Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Gross Game

The wife and I are raising two boys.  If you’ve been hanging around my blog or reading my book you are probably becoming familiar with our family values.  We all love each other.  We all have a good time.  We all love to laugh and be goofy.  Some of us act goofier than others.  This just in:  I’ve never typed the word “goofier” before using it in that last sentence.

Boys are gross.  My boys are gross.  If you have boys, your boys are gross.  I’m not talking about their physical appearance or there stench.  Although sometimes those traits rear their ugly heads and it’s hard for even a mother to look beyond it.  What I’m really talking about is the garbage that comes out of their mouths.  Boys like to say gross things.  They enjoy it!  If there is more than one boy present, they will say gross things in competition in order to be crowned the king-of-grossness.  What do you suppose that crown would look like?

In my house this started a long time ago.  My sweet little baby boys are only fourteen months apart in age.  This makes playing the gross game an even competition.  It seems like only yesterday that these cute little boys were playing with little stuffed animals and cuddling with their mommy.  Then wham!  Only a short time passes and the words coming out of their mouths were describing juicy snots, deep dripping bleeding cuts, and destroying the bathroom with gas.

We were pulling through a McDonald’s once when the boys were having a difficult time deciding what flavor of milkshake to order.  Then one of them hit us up with, “My brother wants the dirt ball milk shake.”  The other chimes in, “Oh yeah!  He wants a vomit milk shake!”  I chime in with, “Gross!  You’ll both be having the dead fly milkshakes with a sprinkling of dried spider legs.”  Yeah, as a good dad, I’ll always be playing the game too.  And then my wife tops us all, the new queen-of-grossness, “I’ll have the diarrhea milkshake.”  She knows how to play the game.

Tonight I was sending my older boy to bed.  He has been battling a nasty cold for a way too long now.  Tonight he was blowing his nose and wiping the crud out of his eyes.  He then explains to me that the sinus is actually connected and so the crud in your eyes is made up of the same junk in boogers.  Skeptically I rebutted, “I don’t know if that’s true since they both taste so differently.”  I’ve got game!  The gross king reigns on!

I repeated the story to my wife and my other son.  “Dad, that’s so gross!”  My wife, who knows exactly what it takes to be a good mom, immediately added, “I don’t know what eye boogers taste like.”  Wait for it.  Wait for it.  “Aw mom!  That’s so gross!  You’re awesome!”

Buy my very clean booger free books.

PS-  This has nothing to do with grossness.  A fellow blogger (the most awesome book reviewer in the world) has ask for my help in spreading the word about a cause she is dedicated to supporting.  Please visit the following:
Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org) or see her blog for additional details at www.closedthecover.com under the tab “Room to Read.”

End Road Work

When you approach the end of a construction zone, you will often see a sign that reads ‘End Road Work’.  I know this because the road just outside of my development has been under construction for about a year now.  So when I pull into my neighborhood every day, I am greeted with the happy news that the construction zone has ended.  My remaining journey to my house will now be unobstructed.  I will not be hindered further by those dented orange barrels.  You do realize that a different person’s car hit each and every one of those.

The ‘Road Work Ahead’ sign—sure, I understand its value.  Slow down, there are people working ahead.  It helps reduce potential injuries.  There is nothing worse than scraping a road worker off of your bumper.  It’s time consuming and very messy.  Your finger nails won’t be the same for weeks.  (Hey geese lovers, how’d you like that one?)

However the ‘End Road Work’ sign is not very informative.  Who is this sign for?  I would have noticed that the street was suddenly easier to navigate with or without the appearance of this sign.  Who leaves an area of road work and thinks, “I wonder if that was the end of the construction.  I don’t feel any more potholes.  No, it can’t be over.  I’ll bet they come back here after lunch and start jack-hammering and throwing asphalt at my car.  Those sneaky little road workers can’t fool me!”

Maybe the useless sign comes from a very slick sales person.  “What your outfit needs is signs at the end of your construction zone that will let people know where the construction zone ends.  No more confused drivers.  You’ll need one of these gems for every side street leaving the road that you’re working on.  I used to be in the ‘State Prison, Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers’ sign business, so you can trust that I know what I’m speaking about.  Today is your lucky day because I am selling signs that simply say ‘End Road Work’.  You compare the cost of my signs to those over priced signs that read ‘End Of The Road Work’ and your savings are obvious.  Those five extra letters really add to the overall price.  I’ll put you down for fifty signs.  Sign right here.”

Perhaps the sign is for the workers themselves.  Can you image getting a knock on your front door and hearing something like, “Excuse me.  I was paving your street this afternoon and I didn’t know that I was finished.  I accidentally paved your front yard.  Sorry about your grass, mailbox, and your flower beds.  I really could have used a sign to tell me that I ventured outside of the construction zone.  But hey, the asphalt makes your house look bigger.  And, uh, now your friends can all park closer to your front door.  Do you want me to paint some parking spots?”

I was at the dentist the other day.  After he finished cleaning my teeth, he stuck that cool little spinning tooth-brush straight up my nose.  After I was done screaming he apologized and explained that there was no sign declaring ‘End Mouth Work’.  Without it, he had no reason to believe that there wouldn’t be more teeth nearby that needed cleaning.  I understand.  Without a sign, things can get real confusing.  Next time I’m going to make a tiny little ‘End Mouth Work” sign and plant it on the end of my nose.

<Sales Pitch Ahead>  Buy my books.  <End Sale Pitch>.

…and dont miss this blog entry.

Toilet Training

Have you heard the story about the man who uses the toilet at a Home Depot only to find himself super glued to the toilet seat?  I recently got to hear this story again.  It seems like it surfaces on the internet every eight months or so.  The description of the story is always attributed to a real major news source.  Even without that, I have no reason to believe that the story is a fake.  It certainly could have happened, and it probably did.  However, the following is what I have issues with?

Who drops their pants and jumps right on to a public toilet?  The poor soul that got his rump glued to the seat is also a gross poor soul.  There is a protocol that must be followed.

1)        Open the stall door.  Observe the toilet.  If “full” move to the next stall.
2)        Enter the stall and close the door behind you.
3)        Use a foot to flush the toilet to ensure a fresh bowl.  Do this even if the bowl appears fresh.
4)        Wipe the seat.  Use an enormous amount of toilet paper to ensure that absolutely no finger parts actually touch the seat.
5)        Cover the seat with multiple layers of paper.  Consider three layers to be a minimum.
6)        Drop pants to knees.  Do not push to ankles as this will increase the probability of your clothing touching the bathroom floor.
7)        Finish the job as quickly as possible.

The remaining steps of this protocol are obvious and are left to the reader as an exercise.

So what did this guy do?  He ran right in and plopped down on to a seat of glue.  If he had followed the steps above, the incident would have never occurred due to the failed execution of step four.  Instead of his bum being stuck to the seat, a wad of toilet paper would have taken his place.  Perhaps a finger or two if step four was executed poorly.

Can you imagine the subsequent humiliation of having to call out for help?  This action is almost worse than the original cruel joke.  Can you picture how that goes?

“Hey out there!  I’m stuck on the toilet in here and need some help.”

“Dude, I know.  We all have those kinds of days, but there is no way I’m gonna help ya.”

“No, I mean my ass is glued to the seat.”

“I hear ya.  This one day I was on the throne for over two hours.  It was horrible dude, but you’re still on your own man.”

Buy my good toilet reading material books.

Hold On

“Please continue to hold.  Your call is important to us.”

Hold on?  Hold on?  I’ve been holding on the entire time!  I’ve been clutching this phone for about three hours now.  Is that what people mean by “hold on”?  I should “hold on” to my phone.

I’m writing this entry while being placed into the state of “hold on”.  I have my little cell phone precariously perched upon my shoulder.  Technically, I am not “holding on” to anything.  The phone is being pinched by ear and neck muscles.  Who are they to tell me what I should be doing while waiting for the operator to come back on the line?  I’ll do whatever I want while I listen to the static filled bad jazz music.  I’m not actually holding on to anything.  I won’t do it.  In fact, I will not “hold on”, I will use my hands to type!  So there!

“Please continue to type.  Your call is sort of important to us.”

Since I was forced into the action of “hold”, I had some time to ponder the phrase “hold on”.  When I say that I had time, I mean a lot of time.  My teenage children almost grew up, graduated from college, and produced my grandchildren before the operator came back on the line.

The phrase “hold on” has come to mean “please wait”, only it’s not as polite.  You almost never hear someone say “please hold on”.  No.  It’s usually just “hold on”.  I thought about the phrase “hold on” so much that the intended meaning of “wait” started to fade away and the physical meaning of “hold on to something” started to emerge.  Now I can’t shake it.  Now, when someone says “hold on”, I assume they want me to grasp onto something.

I was at the deli counter yesterday and the person working the meat slicer said, “Hold on.  I’ll be with you in a minute.”  There was nothing to “hold on” to.  So I sat on the floor next to my grocery cart.  People were staring, but I was concerned that maybe she had some knowledge of a pending earthquake.  Or perhaps she was about to start throwing large chunks of ham at me, but didn’t want to knock me down.

You can hear “hold on, the doors are closing” when riding a subway or an airport tram.  What happens if you don’t chose to obey but rather purposely keep you hands free of any and all objects?  What if you didn’t hear the announcement and you didn’t “hold on”?  The doors might never actually close.  You be faced with an angry mob of people trying to get to their destination.  They’ll all be glaring at you while they “hold on” to the rails and you stand there all clueless with absolutely nothing in your hands.  Things could get ugly.

If we tell my dog that we are going for a walk, he goes nuts until we are outside.  He will start barking and running from door to door trying to figure out which side of the house we will be exiting from.  I’ll say, “Hold on.  I have to get the leash.”  That’s kind of rude of me to say “hold on” to a dog.  The poor creature doesn’t even have thumbs.  He couldn’t “hold on” even if he wanted to.  I can picture him saying, “Hey, I wouldn’t ask you to carry me, if you didn’t have arms!”  Only, my dog can’t talk.

I heard a mother tell her infant baby to “hold on”.  She was pulling a bottle from her bag as her kid was crying.  “Hold on.  I almost have it, sweetie.”  Although the baby did in fact have the required opposable digits to achieve the action of “holding”, she did not yet develop the dexterity to actually be able to “hold on”.  The only thing her thumbs were good for was involuntarily scratching her own cheeks and gouging her own eyes.

Hold on.  This blog entry is about to end.

I can see all of you actually reaching out to “hold on” to something.  Not really.  I can’t actually see you.  That would be creepy if I could.

Hold on.  You are about to buy my books.

I Scream for Warmth

It’s that time of the year.  The temperature is dropping and the windshield is frosted over in the mornings.  Someone please remind me why I haven’t cleaned up the garage so that my car will fit once again.  This morning I couldn’t find my windshield scraper, so I used my driver’s license.

My son had a baseball game yesterday and it was simply painful to sit and watch.  It was freezing outside and the children were running the bases like a frozen river.  You see, frozen rivers don’t actually run.  Because they are frozen.  Like ice.  Ice that doesn’t run.

And then out of nowhere, the ice-cream truck shows up.  Music playing and trolling for customers.  Seriously.  I figure there can only be a couple of reasons.  One possibility is that the owner of this wonderful business still has inventory that he really needs to sell before turning off the refrigerator-on-wheels for the season.  A second possibility is that he hasn’t kidnapped his quota of children for the season yet.  I think the hunting license allows you to get up to seven children per season.

Perhaps the owner no longer has the ability to feel the cold weather because he is working in a refrigerator.  Perhaps he is simply brain damaged—one too many bomb-pops.

After a thorough discussion with my children, we came to realize something very important.  We believe the public should be informed.  This is what we learned:  Based on the appearance of the owner of this ice-cream truck, ice-cream actually causes tattoos.  Apparently hanging around ice-cream all day causes artwork to bleed ink up and down your arms.  It must be some kind of reaction that the body goes through while seeking warmth.

Although more research is needed, we also believe that ice-cream might also lead to missing teeth.  Not just one or two.  Typically, it leads to one or two remaining teeth.

Buy my books dipped in chocolate crunch.

Specific Topic Not So Much

This week left me with nothing to write up as a story for your enjoyment.  Although the voices in my head said a few things this week that I can share with you.  The topics do not have enough meat to write a full story.  Actually, I have a certain amount of writing talent that would enable me to stretch these thoughts to a full page each, but I wouldn’t do that to you.  I have done the stretch-writing thing to many teachers along the way.  But never to you.

Do not check if your zipper is down if your hands are still wet from washing them.  Dry your hands first.

Chuck Norris can play diagonally in Word-With-Friends.

Do not attempt to pass someone who is texting, smoking, drinking a coffee, and driving a stick shift.  Use even more caution when you see that their right arm is in a cast.

Buy my topic filled books.

Food is Ready

I’m hungry.  And I’m really tired too.

Picture this scenario.  I’m alone in my house for the next hour or so.  The children are off doing their after school sports things.  My wife will be picking them up later, so I have a chunk of time to do whatever I feel like doing.  I choose to warm up some leftover macaroni and cheese from the refrigerator.  I pop it into the microwave and hit the appropriate buttons.  You know ones—the buttons that lead to the outer ring of noodles becoming a crispy scalding tongue branding little pile of hot pokers while leaving the inner pile of food near the same temperature as the inside of the refrigerator.

Two minutes.  Go.  That seems like a very long time since I’m just so tired.  I’ll just lie down on the couch and wait for the microwave to yell out its series of beeps letting me know that the food is now ready to be vigorously stirred in order to bring the whole pile of cheesy noodles to a nice lukewarm temperature.  My couch is calling me.  It’s in the living room.  I can see it from the microwave.  My home’s floor plan is laid out in with a wide open kitchen connected to the living room.  I can see and hear the microwave from the couch.  I’m going to rest until my food is ready.

I fell asleep in less than a minute and a half!  Unbelievable!  What an awesome super human power I possess.  Captain Sleepyhead at your service—ready to defend the rights of everyday sleepy humans spanning the globe.

I know I was fully asleep because the three long blasts of beeps from the microwave startled me awake.  My microwave was just a bit too happy to remind me that I was trying to feed my body and satisfy my hunger needs.  “Beep, Beep, Beep.  Um, sir?  I said Beep three times in a row.  Did you not hear me?  I finished petrifying the outer ring of noodles just the way you asked.  Hello?  Are you coming to get it now?”

I’m not so hungry now that my mind and body was fully lost to dreamland.  Forget it microwave.  Never mind.  I’ll visit you later.  I’m glad you understand.  I’m going to fall down into sleepy world once again.  I’ll bet this time I can achieve the complete state of sleep in under twenty seconds.  I’m just that talented.

Two more minutes pass by and the microwave expresses its desire to inform the world that it has completed its task like a good little microwave should.  This time the microwave chooses to simply issue a short simple beep.

“Beep!”  This tiny extra declaration that ‘food is ready’ is enough to wake me again from my deep slumber. Why, oh why, did I start the microwave?  I regret my actions with every fiber of my existence.  Oh my dear microwave, please understand that I no longer have the energy and ambition to tend to your pleading.

Two more minutes pass.  “Beep!”  Wow.  How do I keep falling asleep so fast?  Hey microwave, I know the food is done.  I know the food is still inside you.  You don’t see the refrigerator constantly telling me that it has food inside of it.  Quiet down.  The refrigerator doesn’t abuse its voice unless you leave the door open.  Your microwave door is closed.  So just relax.

“Beep!”  Has it been another two minutes already?  I’d get up and push the cancel button, but I think I turned into a zombie.  A really sleepy zombie—not the eat-your-face type.  More like an almost-dead twice zombie.  A re-fried zombie.

“Beep!”  Oh no, not again!  Someone help me, I’m trapped in an endless cycle of a barbaric self-imposed sleep deprivation torture scheme.  I think this is worse than water boarding.

“Beep!”  Dear Jesus, would you please intervene and cause a brief power outage in my neighborhood?  It only has to last long enough to reset the microwave.  Please?  I’ll sign up to sing with the choir.  I promise.

“Beep!”  Whoa!  This time I was dreaming that I was hearing the microwave pleading its case, “Mr. Sleepy, you just have to get up and eat your food.  I can’t store this plate in here.  The food will go bad.  I’m not a refrigerator.  Oh dear, what shall I do?  Beep!  Come on, I said Beep.  Pretty Beep?  Oh please, someone help me!  Beep!”

“Beep!”  Hey microwave!  Stop beeping!  I know my food is ready!  Can’t you see that I just don’t care anymore?  I’m sleeping!  Nothing ever bad has come from leaving food in the microwave after the heating has completed!  Why did the microwave people design this endless series of beeps?  Who was it?  I hate you microwave designer guy!

At this point I was jolted from sleep by the sound of the garage door going up.  My wife and kids were home.  In my sleepy stupor, I sprang to my feet to welcome them home—and to deny that I was napping.

“Hi everyone!  Welcome home!”

“Beep!”

“Oh hey look.  I just finished making dinner for all of us.”

Beep!  Buy my books.  Beep!

Attention Please

The person working the front desk at my work place has access to the intercom system.  The intercom system has speakers scattered everywhere throughout this building.  There is no way to miss an important message.  Often you will hear announcements such as “Mike Jones, please call the operator” or “Shirley Smith, please call extension 321”.  This concept is nothing new—a service appreciated by people trying to reach others who are away from their desk phones.

Sometimes you’ll get to hear, “There is a storm rapidly approaching.  If your car windows are down, you still have time to roll them up.”  This is very helpful for those park-and-crack-your-window type of people.  Thanks operator person!  You’re the best.

“A silver Ford Taurus parked on the East side of the building has its lights left on.”  Again, thank you oh master of the microphone.

And then there are the days of announcement abuse.  There’s one particular operator at this office that is a little too microphone crazy.  An example of this happens every Friday.  My company makes real popcorn with one of those fancy popcorn cart machines every Fridays.  The whole building smells like a movie theater.  Buttery smells fill the corridors and infiltrates every single office.  Typically about five minutes after the scent has fully surrounded my sense of smell, the operator will announce, “Popcorn is now available in the kitchen.”  Really?  Was that necessary?  I suppose that it helped clear up that the smell is actually coming from the popcorn and not some bizarre acid rain accident from the butter factory across town.  Thanks microphone man!  Way to keep us in the loop.

A couple of days ago an operator was apparently feeling informative, and yet lazy.  She simply announced, “It is about to begin sprinkling.”  She didn’t mention the car windows this time.  I was actually walking toward the bathroom when this announcement was made.  I stopped in my tracks.  Did she say “sprinkling” or “tinkling”?  Am I being watched?  I immediately decided to hold it.  I’ll visit the bathroom in a bit.  Very troubling.  Stop tracking me microphone woman!  Where’s the camera?

Later, I swore that I heard her say, “Attention please.  Bob sprinkled on the toilet seat again.”

Attention please. Buy my books.