That’s what friends are for…shout out to the Kindergarten Crew…

SO, it’s Tuesday, and it’s time to write…and all I can think of is the people who are reading this BULLSHIT…literally, there are those of you all around the world, there are those of you right around the corner, and everywhere in between…and you all have your own daily BULLSHIT going on in your lives…knowing that, and knowing that you take a few minutes to read this stuff when I post it, I thank you…

Wherever you are, whatever BULLSHIT you have going on, I want to take a few minutes and let you know that I am thinking about you…and when you think you are alone or your BULLSHIT is worse than others, just know that you are not alone…one guy I know is having all of his upper teeth pulled over the next couple of weeks because the medication he was taking for cancer damaged all of his chiclets…another couple of friends are going through some stuff with their parents getting sick and them having to make some real hard decisions…and a few are really fighting through a divorce and trying to hold it all together…and those are just the ones I have heard from since I posted something last week…

We all know there is A LOT of BULLSHIT in the daily grind of life…work, family, bills, relationships, health, hobbies, vices, you name it— there is some BULLSHIT involved on some level…But, you get through it…and you get through it better with the help of friends…

In the immortal words of the hip hop group, Whodini, here is the first verse of their song “Friends” (1984):

{HOOK}

Friends— how many of us have them?

Friends— ones we can depend on

{VERSE}

Friends is a word we use everyday

Most the time we use it in the wrong way

Now you can look the word up, again and again

But the dictionary doesn’t know the meaning of friends

And if you ask me, you know, I couldn’t be much help

Because a friend is somebody you judge for yourself

Some are ok, and they treat you real cool

But some mistake kindness for being a fool

We like to be with some, because they are funny

Others come around when they need some money

Some you grew up with, around the way

And you’re still real close to this very day

Homeboys through the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall

And then there’s some we wish we never knew at all

And this list goes on, again and again

But these are the people that we call friends

Whodini- Friends – YouTube

One of my favorite things about this blog is hearing from friends via text, email, comments, or, believe it or not, an actual PHONE CALL (so 1990)…in the past week, I have heard from friends who I went to college with 25 years ago, and it was like old times…I even had one of my friends from kindergarten pick up the phone to call me a jagoff…priceless BULLSHIT…

Recently, I had to fly back to Pittsburgh for a funeral…I took the red eye Sunday night, arrived in Pittsburgh Monday morning, and flew back on Tuesday…one of my best friends in life had his dad pass away and I had to be there, even if it was short notice…I booked the flight and called another one of my best friends in life, my surrogate big brother in Pittsburgh…the conversation went something like this:

“Hey, I am flying in Monday morning for Smoke’s dad’s funeral and I am flying back to Vegas on Tuesday.”

He says, “Great…I’ll pick you up at the airport…I have to work a little on Monday, but you can use my car to go to the funeral…then, when you come back, we’ll eat and play cards at my house…you stay with us, and I’ll take you back to the airport on Tuesday, unless you want to stay longer.”

DONE…NO BULLSHIT…

Picked up at the airport at 7am, at breakfast by 7:30, done by 8:30, on the road to the church in his car by 10am…did the funeral, shed a few tears for Joe D and family and made it back to the house to pass out…when I woke up, it was like I was dreaming…there was the group of friends that I refer to as “The Kindergarten Crew.”  My Dad, the Big E, nicknamed us that because he said “it was a bunch of grown men who acted like kindergartners.”

To clarify, this is a group of guys that I played cards with every Sunday night from 1993 until I moved to Arizona in 1999.  As good as Thursday nights with Seinfeld was “must see TV”, Sunday nights was “can’t miss card game.”  We played in the basement of the hair salon, the lounge of the closed bar, the hidden room of a laundromat, or the back porch of somebody’s house.  Calls went out Saturday as to where the game was, and Sunday, it was going to start around 7 or 8pm and go until whenever…No BULLSHIT, there were times it went until lunchtime on Monday.

None of the crew worked on Mondays, or if they did, they didn’t start until later…we had a retired mailman, a couple bartenders, a golf pro, a jack of all trades guy who is now a craps game supervisor, a pizza delivery guy, and a hair stylist…everyone has real names but nobody used them…roll call, it was Guy, the Hat, Bowie the Rat, the Bomber, Killer, Tooney, Rub, Shoop, Moses and me, Davey Dave, the farmer…everyone except my Penn State boys were older than us, but age didn’t matter…we played a game called “Oh Hell”…it’s a tremendous trump card game that can be played with 3 up to 8 players at one time…

The game was strategic, and, yes, we played for money…but the money was just a measuring tool…meaning, if you had a really good night, you won like $80, and if you just got totally annihilated, you lost $80…for you golfers, it’s like playing a $5 nassau…it’s not really the money that hurts, it’s the pain of actually paying it and admitting defeat to your opponents, i.e. friends.

Anyways, Moses put out a text to the Kindergarten Crew on Saturday that I would be in town for a one night only appearance on Monday…and wouldn’t you know it, ALL THE BOYS showed up at his house…the last time we played was four years ago when I was in town for my brother’s wedding…it was all hugs and laughs and stories and reminiscing about all of our funny stories…we shared pictures of kids, we ate pizza, and we played cards…nobody wanted to go home…one more game became one more game until I think the Hat did a head bob at the table…everyone except me is over 50 years old, and it was almost 5am and time to get some sleep…

I think I can speak for the entire Kindergarten Crew in that those Sunday nights were priceless…friends being with friends, catching up on the events of the week, previewing the week ahead, telling jokes, bitching about who knows what, all over cards and pizza, sometimes delivered by a guy named “the Beak.”  You can’t make this BULLSHIT up, and I can tell you, there has never been anything like it since…

For all of the friends of the BULLSHIT blog, thank you for reading and passing along the link…please feel free to reach out or share stories of your own Kindergarten crew

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One thought on “That’s what friends are for…shout out to the Kindergarten Crew…

  1. Dave,

    Love that you got back to the blog. Although I only know a couple of the guys you mention from the card games, I can hear their voices clear as day!

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