“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

How (not) to get a close shave
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recently took my wife and friends bicycling along the Natchez Trace. The wives rode, and we men followed in the van and cobbled together lunches, etc.

Gone for three days, I forgot my razor and was forced to find a cheap Bic throwaway model in a grocery story that was named, if I remember correctly, Morrows Food World. Bald men know that razors are a serious issue, and, if we note a particularly close shave on a fellow baldie standing somewhere in line, we will ask him what brand of razor he favors.

Well, all I can say, gentlemen, is this: do not use the Bic Metal Razor.

Good thing the beautiful and capable Nurse Carol was in the room with me.

Addie Award for Juvenile Delinquency
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

... goes to whoever painted this awesome mural on the side of our highrise in downtown Nashville.

It's pretty phantasmagorical, ain't it? Don't you think the angel boy looks like a pea-green version of Mowgli, the orphaned boy from Jungle Book?

Co-cola, anyone?
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Having spent most of my adult life in the American South, I always choose Coke over Pepsi. I like the complexity and bite of Coke -- I'm sure it's ginger.

I also like how Delta airlines always serves only Coke products because they are loyal to their fellow Atlanta-based company.

Over the years, the creative agencies who write for Coke have given us well-penned, innovative ads: Remember "Have a Coke and a Smile?" and "I'd like to Teach the World to Sing?"

This is on their new napkins on Delta:

Coke: Crispy and zesty on the first sip, smooth and rich by the last.

That pretty well captures it, don't you think?

Urban Wildlife: Post #866T5
Friday, May 20, 2011

I call this my "rapper tuxedo."

This week's Addie Award for Thriftiness
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I love how, once your kids get into college, the tables turn: after all those years of you teaching them, they start teaching you. I've learned so many great things through our daughter: books I never would have read, political theories, the themes and meanings behind Shakespeare.

And here's another fun one: Recently, one of her professors was chatting with the class and he divulged that he and his wife really enjoy their cocktails -- but, both of them academics, they can't afford the pricier vodkas.

Enter Britta. For those who haven't used a Britta, please note that they are nothing short of miraculous. It's a water pitcher with built-in carbon filter that makes even Florida tap water taste delicious.

Evidently, according to my daughter's professor, it also can turn cheap vodka into expensive-tasting stuff. They run their cheap liquor through the Britta a few times, and ... voila! ... they're suddenly drinking Grey Goose!

Addie Awards: #45856T5
Saturday, May 14, 2011

Starting something new on my blog this week: When I see something that I think deserves a superlative and mention, I'm going to share it with you. We will call them Addie Awards. My grandma Max used to call me Addie. Also, Addison Forbsikens.

From my recent trip to Greenville, South Carolina ...

Best Place to Get Married:

The YMCA camp in the mountains north of town. No alcohol allowed, though. (sigh)

And the Skinniest Coffee Shop in the World award goes to:

Owner says: "Go in the door and take a QUICK turn to the right."

Coitus Interruptus
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Easy to spot a Floridian this time of year by the front of his truck or car.

Yep. Love bugs. Easy to see how they got their nickname:

For those who haven't seen them, these little critters have sex while flying: the TRUE Mile High Club. Problem is, they're ... uhh ... well, they're a little distracted in the process and tend to float into the paths of oncoming vehicles.

I do admire their zeal for multi-tasking ... though often unsuccessful.

And I wonder: Who gets to fly forwards and who has to fly backwards?

Barstool Wisdom: #8556TV
Monday, May 9, 2011

Quick story for you: The other night after a hockey game I was drinking at a hotel bar with a friend, and there was a talkative, negative jerk sitting next to us. It took every ounce of willpower just to keep our mouths shut.

But, at one point, my friend could hold back no more. He said: "You know buddy, I think we've just about heard enough. You need to know somethin' here: Real men don't talk bad about their wives or their waitresses. You understand? Now, I'm gonna get up and go to the bathroom and when I get back I sure as hell hope you're gone."

And he was.

Mysteries of the Universe: #7576TG6
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So one of my guy's-guy friends called me recently with an unusual observation -- at least for him: He'd tuned into the royal wedding and noted something peculiar: "Hats," he said. "Really, cool hats. Man, those Brit ladies can do hats. They make the Kentucky Derby hats look downright dowdy."

And then, he added: "So, if they can do hats so well, why can't they figure out the teeth thing?"


"Their teeth," he explained. "They really are horrible, all gray and crooked. If they worry so much about their hats, then why not their teeth? I just think it's really weird."

It made me think how we Americans are so consumed with acquiring the perfect smile. First, the introduction of orthodontics in the 70s ... and, most recently, this obsession with getting our teeth as white as copier paper. We've perfected teeth, boobs, eyebrows, etc. Where do we go next?

I, for one, like a little gravity on a lady. And I'm a little wary of those with smiles that look computer-generated.

What makes teeth gray, anyway?

Memoir-writing, Lesson #47T4: The ending
Monday, May 2, 2011

Since I'm immersed in writing my first memoir (after writing four novels), I've been consuming as many of them as I can, and I see a common thread: Though many of them are well written, few have good, solid endings. They all just seem to peter out with a bunch of notebook-dumping: "Oh, and then this happened, and then this, and then this." It's as if the writer died while the book was in progress, and an editor somewhere had to finish the project.

While teaching a class at the Kentucky Writers' Conference a weeks ago, I shared this thought with my students, and asked them if they had any idea why memoirs had this problem. One smart woman raised her hand: "Memoirs are open-ended because your life's not over," she said. "You really don't know how the events in the memoir are going to impact you in the long run. You don't know the ending because, well, because you're still living."

I think she's right. Don't you?

Housekeeping Horror: #465Q2
Sunday, May 1, 2011

I've heard from my nomadic Kansas Correspondent again. (Remember the gentleman who sent us the photo of the huge fake eyelash left behind on his hotel chair?)

Here's his most recent find:

And his report: OK. I am staying at Hilton Garden Inn uptown Charlotte... 15th floor. So did someone really use a condom in the 15th floor foyer? Or did they use it on the elevator? Now would that be on the way down or up or both? I am taking the stairs as a precautionary matter. You Kansas Konnection has issued a travel advisory for this hotel.