Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gas

Now that the Christmas celebrations are over, I would like to cover a topic that is really hitting home:  Gas.  No, not the gas that we pass from over eating rich delicious holiday foods, but rather the gas that I put into my car to transport my family from here to there and then back again.  Perhaps I should refer to it as fuel or petrol (in a British sort of way) so that you’ll know that this writing isn’t another story of my boy’s flatulent behaviors.

Did you have the pleasure of loading up your car with gifts, luggage, and other holiday needs, then loading up your family, your dog, and other holiday visitors, then drive two hundred miles away from your house, then repeat the process in reverse several days later?  It was worth every penny of gas to spend time with the family!

I had to say that last part, because a few of them read this blog.

I spent a few rounds at the gas pump during my travels.  Every single gas pump out there is the same–they do two things that really bug me.  It doesn’t matter what station you pull up to or what side of the country you visit.  They all do the same thing.

Number one:  The pump will ask me if I want a receipt before I even start pumping the fuel.

I’m not ready to commit to this decision.  I think you are getting ahead of me here, gas pump.  I haven’t even smelled a drop of gas yet.  I don’t think that I’ll want a receipt.  It’s a piece of paper that I just don’t need kicking around in my world.  That is, unless you Mr. Gas Pump, decide to triple the amount I owe you when I get my credit card statement.  Then, yeah, I’ll want that proof-of-purchase and a cheap lawyer too.

Furthermore, if and when I answer, “yes, gas pump, please give me a receipt” and then you say that the receipt couldn’t be printed and I have to pick it up inside the shop—that makes me really mad.  Hey gas pump!  You think next time that maybe you can check if you have the ability to print me a receipt before you offer me one?  Oh, you were out of paper or ink.  Whatever!  My printer at home knows in advance whether or not it can crank out a print job.  Maybe I can set you up with my printer.  The two of you can have dinner and discuss the finer points of customer service.  Hey gas pump, would you like a cup of coffee?  Yes? Oh, sorry, I dont have any.

Number two:  When the gas pump says that it is ready to go… it really isn’t.

The pump will give you the green light to begin by stating, “You may now operate the pump” or something similar.  At which point, if you squeeze the trigger nothing will happen.  You have to release your squeeze, wait about three seconds, re-squeeze, and then the gas will begin flowing as expected.  I didn’t sign up for all this extra hand exercising.

So why can’t they design a pump that doesn’t jump the gun?   These people (they) have figured out how to drill to the bottom of the ocean, pump crude through pipes to land, refine it for the combustible engine, deliver it through miles of pipeline and thousands of trucks, and yet they can’t get a pump to accurately tell me when I can actually start pumping?  Seems kind of odd to me.

If I designed the pump, it would say “You may now operate the pump.”  And then three seconds later it would say, “Just kidding, you can start now.”

You can buy my books now.  Really, right now.

Cereal Circles

If you haven’t been paying close attention, you might have missed my love for cereal.  I eat them all.  Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Coco Puffs, and so on.  I love them all!

Well, not all.  I will not eat Grape Nuts.  First off, it looks like sand.  Secondly, grapes don’t have nuts.  They are kind of an asexual thing.

Tonight I chose to pour myself a bowl of Froot Loops.  I had a hard time deciding between them and Apple Jacks.  And then it dawned on me.  The orange and green Foot Loops look almost identical to the Apple Jacks.  I did a taste test with my son.  He failed after insisting that he could tell the difference.

Apple Jacks jacked their cereal from Froot Loops.  If I was that toucan, I would be pissed.  Seriously, you separate out half of the cereal box by color, sprinkle a little cinnamon, lose the bird, and give it a new name.  Poof!  A whole new cereal is born.

And what is a Jack anyway?  As a kid I can remember watching my sisters play with jacks.  The cereal certainly doesn’t look like those evil things.  You want me to eat Jacks for breakfast?  Have you ever stepped on one of those?  Ouch!  Can you image choking down a bowl of Jacks?

“Thank you all for attending the cereal naming board meeting.  Today we will discuss what should we name this cereal that we ripped off from the Froot Loops people.”

“Well, they are round and have a whole in the middle.  I don’t know, maybe we can name them after a fruit that can’t be found anywhere in the ingredients list—like Apples.  And those pointy little childhood toy!  How about Apple Jacks?”

“Apple Jacks!  Sir, you are a genius.  They are going to make you vice president one day.”

How many cereals have capitalized on the round-circle-with-a-hole-in-the-middle design?  Froot Loops.  Apple Jacks.  Cheerios.  Cheerios is kind of the smaller dumb cousin of these cereals—the one that no one wants to be around.

“We tried to make a yummy cereal like Apple Jacks and Froot Loops, but we ended up with this dehydrated shrunken head version.  No taste.  At least no good taste.  But I think we can still sell them if we claim that they can lower your cholesterol.  Hey, three Cheers for these nasty little Oh’s.”

Seriously, don’t you think that Cheerios feels bad when its box has to sit on the shelf next to the Froot Loop or Apple Jacks.  All those sad little colorless Oh’s developing a lousy self image.

“Oh Apple Jacks, you are so pretty with those cinnamon sprinkles.  And you, Froot Loops, you are so awesome with that Toucan that is always following you and that hip way you spell “fruit”.  I have nothing going for me.  I am an ugly wimpy circle.  Most people that see me attempt to cover my body up with banana slices.  Woe is me.  I wish I was never mass produced.”

Yeah, talking cereal.  I went there.

My books say, “Buy me!”

Pardon Me Please

Let’s just jump right in.  Shall we?  Everyone passes gas.  It’s natural.  I get that.  What I don’t understand is why certain children need to be taught the do’s and don’ts of letting-one-fly.  The children that I am referring to may or may not be related to me.  I clarify that in order to protect their identity and perhaps their embarrassment.

The other day the four members of my family were driving in my car.  Or maybe it was two other children—I can’t say for sure.  While we were crossing town, someone in the back seat floated-an-air-muffin.  A really big and bad one.  You know, the eye watering variety.  I had to pull the car over for two reasons.  First, I did not want to have to explain to the police officer what happened just before I hit the telephone pole.  Although after hearing of my recent torture, he probably would have let me off without the ticket.  The second reason is that I had to lay down the law on when you can rip-one and when you need to pinch the source.

The lesson started with, “Never, never in the car with other passengers.”  It’s just plain dangerous for the driver.  One day, when you find yourself driving all by yourself, toot-your-horn for the entire trip—continuously if you must.  However, if you’re alone in your car approaching someone who you will be picking up, the butt-sneezing must stop at least five minutes before their arrival.  Moreover, the windows should be lowered all the way down, even in the dead of winter.  Creating the “gas chamber on wheels” and then inviting your passengers in will reduce your total number of friends drastically.

I decided that the lesson should not stop with just the rules of the car.  “Never ever bottom-burp while standing next to your mother!”  I understand that you think it’s funny to do that standing next to the Dad.  I’m not sure why I accept that, but I do.  It’s probably some sort of genetic cross up that began a zillion years ago.  But as for dropping-the-bomb next to the Mom, not so much.  She didn’t carry you for nine long months so that one day you could fumigate her.

If you are in a small room hanging out with people, do not under any circumstance think that you can pull off the silent-but-deadly attack.  Walk to another room for your bum-blast, wait for a minimum of four minutes, and then return to your company.  Return too early and you risk carrying the exhaust fumes with you.

You can safely deliver your fanny-bubble while standing in line at an amusement park.  While waiting for your favorite roller coaster ride, the outdoor breeze should conceal your dirty-little-secret.  However, if you are standing in line at the grocery store, keep your talking-pants in check.  “Honey, I think you might have picked up a bad cabbage.”

I’m sure there are countless other rules.  The scenarios in which these children will encounter over their lifetime are probably immeasurable.  Although being a good father, I believe I laid out a good foundation for understanding when it is appropriate to cut-the-cheese and when you should mute the trouser-trumpet.  My work here is done.

Buy my rose smelling book.