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I like to eat sweets but they give me headaches, so obviously, me being an intelligent and responsible adult who is capable of making rational decisions, I take Tylenol for my headaches. That’s the kind of wisdom I learned from an old Alabama man when I was barely twenty years old. A long time ago when I worked alongside this die-hard Roll Tide Football fan, he would stop by a hotdog stand a couple afternoons a week and we’d each have a hotdog with mustard and onions and a cold beer. Then we’d sit in the truck and enjoy our snack and give each other shit about one thing or another. Ten minutes later he’d say, “Brian,” (except he’d say Braaaahhhn, because he was from Alabama and that’s how they said my name). Anyway, he’d say, “Braaaahhhn, I got heartburn. Wonder what caused that.” Then he’d crack up laughing because he knew he was funny, which he was. And like the Tylenol I took to solve the eating sweets problem, he’d take a Tums or Rolaids and swear he should probably put a stop to the hotdogs. In fact he would say, “Braaaahhhn, I’m gonna put a stop to eatin them hotdogs.” Two days later we’d pull up to the stand and do it again.

His name was Moose, because his ears were so big that they looked like moose antlers. Moose was the king of self-proclaimed wisdom and some of it was good. We worked on electrical power lines together and on one particular day I made a mistake that I cannot exactly recall, but I was beating myself up a bit more than I probably should have been. So, Moose said to me, “Braaaahhhn, the only people who don’t make mistakes ain’t doin nothin.” I’ve remembered that wisdom for forty years, and guess what I’ve observed in all that time. The only people who don’t make mistakes aren’t doing anything. That’s a hard and fast rule with no exceptions.

I also heard Moose once tell a guy, “You know the way you can tell if you’re good at sex is when you hit the zizz-wheel. You know, when you do it just right you’ll hear her go, zizzzz!” He was full of all kinds of useful tidbits. Moose also told me that if I ever stopped being afraid of electricity that I should find a new job. Like I said, a lot of wisdom.

I’m not really sure what made me think about Moose or the hotdogs or his zizz-wheel theory. I was little more than a kid back then and he was old enough that I’m certain that he has long since departed our world and proceeded to the great beyond by now. What I do know is that it’s good to reflect back every now and then on people and places and memories that made us smile along the way. And there’s no sense in having a million life experiences and leaving them all behind without telling someone about them. As for me, I feel obligated to share a lot of stories.

With all that said, if you got nothing else out of this little piece, please remember this. According to the wisdom of Moose, if you don’t hear the zizz, then you ain’t doin it right. You gotta hit the zizz-wheel.


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