Chris Johnson

How to wash your pickup truck

How to wash your pickup truck

I just did something unusual — well, unusual for me anyway. I took my pickup truck through the car wash. This was quite the shock to everyone I know, especially my wife who is convinced that I can’t actually see dirt until it piles up to the point that folks give it a name that starts with Mount. Not only that, but I purchased the $25 wash — the most money I’ve spent on a vehicle cleaning in my entire life. Yes, I know some of you spend 10 times that at some specialty place where they crawl all around […]

There’s no present like the time

There’s no present like the time

In the past week, I’ve picked up one grandson from preschool twice, taken the other to baseball practice and cheered him on at a coach-pitch game, did a whole lot of riding on the golf cart with both of them while blasting those super-cool new songs “Purple People Eater” and “Ghostbusters,” told bedtime stories about Jack and the Beanstalk and Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby and, of course, responded to roughly 1 million requests of “Pop, be monster!” Sigh. “OK. Raaawwrrrrr!” Cue screaming and panicked running to the nearest walk-in closet. Door slam … and scene. It was a […]

Hope you all enjoyed your latest ultra-American holiday

Hope you all enjoyed your latest ultra-American holiday

Yesterday was Labor Day, capping a final summer weekend when many of us folks with cushy jobs hit the road for one last summer outing to the beach or pool or Wild Flags Over Mickey World. It’s truly an ultra-American holiday. Then again, this also is National Waffle Week, and that’s also extremely American. But Labor Day is when we celebrate the American worker, and we do it in the most American way possible — by leaving so many of them out of it. On Labor Day weekend, we fill our gas-guzzling vehicles and whine about the price of gas […]

And I thought I was too old to be a pirate

And I thought I was too old to be a pirate

One of the most beloved Jimmy Buffett songs is a reflective, anguished ballad from the early 1970s that has nothing to do with cheeseburgers in paradise, volcanoes or margaritas — although a little bit of rum may be involved. “A Pirate Looks at Forty” is about an aging sailor who is fading into the sunset and realizing that he’s found his perfect occupation … “two hundred years too late.” Having become a writer about the time most folks decided to quit reading, I kinda know how the guy feels. Maybe that’s why it’s one of my go-to songs when I […]

If I’m being polite out of pure obligation, at least return the favor

If I’m being polite out of pure obligation, at least return the favor

Many people in my neighborhood like to walk around and enjoy the fresh air. Some put their dogs on a leash before heading out, while others tuck their kids into strollers or wagons. A handful should consider putting their kids on a leash and perhaps hooking them to a tree in the front yard until they return from their walk. I know, I know. I’m kidding. No one should treat a tree like that. They’re going through enough with the current environmental assault by mankind without having to battle kid-kind, as well. And I’m not saying to leave the kids […]

Streaming soon: The Amazing 60-year-old Spider-Man

Streaming soon: The Amazing 60-year-old Spider-Man

I learned to read at an early age. In fact, my kindergarten teacher made me read to the class at storytime so they could see that anyone could learn to read. It was a real honor, and I went home with a lot of badges of honor called black eyes. Despite that early start — or maybe even because of it — I was not a big fan of reading and books as a kid. Why spend all that energy turning pages when a television could beam stories directly into my head like a conspiracy theorist watching OAN today? Then […]

Grease may be the word, but the music ain’t working for me

Grease may be the word, but the music ain’t working for me

For all of my love of things you can find only at restaurants and not at my house — such as things that drip with grease (mmm), things that have the word “double” or “triple” in them and things cooked in gobs of perfectly natural ingredients like salt, lard or salty lard — I actually don’t find my way to restaurants very often. That may surprise you because I like to fuss about restaurant experiences and because despite all my eating at home and going to the gym, my body looks less like Conan the Barbarian and more like Grimace, […]

An unexpected hiccup in my return to the gym

An unexpected hiccup in my return to the gym

When you get to be my age, you’ve got to make some choices about your health. You could say something like, “Hey, 52 years is a good run, so I think I’m going to drink a few margaritas, eat some double-chili-cheeseburgers and then watch five straight games from this here recliner. Might squeeze in a nap, too. I’m done with exercising … forever.” To which your supportive wife might respond, “Chris Johnson, that is the dumbest thing you’ve ever said, and, believe me, that’s one loooong list of dumb stuff that has come out of your mouth.” My wife is […]