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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Todays Fashion Statement Is Brought To You By Lycra


At Least Short Shorts Are Out.



We are a family of fashion statements. The collective statement we make to the fashon world, if I may take this opportunity to articulate, is “Yucck!”

My individual statement is usually that I just got out of bed, so give me a break. My daughter's says “mind your own business”. My son, named Ihoma, arrives at his basketball pre-pre-game warm up and his statement is that he couldn't be bothered to match his socks. Either that or that his dad did not get out of bed in time to start up the bobcat to help him move his laundry pile around to find a matching pair. He cant drive yet or I would just have him do it.

My son, Ihoma's basketball team, the “Flaming Pimentos” so named by Morticia, the coaches mother who keeps the stats from her perch atop a portable bar stool, cares not for fashion. And my son is their hero/spokeschild. Thanks to him they are all showing up looking like Madonna would look it she was a he and had worse taste & a sports fixation.

Morticia boldly chides my Ihoma when he comes in looking like an eighty's hobo or a refuge from the garment district. I appreciate her efforts, but it doesn't last long enough to have a lasting effect. By halftime she is sloshed enough that she spends most of her time waving her mystery drink and not sliding off the stool.

One of my son's socks today was red and the other was decidedly not red. His team colors are blue and orange. Morticia's bar stool is olive green. You do the math.

How do I, as a male parent, instill a sense of fashion responsibility in children who are concerned only for comfort and accessibility? Color means nothing. Texture, less than nothing. Patterns Its a circus. How to I get them to choose linen or wool over terrycloth? Ones prom dress should be chosen on style and fit and color should compliment the skin tone and mood of the evening, and not chosen cause its fluffy and soft – unless one is a Muppet.

Case in point. For her first dance, the lovely beaded satin bolero style jacket we bought for her was a little loose for my daughters taste. So, she improvised and wore it over her brown and orange “Farm Boy's Make Better Breakfasts” tee shirts. Two of them. And a cameo hunting vest.

At home, my son Ihoma wears the same shirt for weeks until I hide it or cut it into rags. Once a month, when his mother forces him to shower, I don a hazmat suit and clear out his laundry. For him its not what he wears as much as that he wears it until it glows and walks on its own.

Why can't my son dress like that nice looking kid there on the other team? He sits there on the bench in socks that match his outfit, and his bag matches the trim on his shorts and socks and his shoes are clean and he sits there on the bench with a straight back proud of how he has looked this whole game sitting there on the bench while making fun of the other kid. His hair is combed and he is pointing at the little kid with old shoes calling him names and sticking his foot out...Hey schmuck! Stop tripping people or my kid is gonna smack you up one side and down the other! Yeah you with the nice shorts and fashionable haircut!

Okay,maybe I should stop worrying about the sundress/stretchy pants/muck rubbers combination worn to church. That the "fashion" is "no fashion" is gonna have to be okay from now on. And if that well dressed punk kid doesn't stop picking on the little dude I'm gonna...

"Ihoma! Take the rest of your fashion challenged friends over there and show that punk how to be polite!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anything But Yoga

Reading medical journals is a terrific way of improving ones IQ. Or, at very least, if IQ is not something that can be strengthened, it can be instrumental in improving ones vocabulary to the end of impressing women.

If Medical journals are not available, then there are several periodicals that will serve the same purpose that more than make up with frequent monthly publishing what is lost in actual smart-etude. These may include Gunslingers Weekly, anything political like Hairstyles for the Modern Woman, and the Readers Digest. If these are not available to you, ask the jailer if he will let you read the paper in the bathroom in exchange for a promise to stop belching.

Truly there is something to be said for smarts and the ladies who are impressed with them.

This can be said for most ladies. Not my wife however.

She is rarely impressed with my particular set of talents and skills. About the only thing she still Oohs and Ahs about is my ability to sneeze with my eyes open, or my impression of Princess Lea with the message held by R2D2. “Help me Obie Won Keno-bee...You're my only hope!” How could she not be, I ask you? It's stellar.

There truly are a very few things done by a man that speak to women. It's not like all the lovely & sexy perfume commercials shown during 60 Minutes around holiday time. Most scream at, beat it over the head or pull out the hair of, or just smell plain funny to a woman. Women are able to see right through a guy who tries to impress.

Tipping big? Not gonna do it. Bringing gifts to their mother? Not even Endora falls for a hunk of heavy roast beast. She will eat it whole and laugh at you as she picks the gristle out of her false teeth and throws the bones at the floor.

A clean car or truck? This may impress a little bit. I had my day when ladies were bowled over by my excuse of not having the time to vacuum cause I was all day throwing a football to the orphans. My wife, however, bought the whole orphans thing but laughed herself silly at the thought of me throwing anything but up.

No woman will either be fooled or impressed with a sucked-in gut. Besides, sucking in belly fat may contribute to Indented Spine Syndrome, which I read about in a medical journal that was left in the mens room. This suck-age-of-the-gut may cause the central nerve center to misfire synaptic responses which may, in turn, induce the male brain to speech, causing a man, who really just wanted to impress a woman, to say something stupid such as “Sure I'll go finish your parents basement”, or worse yet, “Of course I like foreign films.

Here are a few certains. Wearing a sensitive color like Salmon, Periwinkle, or anything not plaid shows your emotional commitment. This can also be accomplished by occasionally wearing matching socks.

Canned goods equal stability (or paranoia) but mostly stability – as in “I am stable enough to store lots of Beanie Weenies and SpaghettiO's. In the case of a blackout, earthquake, or the end of the Oprah Winfrey show, I will be a snug bug with all my cans and bottles to sustain not only me, but you and several children because that is the type of man I am.

And powdered milk. I have lots of powdered milk.

None of this was actually instrumental in obtaining my... I mean impressing my wife. She was dazzled by my ability to sit in a crowded room and focus enough to keep talking about myself for over an hour – right through the entire second act of Swan Lake. She married me anyway.

Still, if one's woman or women in general is/are not are not impressed with a man who follows my advice, there is always increased personal hygiene.

Or weightlifting – another use for those medical journals
.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sick Leave is for Wussys





















I almost killed my wife last night. I have almost killed her before, but this particular time was especially -check the signatures on the insurance forms– bad.

At work someone handed me a miracle lotion that had been touted as the cure-all for tired legs, baldness and Epstein-Barr. Somebody else chirped in that it would do the once over on skin cancer, but this was never confirmed.

The reason it was never confirmed was because Joe Bob, the man who made that claim, was pulled over in a traffic “incident” wherein the officer was inundated with a copious puff of lovely scented smoke when the window was rolled down, so Joe Bob was out for the day. And possibly for the spring. I'm glad it was he and not me that was pulled over because I have had my social security card laminated for several years and they have not sent me a new one. I'm just not doing the time for the laminating crime.

Sufficeth to say that said lotion came highly recommended. And, being the kind of husband that I am, I just had to share. People are always coming up to my wife to tell her how lucky she is to have married a guy like me. I am so sharing.

So, when my wife came home from a trying day at work I made her a glass of hot chocolate and sat her down in the living room with the remote. And then I almost killed her.

I was just trying to be a good husband, and I want that to be known. Not like the last time I almost killed her because I forgot to hold the ladder when I was just standing when I said I would stand there and hold the ladder. So I don't multi-task well. What's the surprise? I'm a guy.

Anywhoo and regardless, back to the crime scene. I took off her socks and rubbed her legs down with Joe Bobs miracle elixir. She purred and purred like... something that purrs a lot.

"Nice", she says. "Warm", she says. "Tingly", she says.

"Is there Menthol in this, honey? You know I'm allergic to menthol" she says.

Oh, no, sweetie. Not a drop. The main ingredient is some big word that I cant even say, so you're good. I keep rubbing the healing goop in.

"That's nice, honey. It's like Ben Gay on steroids. Is it supposed to heat up like this? It's smoking! Does this concern you at all? Are you sure there's no menthol? Is the couch on fire? Remember when I almost died when my mom put Vick's rub on me for a cold?"

Look for yourself, I say, tossing her the bottle. She screams and passes out. How was I to know that methysulfonylmethane was the big word equivalent of wife killer? So I drove her to the hospital and they put her on a ventilator and now she is on the short list for a skin graft.

Yes, I admit that she was inconvenienced and now she can't walk without assistance of crutches, but she wears short pants to work anyway and so the leg braces don't really get in the way like you would think.

It's always 'That Davison's wife! Can you imagine living with him for as long as she has?

She's just so lucky.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bananarambo!



It's better if you don't ask


I just received in the mail a letter written to me from the me of 20 years ago when I was in school. It was one of those check yourself in twenty years to see if you are alive or not and if you are, are you as successful, or as not successful as you dreamed you would be when you were young and beauty-full. We were all young and beautiful, by the way.

This badly mis-spelled letter was sent to me by my former psych teacher that I thought was dead. Apparently not. And if she is reading, I hope all is well and continues to be for many years, and no I am not in a psych ward somewhere, thank you very much.

Regardless and anywhooo, There were several questions I asked myself that I will answer for me here.

I am fine, and thank you.

No, I do not have a jetpac, a robotic companion and I do not eat my dinners in pill form from my view of Hawaiian islands. I still fill up at the seven eleven with Diet Coke and unleaded, not water for the former, and hydrogen for the later. My house does not levitate but sometimes it floats if that is any consolation, and no, I have not found, nor has anyone else discovered the cure for not having a chin – short of surgery which is looking much better than the last time you and you talked.

On an artistic note, I am sorry to report that Madonna was not just a fad, but Knight Ryder does get a second chance and its on the technological equivalent of Beta later this month. And in the 2000's they will combine your love for all things ABBA and the Great White Way in a manner you just will not believe!

Now for the sadness. I am sorry, but you did not marry Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1984. She will never answer your letters, and when you do get the chance to meat her she thinks you're a bit creepy how you keep running your hands through her hair. She is however a face book friend. I'll explain later.

Amazingly folks, I don't think my vision of the future was too far off all things considering, excepting that I am over the 190 pound limit of which I swore I would only be if I could not muster up the nerve to throw myself in front of a quickly moving 18 wheeler convoy like in the song. Or by letting an alien-egg-crab-thing attach itself to my skull to implant a monster that erupts in three days to put an end to my suffering.

Some good news, though. While is depressingly true that I can not still fit into my college swim team speedo, I am not still wearing it to sit in the hot tub at the community rec center. My wife actually placed both my speedo and her wedding dress into a time capsule in case we find a odd shaped brass lamp and end up needing a visual point of reference.

Sadly, I am not a Broadway star. My kids (your kids too, buddy) won't let me sing within earshot of anyone they know. But I know a few Broadway folk from my school and one of them is not Craig Alan Bean! Yesssss! But he is the Governor of one of the embarrassing states. Dang!

And my aunt never did let me have her old car, but it just didn't matter like it used to 'cause Pintos are not what I once thought they were.

Other than that, and that I am still on the wagon, I'm just doing great.

You?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Les Horribles Indeed!


Teenagers just standing around.

A letter to the editor of our local newspaper, The Pleasant Valley Shouter has recently been printed from a Mrs. Irma Fended who was concerned that there would not be enough seats in hell for all the people who have tickets to see the latest drama presentation at Pleasant Valley High School.

This has become an annual occurrence for the news paper - the printing of Irma's letter of disgruntlement - which always finds its way to the editors-desk come mid-January of the new year. Apparently Mrs. Fended has not been successful in finding an appropriate outlet for her post Christmas blues. Many have suggested that she try to fill the holiday void by boosting her blood sugar medication, donating time to the “Friends of Friends of Felons” or joining a book club rather than harassing the teenage thespians, but she continues year after year.

Last year she aimed her aggression not only at the selection of the rather tame post-Broadway fair presented, but at the Shakespearean piece that followed it. She wondered on paper, if she was the only one not liking “As You Like It”. Not escaping Irma's winter wrath was Mr. Rigby, the speech and drama instructor himself. Mrs. Fended has been upset with him for having waited through almost four years of marriage to the lovely Susan Barbara Rigby to start a family.

The controversial selection produced last year was the cult favorite of the great white way, “Urine Asia” – a thought provoking romp with song and dance through the water closets of history. While I myself was taken a-back at the title of the show, I was assured by my 14 year old that this production, a musical version of the PBS special “Thrones of the Ages” was definitely worthwhile. I found it so myself when I attended with my wife who bought 17 tickets for the two of us. My house is a solicitor's haven.

I especially enjoyed the song “The Plumbers Lament”. It spoke to me on many different levels, and would have spoken to many others in the community but for the fact that there were only four of us in attendance. Most were put off by the “anti-crapper” parade taking place in front of the auditorium put on by Mrs. Fended, her neighbor Marilyn, and their combined seven dogs.

Their loss. The show was great.

This year Irma is all tethered by Victor Hugo's classic “Les Horribles” - the title of which is French, amazingly enough, for “stop the silly letter writing campaign already”. Now Irma has me all concerned, if I am to believe the verbiage on the fliers she has placed on my windshield, in my mailbox, and has hot-glued to my dog.

Did you know that Victor Hugo's hero in the play starts the whole shebang off by stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family? What a slough! And this is musical comedy?

I'm with Irma. There is no way I am taking my family to a show where there are people overcoming miserable circumstances, experiencing repentance, forgiveness, interplay of justice and mercy, as well as divine and inspiring music.

I think I will stay home with my family where it's safe and watch Detroit: SUV instead.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Those in Favor of Death to Thor...


There is a single college dude that is assisting in the coaching responsibility for my youngest sons basketball team. It's not as if they didn't ask me to help first before they had to resort to the young, agile and buff guys.

Of course they ran it by me to see if, with my extensive training in writing, painting and modern dance, I would be willing to help out a bit with the team. Being that I am so busy writing and painting and dancing - not necessarily in a specific order - I declined their gracious and generous offer to lead my sons basketball team, “The Mighty Goldfish” to greatness.

So they hired Thor to assist in the physical training, conditioning and drills. He also acts as a social consultant, media direct0r and any other resume padding title for which he could arrange – and all because he is a young college student with a car and a chest that he bares on a whim. Mostly the chest-thing.

Oh, he plays basketball OK too.

He helps the young Mighty Goldfish by making them run laps, making fun of them, sagging his pants and texting his girlfriend ad nauseum. With my background in painting, even I could do that – excepting the texting thing which takes me hours and two pair of glasses.

Why the whole world has to text everybody else in the whole world, or update status on facebook when all one has to do is make a call to state that one could “really go for a beef burrito about now”. Or, one could keep the beef burrito thing to ones self because my dad's business partner, who is now on facebook thanks to his granddaughter Amie's prodding, does not really care about ones cravings for a beef burrito.

Thor also has an interesting bout of facial hair that has the boys transfixed. Me too, I'm afraid. I can't help but stare at it when I am allowed in his presence behind the team at games. He doesn't notice every man and boy staring at him because he is, as you may have already supposed, texting his girlfriend to bring him nachos.

It is a jaw outlining, thin band of man face hair that frames his lower face. It is not something I could grow. It is not something I could draw on with several mirrors and a brown sharpie and an extra arm. He must have someone do it for him because it is perfectly carved every Saturday that I see him & his cell phone at the games. It's probably done by his girlfriend who can't come with him to the games because she is busy resting her hands, recharging the blade, and delivering his tacos.

Does he spend all this time on his face to attract girls? Does his girlfriend know that it is to attract girls? If so, why is she helping him? Do either of them know that it's only the men & boys who are looking, wondering why their own woman, girlfriend or mommy won't spend hours carving their guys face?, or wondering when they will have the facial hair to trim into pleasing shapes and symbols?

Couldn't he just spend the time tying up his shoelaces, pulling up his pants or using deodorant? Nothing is as crowd pleasing as a little not-smelling-bad.

And while we're at it, we dads want to know if he would please stop washing his truck in the winter. Our wives are looking at his vehicle and wondering if there is any truth to our stories/excuses of tremendous ice damage that can be inflicted to car paint finishes in the bitter cold.

Now, not only do I have to deal with the guilt of being there for the Goldfish only when they need something written or painted or interpreted into dance, I have to keep up with rising expectations by worrying about growing facial hair, managing the facial hair, washing the cars in the winter and getting enchiladas for the team.

Can't someone just fire Thor instead?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Orthodontics Cause Global Warming

Dr. Lori is a pig. Just now listening to the local FM talk radio station I am horrified by how she treats people. She really must have gotten up on the wrong side of the broom. Dr.(?) Lori just stated that this poor caller not going to college was the reason for a world not in peace, the warming of the globe, and Tiger Wood's marriage.

Wait. I'm sorry. It's not fair for me to call her names like that. Just because she is mean, cuts people off in mid-sentence and is always right about everything...

Oh, that's what my wife means by birds of a feather.

Alright, I truly don't mean to be a know it all. I am just trying to use the talents I have been given by a gracious and generous Heavenly Father who gave me a bigger one than you. And it is huge. My brain.

And to carry it around he gave me the thinnest excuse for a neck imaginable for a creature other than anemic chicken. My ankles are thicker. And I have to have my wife take in my socks so they don't fall down and out of my shoes.

Even in Jr High, where attendees are famous for their maturity and grace, I was made fun of for my Cerebellum Grandotas. They did this mostly because it was obvious that I was tons smarter than everybody, and only partly for the mass of wires and electronics that was my head gear, with accompanying smiley faces in different colors neck pad.

Mostly other students, being kind and helpful as you would imagine teens of this age to be, understood that this mangled contraption was a medically necessary expansion appliance that would greatly influence the development of an adolescents profile and give an improved comprehensive, functional and aesthetic result.

However, there were a few who were not as evolved in their social and mental development who, probably because of the stunted growth in the nether regions of the tiny little potatoes they called grey matter, made up for lack of progress in the brain with massive build up in musculature. They were not so enlightened in there interactions with me or others like me bearing non organic outfrastructure, or high-water trousers, or noses the size of Nebraska.

These people pummeled us mercilessly, until one of them cut his hand on my orthodontia when he went to punch me. Hope he got Gangreen-ious Monomanaitas. And his children and his children's children.

Okay, not the children, but may Gangreen-ious Monpmanaitas infest his major show off muscles to the point of making him less Mini-Arnold and more like Mini-me.

Anyway, Dr Lori is a pig. And I am not going to be like her. I will start not being like her tomorrow by not having to being right about everything.

First, I need to call my father-in-law and tell him that he put his Christmas lights up all wrong last year, re-plant the tree in my neighbors yard that they didn't bury far enough down on the root ball, and tell my Dad, the orthodontist, to burn all the headgear he can lay his hands on before I do it for him.

And I'm turning the radio off.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He Really Could Have...All Night

Everyones favorite QB hits all the right notes in his latest Broadway effort.


My youngest son is running around the house singing songs from “My Fair Lady”. He does this a lot – singing at the top of his lungs songs from shows his mother and I watch on DVD.

I love the old musicals. Seeing musicals at the Paramount Theater in Idaho was something we did as a family growing up, and they always bring back fond memories. Watching Wizard of OZ once a year on TV was something I will always remember. Any whoo and regardless, the song “I Could Have Danced All Night” is a bit disconcerting coming from a 8 year old in a Green Bay Jersey that comes to his knees.

I truly applaud his boldness. I appreciate his openness and willingness to share his delightful talents. I love the whimsy that he represents. I am keeping him in the house for a week.

Now, parents love their kids. Period. And I love him. I don't care what he chooses when he's old enough to chose as long as he stays out of jail and goes to grad school. Children are a blessing and we are lucky to be part of their lives for the short time they are with us, and if he doesn't stop singing that song he will not be with us for very much longer.

It's worse that the “Man, I feel Like a Woman” that was in my head a few years back. I was singing that for weeks, which wasn't so bad in the board room or the break room, but in the locker room with a bunch of sweaty old men it went over like pink wallpaper at a John Deer dealer, a democrat at a gun safety class, or diet anything at a truck stop.

If one is going to autonomously recite songs, the lyrics need to be from a death-rock band like Blood Feud so people stay away from you and you can get things done. Try it. Walk down the isle at work and pop a “rock on, dude” hand sign while banging your head and reciting the lyrics to “Once Upon A Midnight Leary”. This will keep away all but the very most determined. Don't substitute without clearing the song with me, however. A rousing chorus of the latest offering of Madonna or Pink will be fodder for conversations you do not want to have my friend, believe me.

As a rule, I prefer not to have songs stuck in my head at all. It's hard to concentrate on important things like payroll or lunch while singing a dainty ditty. Nothing like a little “Muskrat Love” or “The Song That Gets on Everybody's Nerves” to suck the efficiency right out of a business day.

Oh, thank heaven that my kid has left Lerner and Lowes best for another day. Now my kid is singing the love theme from “Brett Farve, the Musical”. Who would have thought that my talented little boy had the wherewith all to handle both parts of the duet with the Troy Aikman's character?

And he better stop singing that song before one of us dies or I am going to have to ground him to outside for the rest of the day.

To the back yard, thank you. And leave the jersey on the table.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Art Of The Well Managed Loaf

There is a real science to avoiding work; to looking busy simply to avoid being asked to do some inconvenient task to earn ones paycheck.

I will jump right to the list because I am a very busy man. The following of this helpful compilation also works for getting out of tasks around the home, at church, or while doing yard work – only if there are others to absorb the actual tasks at hand.

A. Speed is of the essence. See that guy standing over there sauntering when he is not just standing at the counter? He obviously isn't doing anything. Lets ask him to move our fridge for us! The first rule to managing the purposed slouch is to keep moving at a nice clip. Focus on something and walk briskly. People do not want to bother someone with a lot on his plate. While you are busy being busy, appear to be running over a list of very important things in your head – so important that the restating of such causes you to move your lips. And make occasional hand gestures. Bringing your hand up to a heaven point makes it seem as if you are numbering them in order of great importance.

B. Cell phones are great tools, but be cautious. The cell phone and the blue tooth have numbed people to the craziness that is talking to yourself. Using one of these tools alone is not foolproof. But, used in combo with the fast walk, it will definitely get you through a crowded room of potential assignment givers/favor askers.

Using cell phones and pretending to have a call coming in is a lifesaver. "Yes, Mrs. Bin Laden, I understand how your several bunions make it uncomfortable for you to wear toe shoes for the ballet...Oh, just a minute, I have a call coming in from the Governor...” With silent or vibration mode, who is to say that you aren't really on a conference call with Oprah and the Queen.

C: Establish a base camp. You will probably not want to establish it near your desk or work station. If co workers know where you can be reached, then all is lost. Find a place to hide, not a place where you can be seen. A closet where you can spread out, a top shelf where you can lay a sleeping bag, crates nailed together to make a fort - there are hideouts that will get you through the day. It needs to look like you are someplace important doing something equally as important. Walking briskly all day is exhausting. Get there, bet back, and then hide for an hour – that is the mantra of the perpetually lazy. One must rest to be in great form for jaunting.

D: Look momentarily slightly bothered, by the wrinkling of your eyebrow, if someone stops you to ask for some help. After a brief eyebrow wrinkle, smile and give great service so that it appears that you really do want to assist, but, gosh darn it, you just don't have the time. Then people think you are a nice guy – just busy as heck!

These are just a few simple rules that will keep you loaded with free time.

Please keep them to yourself. If these get into the wrong hands- say doctors, nuclear physicists, or air traffic controllers, there could be unwanted complications.

I would give you more information along this vein, but I've got a call I have to take.

"Hello,..Yes, Mr. Obama?..."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When Moses Was In Egypt Land


Here is a lithograph of my children busy building the addition to my house.





My wife tells me that I shouldn't use the children as my personal slaves. I prefer a more enlightened approach.

As one gets older, and by “one” I mean me, one expect to be able to enjoy a calmer, quieter approach to life and pre-retirement. If, for a completely anonymous scenario I would happen to misplace my reading glasses or a hammer, or a chicken, I may or may not feel the desire to get off my bulbous hiney to find it for myself. I have children that I keep around for such situations. In fact, there are many times during the day that I let them out of their rooms in order to fetch things for me. When they are through, they may go back to their room. If they refuse to go, there is always duct tape.

My wife just does not understand this. She thinks that children are to love, cherish, spend money on, spend time with, to help with their homework and personal problems with a focus on the long term while not ignoring the short term, and proper parenting and appreciation and all that crap.

I think she reads too much.

I don't care what the democrats are doing to the constitution, kids are for assisting their ailing, feeble parents by doing chores, cleaning the house, mowing lawns, doing chores feeding animals, cleaning out the disposals, doing chores etc., until they graduate to paying some bills and loaning me pocket cash. This has been the way since the beginning of time, since Noah's asked his son to buy him a ark kit to keep him out of trouble. It worked then, and it works now. And it shall continue. Who am I to stand in the way of the natural order of things?

Of course, the whole help out your parents and stop complaining thing seems to have skipped a generation. Being a marginal son, and a better survivalist, I moved two hours away from my dad so I could have a reason not to fulfill my roll as care giver and money lender – not that he needs it. I am not telling my children this. They will have to learn this on their own. Until that sad, sad day when they figure out that Lincoln freed the slaves when their dad was just a boy – they are not relieved of the responsibility to go to Giganto mart to get me skim milk .

Now, I've got work to do. “ANNIEEEEE? WHERE ARE MY GLAAAASES?”

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Old Man and the Can't-See


Middle age is a concept invented by the old for the old. And by old, I mean middle-aged.

I am middle-aged. I kills me to say so, but I have to face it before my age spots start ordering for themselves at restaurants and arguing in public over who is the better of Sinatra or Elvis.

My kids don't think I'm middle anything. They tell me I am old. They revel in their stretchy skin and bouncy hair in telling me that I am old.

They are not just saying this because I grounded them from all interaction between them and the outside world for their making fun of my yearbook pictures. They really think I am old.

Makes me so mad. What do they know? I just want to throw an earth shoe at them or make them listen to the Bee Gees for as long as it takes, or until they have learned a genuine appreciation for Donna Summer - the real "Mariah" before "Mariah" had even thought about being "Mariah".

I just read in AARP magazine, in a article just before the obituaries, that kids today have no tolerance for the aged. Well, knock me over with a dodo feather! If I had to listen to Peaches and Herb for a decade, my bratty kids can handle one lousy evening of bad hair and disco to placate me before I suffer from real dementia: The other real dementia - not the dementia I was in last Thursday.

What are they thinking, calling me old? Do they not realize the havoc I am experienced enough to inflict upon them in their darn youthfulness? With the sweep of my once mighty sword I can send them to their rooms for minutes at a time, or at least until I forget that I grounded them and ask them to turn the channel for me with the remote I have not yet learned to use.

I can tell them how wonderful Regan was from memory. I can tell them first hand how long it took to not boil water in a microwave. I can do, do, do..., do the Hustle and describe for them that wonderful day when everybody was kung foo fighting. I have valuable information and culture of the ages that I could share with them if they would just let me find my teeth so that they could understand me better. I am not old, I am Middle! And there is life in me, yet, I tell you!

As a middle aged man, it appears that I am currently planning on living at least until I am 84. My dad says that he is middle aged. Using the same math with which I flunked out of BYU, he is apparently planning on living until he is one hundred and fifty seven - give or take a decade. Middle age is in the eye of the beholden' it would seem.

Now that's old. He has even given up dying his hair. I would never do that. If I stop using hair dye my teeth would fall out. I'm not sure why, but I heard that happened to Lawrence Welk, and I don't want to risk it. Besides....

What was I saying?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Rear!

This is going to be the best new year ever! It's already two days into January and no one I know has been arrested or is dead.

Last year at this time not only had I used up all my dental insurance, but my wife blew out a tire on her van, my son burned a hole in the couch, and Annie had called 911 to report that she had overdosed on her medication that my wife and I had created for her as a placebo to keep her from obsessing about laundry soap or food storage or the reasoning for spam.

So, in keeping with the resolution tradition of the new year, I am making up a few goals for myself. I am already through creating goals for the rest of my family and a few friends of mine, so now I have time for myself. The first goal is to be less controlling.

Nah. That's dumb.

The second goal is to show love. My wife thinks that I choose to express love by inflecting pain. For example, when I hug someone I squeeze to hard, or I punch them to say "Hello there!" or trip them as they walk by. I tend to think that these are the little things dads do to say, "Hey, sweetie, I care about you!" but my wife thinks anything that involves the first aid kit should be left for on the field or at my moms family reunions.

She also says that I am just not gonna' understand this, but that I should trust her on it anyway.

My second goal is to trust my wife. This is going to be easier that the "not-showing-love-by-smacking" goal. She usually tells me everything. In fact, the twenty-seventh time I have heard the story of the deaf boy at her church who swore and lit a fire-cracker, I am wishing she would hold a little back. There needs to be more of a mystery to our marriage.

Case in point: For News Years Eve she watched the Pink Panther on the old peoples seventies channel on cable, while I drove the kids around the city, chauffeuring my youngest boy and his friends around town from one must-do event to another. I remember back to the day when my wife and I would do things like, oh, not clean up dog puke or not do dishes on the eve of a new year. Promptly at twelve midnight I called my wife from the parking lot at "Burgers, Burgers, Burgers" where my kids were throwing milkshakes at each other to wish her a happy new year. She fell asleep during the call. The honeymoon is definitely over.

So, where were we? Show love without blood or compound fractures; trust wifey; magic, magic, magic; Oh, and Go to bed before 12 P.M. These are my resolutions. I am not going to let myself get side-tracked by little or unimportant things either - like when the car needed to be registered and I needed to take the kids swimming instead. You see, I had my priorities straight that day. I grabbed my aloha shorts and enjoyed a day at the pool. Yes, I forgot to bring the kids, and yes, my wife was ticketed later in the week for driving an unregistered vehicle, but my heart was in the right place.

Also, as a little goal-lett. I need to be careful with my humor. I sometimes tell stories that my wife feels are not completely tasteful. Now, I think I am a hoot. When I say something funny, I laugh like...a...man laughing at something really funny. My wife never laughs. She says that she will as soon as I say something funny.

Something funny..., something funny..., Let me start the year off writing something my wife will think is funny.

Oh,...let me tell you a story about a deaf boy who swears at firecrackers...wait, I am getting it wrong.

Honey, what was that story about the deaf guy and the firecracker...?