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MACHO MADNESS Macho Man Revisited
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Like most parents who go through the experience of an empty nest, my wife, Donnelle, and I have run the gauntlet of mixed emotions about suddenly becoming child free. We've had ups and downs as we learned how to cope with our son and daughter both leaving home within a couple of months of each other three years ago, while learning to enjoy the freedom our new household status has provided us.

One aspect we've really enjoyed about our kids becoming adults, however, is how our relationships with their friends have grown.

It's been great, watching their friends also grow up. We've always liked the people our kids associated with in school, and they've carried many of these friendships into adulthood. For example, I worked with my daughter Rachel's best friend from high school during a stint when I was substitute teaching; Adrian was a teacher at one of the schools I frequently subbed at, and we would often have lunch together. It was neat seeing her in this role, seeing her so successful.

Our son, Kevin, is currently in his senior year at UC Santa Barbara, and one of the added bonuses of him coming home for summer break or Christmas vacation is the opportunity to see his friends when they come over. Kev has a tight knit group of friends from high school, and I always enjoy visiting with them and catching up on their lives.

While Donnelle and I were never as 'cool' as some of the 'cool parents' around town - and didn't want to be - we always welcomed our children's friends into our home and made them feel comfortable. They were also great kids who took their academics seriously, stayed out of trouble, and were always polite. All of which made it a pleasure when they would come over.

After they all graduated from high school and began attending college, I found they would also speak a little more freely about some of their exploits.

Which leads to one of the funniest stories I've heard in quite a while.

For those of you who might not have seen the movie 'Superbad' a couple of years ago, one of the plots in the story has to do with one of the underage characters obtaining a fake ID card. But instead of using a common name on the false identification, the young person uses the name 'Mclovin.' This leads to all kinds of hilarity in the movie.

Back to the saga of one of Kev's friends: we'll call him 'Clyde,' to save his dignity.

Clyde usually stops by our house when Kev is in town, and it's fun watching them catch up with each other. During this visit, Clyde told Kev (and me and Donnelle) of his latest adventure.

Clyde had gone to baseball spring training in Arizona - as many college students have done in recent years - but was not quite yet 21. A quick note about the young man: he's one of the hardest working young people I've met, very personable, and very driven. Working almost full time and going to college full time, he has a very strong work ethic and a great sense of humor.

He certainly used bad judgment on this trip, as he freely admits, but his tale still had me laughing so hard I thought I would bust.

As Clyde told the story, there he was relaxing in a bar, holding a bottle of beer, when the local police approached him to check his ID. Not having made the best decision in obtaining a beer - as he now realized - he compounded his problems when he provided the officer with his fake ID.

He was puzzled when the officer started grinning as she examined the ID, and took it over to show her partner.

Standing there, sweating bullets, he became really puzzled when both officers began laughing.

The original officer came back up to him, still laughing, and asked him, "What, you couldn't come up with a better fake name than Macho?"

As Clyde told the story, when he was asked what name he wanted on the fake ID, Kevin popped in his head, and he replied 'Clyde Macho.'

He said the officers poked fun at him all the way to the police station, and once there, began showing the ID around to others. One officer asked him, "What, you think you're Mclovin?" to the laughter of other officers.

Clyde told us he didn't think much about using our last name; to him, it was just another name, one that belonged to a friend.

While Donnelle showed a bit of sympathy, I (along with Kevin) couldn't help laughing at Clyde's misfortune.

"You realize you're the knucklehead those officers will talk about for years?" I pointed out to him.

Clyde not only was fined, but he had to pay for flights back and forth for a court appearance. He's now 21, and has used the incident as a learning experience, not having been in trouble since.

Of course, it's been fun for me to finally call someone else 'Macho man' ...

Craig Macho is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.