Family Secrets: Part One

Please welcome back special guest contributor: my husband Tom. (You might remember his diet chronicles post.)

After a lot of debate, we decided to team up for a series about a pretty jacked up time in our lives. I promise that it will be entertaining — just different.  If you are not already subscribed for email updates, now would be a good time to sign up so you won’t miss a post. Maybe this story will replace “All My Children’s” time slot. Susan Lucci can play me and Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family can be Tom. (Thanks for the casting tip, DW!)

Tom & Missy with Matching Puffy Shirts (Thanks, GiGi!) | 2000

Without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeere’s Tommy…

As I mentioned earlier, I would check in from time-to-time.  How’s the weight you ask?  Okay, I’ve had my lapses, but I’m staying after it, and am confident I can get “certified” under 230 pounds by the end of calendar 2011.

My wife has asked that I write a little bit about a pretty crazy speed bump that occurred in our household in 2007.  While some of you may be aware of the story, some may not care, but I haven’t shared it with too many, so it may get interesting.  This may take a few posts, and overall it shouldn’t be bad readin’, so stick around….

In the Spring of 2007, life was pretty darn good.  I don’t think I knew of anyone out of work, I enjoyed my job, the kids were a blast, and I was staying out of the doghouse as much as possible.  In April, I received a piece of mail from the Northern District of United States Federal Court. Like everything else, I blew it off for a few days before getting around to opening the envelope.

It was the first jury summons I ever received, and I figured while it may be a pain, it was part of life.  I started skimming the letter and noticed in the third paragraph that this trial could go as long as 16 weeks.  I figured it had to be one hell of a “dewey” or someone knocked off a huge 7/11, but I had to fulfill my civic duty.

A few weeks later, I show up at the Dirksen Center in downtown Chicago.  It was a five-minute walk from my office, so I figured that I would get in and out of there and head back to work. I go to the room and I’m given a number (#264) and multi-page questionnaire.  I didn’t know if the number assignments were done by weight, but grabbed my pen, large Diet Coke and had at it.

So I open up this questionnaire, get to about the second page and asks questions such as: Am I averse to gambling?  Scale 1 to 10?   I look around to see if there is a camera on me, and I give it a 1 (not averse). How about adult entertainment?   Again, me and “aces” are wild.  It goes on to ask what television shows I watch:  Do you watch the Sopranos?   Have you seen Casino?   The Godfather?  Honestly, I loved the Sopranos, but I never saw Casino, The Godfather, or any of those movies.

I go through the rest of the questionnaire and now I’m intrigued as to what is going on here.  This son-of-a-bitch must have been loaded and speeding, hit someone while eating a plate of ziti, and had a half-dozen hookers in the back seat!  I hand in the questionnaire, and wait about an hour and a half for the Honorable James J. Zagel to come in and address the potential jury pool.

In comes Your Highness in the black robe and states, “You all probably know why you are here.”  My fat ass looks around and I’m clueless. For the record, I’ve been called Opie, told I have the face of a map of Ireland (in a rainstorm), and am from the Milk Capitol of the World.  While I’m far from innocent, I had no idea what the hell was going on.  There was smoke coming out of my ears from thinking. Finally, Judge Z announces that the jury selection process is for the “United States versus Calabrese.”

First thought — I swear — is the Italian salad with mozzarella, basil and tomato that I won’t eat because there is no meat on it.  It means absolutely nothing to me.

I get told to keep everything quiet because this cannot be public. It’s a high-profile thing.  So my first piece of business when I get out of the building is to call my wife. “Hey, can you do me a favor and Google ‘Calabrese’?”  For the first time in her life, she did not answer: “Why?”

The next words out of her mouth, “This is bad. You gotta get out of this.”
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  1. DW

    TK — I’m on pins and needles. You’re killin’ us (no pun intended). Can’t decide what I’m most looking forward to…you’re next post or Michael Scott’s last episode on the Office! KK – Thanks for letting him in on your gig. What are you doin’ with your time off?

  2. DW

    Hey! I just realized I made your post….I’m famous!!!

  3. Maureen

    Wasn’t sure if I should admit this, but for your benefit I will. I had to Google “Calabrese.” Hope that makes you feel better!
    I’ve got jury duet at 26th in a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll be put on the caprese case. Anyone who’d take a sandwich to court- meat or no meat- should be locked up for life.

  4. JAMES.

    DAMN. I hate cliffhangers and multi-arced episodes of my favorite shows (remember when the Bradys went to the Grand Canyon – that was a three-parter and I nearly died wondering if Cindy, Bobby and their Native American Guide Jimmy would ever get found).

    I even know Tom’s story and I can’t wait for part two!

  5. Maureen

    Hey, at any point in this story will we hear about Karyn wearing leggings and a leopard top, her hair in a bouffant?

  6. Karen

    Only if I get fake boobs, too!

  7. Karen

    DW – we will give you a cut of the movie profits as our casting agent! During my time off, I will be changing the 3490 references of my kids’ names to Missy and Junior. i should just change TK to Buttermaker while I am at it.

  8. Donna

    OK Tom, now we have to know what happened next!! You left us with a great attention grabbing intro! The EC professors taught you well or pehaps it was your wife! And yes, I’m already a follower of Karens great blog! Keep the stories coming!!

  9. JK

    Replace Karyn with Kinger and the answer is yes

  10. A Field of Dreams

    Nice to meet you Tom! That photo of you is um well yeah – TOPS!!. Looking forward to your series. Would you believe that between my husband and I we own all the books and DVD’s pertaining to anything ‘Godfather’ or ziti…….

  11. Kinger

    Thanks Donna. You know I’ve always been a drama King!! Have a great Easter and thanks for the support!!!

  12. meg

    Spit my coffee up at the Calabrese/Italian salad ref. Keep it up big dog!

  13. Kinger

    James, thanks for the support! I hope you have a great Easter…..

  14. Kinger

    D-Dub, you have always been famous since that legendary PTA run!!!! Have a great Easter….

  15. Brad

    Kinger – looking forward to “the rest of the story”, but I can’t believe you never saw The Godfather series. I get berated for never having seen Animal House, but c’mon?
    KK- love your stuff too and feel a little guilty that my first reply is to your husband, but he had me at hookers and gambling, just sayin…..

  16. Karen

    Brad, No hard feelings – I can relate.
    Kinger had me at “hello” when I was a hooker at Harrah’s in Joliet.

  17. Karin

    There are so MANY chapters to this story! Wish we could have cocktails while we read it like we did for each of the story’s installments when it was in “real time…” Miss you guys like crazy,

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