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Off To England

The Lovely Louise is heading to England for almost three weeks, and I'm going to be living like a bachelor again. I didn't do very well when I was an actual bachelor, and I was very fortunate that Louise came into my life to save me from myself. These are the things I'm going to try to avoid this time:

The first time around, I left the television on all day long so I could have some company. That's still okay, but I've realized that I don't really have to blast it in order to hear it. I'm going to try to keep it down a bit this time, which I'm sure my neighbors will appreciate. After all, they may not want to watch the same shows that I do.

What I can do is play my guitar as loud as I want without feeling guilty. Rock and roll should be played loudly—a rule that reminds me of Nigel in the movie This is Spinal Tap: Guitar amplifiers have a volume knob that goes from one to ten, with ten being the loudest. Nigel proudly shows off his amp, which could actually go to eleven. I want one.

I have a great setup over the garage. I have a PA system with monster speakers, lots of guitars, basses, and amplifiers, and I can run my iPod through all of this so I can play along with any song I want. It's a great way to practice, and I just know that my neighbors love my free concerts. (Well, if they’re complaining I can't hear them, because I'm trying to get my amp up to eleven.)

While we usually try to eat healthy, I'm afraid that effort is going on hiatus for three weeks. Usually, I make pretty good dinners. For example, last night I made filet mignon with a garlic herb butter and asparagus sautéed in butter, white wine, and garlic. As a bachelor, however, I'm going to brown up a pound of hamburger, open a can of Campbell’s spaghetti, mix the two together, and eat the whole thing. If I make enough, I may get two meals out of it.

I'm also going to make cream crabmeat. It's a dish my mother used to make, and I still love it. I'll make a simple white sauce and dump a bunch of lump crabmeat in it. The next step is to crush a handful of Premium Saltine crackers (no others will do) in the middle of the plate and pour the crabmeat over it. A little more salt and pepper, and a glass of very good bourbon, and I'm good. No, you can't come over for dinner; it's all mine.

The Lovely Louise says that I only watch crap on television. Even if she's right (and I don't think watching Diners, Drive Ins and Dives two or three times a day counts as crap television), I'm going to watch as much of it as I want, and as late into the night as I can stay up. No more going to bed at 10:00 p.m. I can once again become a creature of the night. If you really want to watch a bunch of crap on television, try staying up until after midnight. I can't wait.

We have 2007 Mustang convertible that I'm typically not permitted to drive. Put that top down, baby—I'm a free man!

There may be several days when I won't even leave the house. This is fine, since I do most of my work at home. That means when I get up in the morning, I'll pull on a pair of sweatpants and my favorite shirt with the chlorine stains all over it and head downstairs for my morning coffee. No shower and no shaving, although I may brush my teeth. I haven't decided yet.

I'm also not going to clean anything. I don't do cleaning. Every time I clean, stuff just gets dirty again. It's an exercise in futility. I also know I can't leave the house like that, or when Louise gets home she will be less than excited to see me. A quick phone call, and the cleaning crew is lined up to make the house all “sparkly-warkly” (her phrase) for her anticipated arrival.

New flowers around the house, a 2006 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, shrimp scampi on the stove with garlic bread, a clean shirt, and I'll be ready for her to come home.

Oh, one last thing: I promised to paint the deck and railings while she's gone. It's a big deck—about 1,200 square feet—so I think I'm going to call a painter I know, have him do it, and then proudly show her what a great job I did while she was gone. Remember, this is a secret just between us.

If I do everything right, I'm certain she'll believe that's how I lived the whole time she was gone. Please don't tell her what really went on. I can trust you, right?


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