another random thought I should have put earlier. I remember hearing or reading something about how it’s actually better for men to pee sitting down. Apparently emptying one’s bladder can have an effect on blood pressure. This is rather less extreme if one is sat down rather than stood.

  31. I never met the man (Randy that is) and my heart feels a little heavy. But it’s nice to know that he is still remembered. πŸ™‚

  32. mollytopia says:

    I thought BMI was “Beautiful Man, Inc.” No? I’m sticking with that anyway. That Randy story is super sad, but I think it’s really awesome that you guys liked him, and didn’t judge him. I’m sorry for the people in the first and second cars that hit him – ugg. It would take me nine years and a battleship of prescription drugs to a get over hitting a person with my car and dragging him and his heart separately for 300 feet…You have the hardest job in the world Don. Seriously. I respect it so much…Also? Thank you for telling us you stand up to pee. It made me think my ex might not be gay for sitting down when he pees, but then you added your height, which totally makes sense, and he’s only 5’9″ so I returned to my original theory. Either way, ut’s still nice to think about people peeing, and their babies crawling around in what splashes out of the toilet onto the floor. My life would be painfully incomplete without you and your beautiful tales of…whoa : )

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