HHome of Ask Prodigal Dad

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I’m Hiring a Proof Reader

I just realized that I can’t give my wife any of my writing to proof-read without letting her know how pathetic my life has become since I gained an extra chin. It seems that I am just forking the info over to her willingly and of my own volition a list of all the things for which she should rightfully be scolding me. Like letting the kids play poker.

I don’t know how they learned to play poker. I don’t know how to play poker myself. My wife knows how, in fact she once bought a Buick named Poncho with her winnings from her family reunion. But she will not play around the kids and I think she actually gave it up for lent. How she did this being as she is a Mormon I don’t know. I thought that giving up lent was pulling out the stuff from the dryer because the kids won’t do their own laundry - excepting my oldest girl who sets the washer to ex-large extra-hot and extra-fluffy to wash one bra.

If my wife is proofing this, she will yell at me for degrading the family. And for saying bra.

My eldest daughter, who shall be hereafter known as “my eldest daughter“ (because I’m not going to hand my wife another club to beat me with by using her name!) was also the ring-leader with the poker thing. Most of her friends have moved on to important things like Assistant Hair-Dying, or schooling at Eastern State Micro Mini Vo-Tec U. So, she grabs onto anyone who comes over regardless of there age or purpose. Last week she invited a multi-level marketer into the back-yard to help her move rocks she recently uncovered to make a barbecue pit that she wants to line with my mahogany Aztec-ian table top because it’s old and ugly. He jumped at the chance to help, not knowing that multi-levels to my daughter meant base layer of gravel, fire pit, finished with lovely decorative bushes. Then she bought some carpet cleaner from the kindly if confused salesman.

She can’t keep doing that! If I let her burn everything that is old and ugly who will we visit on Thanksgiving?

Today I came home and there sits the city league 13 year old football team with the old poker set I bought from my most favorite thrift store. And My-El-Da is making lemon bars and passing out flavored punch and top ramen soup like there is no tomorrow. And she is smiling. She hasn’t smiled like that to me since I un-grounded her for selling my dads fishing stuff for money to donate to the Friends of the Friends of Felons for their float in the Equality Parade, which parenthetically, didn’t come to fruition because felons aren’t supposed to hang out within fifty yards of each other. If your reading this, Yes honey, I grounded her! What was I supposed to do?

Okay, I shouldn’t have purchased the poker set to begin with, but My-El-Da should not have lined that barbecue pit with my old table top from Honduras, nor should she have gotten into my lemon bar mix. Don’t I have the right to any privacy?! And I know I was supposed to have been at work and shouldn’t even have known they were there, except I was there, and the house smelled like socks and cigar smoke, and yes I am exaggerating, cause they weren’t really smoking, but one of them was wearing my robe and it wasn’t the clean looking boy with the glasses, or even the Yul Brynner look alike that used complete sentences. No, it was one of the other ones still wearing shoes in the dining room which I noticed because the feet were perched on the coffee table in a bowl of soup where we usually have My-El-Da‘s diploma from Eastern State Micro Mini Vo-Tec U. The dog was sitting on the couch licking a bowl of lemon bars which we continued to see in one form or another for the next two days. Glad we had that multi-level carpet cleaner.

Yes honey, the dog was on the couch! On the couch!

Who am I going to get to proof read this?

Godzilla W/Cheese

My youngest daughter, in an essay for school, described me as "gargantuas". I think she meant gregarious. Somehow I get the mental image of very large and very friendly Godzilla with one hand on the empire state building and the other hand on a chilie dog with all the fix'ns.

To the end of losing weight, my wife told me to stop drinking diet coke. So I did for a while and gained weight. Then I started back up - like I could ever really quit - and not so surprisingly, I gained weight. So I have done what any intelligent red blooded American human in my position would do. I am not allowing anyone to take pictures of me.

This is harder than I had anticipated. It seems that once someone knows you don’t want any photos taken they go out of their way to take them, post them, print them and in one rather bizarre case, have the photo taken to an ad agency and applied as a decal to the side of their minivan. That’s one grandma not going to be invited for dinner until the restraining order is up, I tell ya.

Sooo, I have to be stealthy. Sure, take my photo…no problem. What? Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve got a call coming in…Hello, Hillary? - Then, unobtrusively, sneak into the bathroom. It works. Or go ahead and get into the lineup with your mother-in-law and the whole demented clan, smile big and then sneeze. Sneeze a really big goopy drippy sneeze. Photo shoot over.

I have even gone so far as to have a nice picture made of me from the time Clinton was in the White house - Bill, not Hillary - and I crop it into just about everything. Here is Davison in the garden, and here he is drinking diet coke, and here he is parachuting over Mt Saint Helens. Doesn’t he look svelte.

Of course, this can’t last long. Just a few weeks ago I was called into my church leaders office. Something about diet coke. As I sat there allowing time for the secretary to take my finger prints I saw it. My photo on the wall of "choice members." Well, across from the wall of choice members and to the left of the janitors closet. Not only did I look like humpty dumpty on steroids, but to add insult to an already super sized injury, I had my eyes closed! You couldn't even see my lovely eyes, which everyone now says are my best feature now that I am fat. All one could focus on were my chins, which, apparently, I now collect.

I don’t know how they got that shot. Certainly not from my wife. She is not a social bug. If anyone at church approaches her she growls and roles her eyes until they suddenly remember they have something being delivered. The last time she gave away anything of mine was on Halloween when she handed out treats in spooky little goblin bags - which were all my socks she couldn't’t match. Just because we haven’t seen it’s mate since they hit the floor of my bedroom is no reason to pass our problem along to our neighbor children however cute and annoying.

I’m sure they didn’t get the photo from the time I fell asleep on the Youth Hike to Table Top Mountain, or from the meeting we had for all those in non-leadership positions where I fell asleep against the piano, or from church where I pay my daughter to poke me if I breath too heavily or go into what my family calls “pre-snore.”

There on the wall it stood. Or was taped. Me masquerading as Bovine Overweightas. So I gasped, “Look, a non-member!” and in the ensuing bedlam, replaced my photo with a retouched, perfectly focused picture of perfection from my pocket that looks nothing like me at all. Just the way I like it. So now, at least at church, they have something to remember me by. I’m just glad they fell for that whole “Look!” thing, because I hate to have to break into clergy’s office twice in one year.

We just had a photo sent to us from my in-laws anniversary party with all of us happy and smiling - me with a diet coke. My wife, who hates cameras as much as I do, is there rolling her eyes. The picture is of our four kids and miscellaneous others stand around goofing around us. So I put on my fat glasses and prepare for the worst as my wife passes the photo to me.

She says it looks just like me.

What a horrible thing to say.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Leave The Grapes


This morning I watched a very emotional house make-over show, and I gotta admit that I was very okay with the “before.” Why I was watching daytime TV is an issue that I would rather not get into at present. It’s not like I’m job-less or anything.

It was a nice kitchen painted in plum and had bleached oak cabinets and tile counter tops and vinyl floors - very clean and very 90’s, and I still have my job but I called in sick because my leg hurts and I was going to go get an x-ray but I ended up at a thrift store because I can spend money there without my wife freaking out when she sees a new blue cobalt dish or a living room set w/ matching hutch.

With today’s exciting emphasis on color, those emotional TV types could have painted the wood paneling and the cork board glued to the fridge in that 90’s kitchen with a cherry red or a freaky fuchsia. A properly placed ceramic cat next to the stainless steal sink and… Voile! Instant up-date for the kitchen without all the arguing, TV deadlines, tears and violence. Miss Crybaby Decorator hit someone in the kidneys to get the counter tops she wanted.

Besides, I think I can get through the day with some ibuprofen and one of the mystery pills in my wife’s drawer. Also, a hutch really fills out the space where the loam used to be, but she made me throw the loam away with all the home spun yarn from our former Swedish neighbors, so we defiantly had space for a hutch. I might take two mystery pills.

So after all this money was spent from the home owners TV yard sale and the woman who always cries when she doesn’t get her way gave them marble counters there was the big “reveal.” If I had to vote, I’d vote “yes” on the marble counter tops. I’m with the Crybaby Decorator with the left hook. Besides, marble reminds me of that February when we spent the whole day at the courthouse as a family when my wife’s brother was acquitted and had to move back to Nevada. Fond memories, those.

But I’d have to give a big thumbs down to the faux fur covered room dividers, and I can’t say as I am in love with the grapes of wrath hand drawn fresco above the former old wood life-boat that was re-purposed into a milk cooler. Besides, being at home for the day will help my leg heal. Also I can referee my kids and their friends and keep my youngest from losing any more of his mothers jewelry on a bad hand.

I might spend some time this afternoon e-mailing my job resume out. And after that, I could stencil the Ten Commandments on our new used preacher’s bench that fits nicely right under the stained glass portraiture of Ronald and Nancy Regan. The crybaby decorator believes that nothing gives value to a house like love at home. And if I can’t have love at home, I will give it my best shot with the Law of Moses etched on my furniture. I love anything that might possibly enhance the value and sell-ability of my house.

Now, Where are those mystery pills?