Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Rub On Alcohol

I got an erroneous e-mail the other day -- I'm pretty sure it was erroneous.  "Or maybe it was just sent to you by mistake..."  The e-mail said something about alcohol rehab.  "Well, now that you've brought it up, we've been meaning to talk to you..."  Hey, as far as I know, I don't need any sort of rehab that involves alcohol.  That's ridiculous... "That's what they all say..."  What are you trying to say?  "Just continue, please..."  Yes, I will... Uh, anyway... Okay, so maybe I do use alcohol a bit more than in the past, but for good reason.  "Aha! -- I knew it!"  Let me explain: you see, I'm getting more aches and pains as I grow older... "That's no excuse for you to need alcohol to get through the day!"  Look, in no way, shape, or form do I think rubbing alcohol's becoming an issue...  "Uh... what kind of alcohol?"  Rubbing alcohol...  Why, what were you talking about?  "Never mind, go on..."  Like I was saying, these days I'm having to rely more and more on rubbing alcohol for various ailments.  "You sure you're not overdoing it with the strong stuff?"  I'm confident that I'm using alcohol from my local drug store in an appropriate manner.  "If you say so..."  Not that I need to, but I can quit rubbing alcohol anytime I want.  "We don't believe you..."  Yeah, I can always use my mom's home remedies; they always seem to help...  "Without the use of alcohol?"  Yeah, take Swimmers Ear, for example.  "You know how to swim? -- you don't even have a pool.  Actually, our association has a pool; it's very nice.  It  -- would you stop distracting me?!  "Sorry about that, go on..."  My mother puts spit in my ear whenever water gets trapped in the ear canal.  "Spit?  -- as in saliva?!" Sure, and it doesn't even hurt.  "That's gross!"  No, just awfully warm-- and it gets the water out.  "I can't believe you're admitting this.  You, a grown man let your mother put saliva in your ear..."  That's right...  "And your wife knows about this?"  Sure.  She also knows about the one where tomato-soaked newspaper's wrapped around my feet to bring down a fever... "Might as well make dinner while you're at it..."  However, that remedy's a whole lot riskier: Heaven help anyone that gets the sports section before I've had a chance to read it...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"What a pain in the -- "

I hate to reveal this, but... I received what many consider hate mail the other day.  "I hate when that happens."  I'd barely read the subject line when I became incensed by the audacity of the question it posed...  "You shouldn't get mad -- get even!"  Yeah well, that sounds like good advice right about now.  "And we won't even charge you for it..."  Just so everyone knows, I can smell sinister e-mails from a mile away, so I didn't bother to open it...  "Oh.  Maybe you should've..."  What for?  I'm not going to waste my time and energy on such things... "Just replenish it with an energy drink."  All I read was something to the effect of: Do you suffer from chronic back or neck pain?  Of course not!  Everybody knows full well that I suffer from no such maladies!  "We didn't know..."  The way I took it, some cyber bully's letting me know that I'll soon  be suffering from such pain...  "Are you sure you're not jumping to conclusions?"  I never jump to conclusions!  "Good to know..." Come on, coward -- come out, come out, whoever you are!  Show your face!   "But what if he's ugly?"  I demand to know why physical harm's being directed at my lean and supple body.  I mean, have I ever wronged an innocent soul?  Have I ever teased a geographic illiterate for thinking Michigan's peninsulas are two separate states?!  "But aren't they?"  Pity the fool that's trying to scare me because I laugh at professional wrestling (I wouldn't be caught dead at one of those silly matches).  "You know it's real, right?  Those guys aren't faking it..."   I'm curious to know who I rubbed the wrong way along the way...  "There's no way of knowing..." Maybe it was a bitter chiropractor who calls himself a medical doctor -- but knows he isn't!  "That's not your fault!"  Look, I'm a good citizen, okay?  I smile at people -- unless they steal my parking spot.  I donate to good causes -- mainly the cable company that covers my beloved sports teams.  I don't throw eggs at neighbors' houses -- unless they give out stale candy at Halloween!  Need I say more?  "No need, no..."  I'm a likeable, loveable sort!  "Sure sounds like it..."  Yeah, so whoever's out there wishing harm to my beloved back and neck better stop it, right now, right this minute!  "Hey, there's a guy at the door looking for you, guy named Guido."  Tell him I'm not home -- tell him I went to a wrestling match!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Zest For Zombies

Is America a great country or what?  "Boy, do I hate trick questions..."  Just answer the question, please... "I suppose America's great -- as long as you don't anger the IRS..."  I just want to remind people that in the United States we're encouraged to express our opinions on everything.  I mean, here in the land of red-white-and blue there are polls for just about everything... "There sure are: poles for traffic lights, fire stations, talented young dancers..."  No, no, no, I'm not talking about those kinds of poles.  "Maybe you should..."  I'd rather not.  What I'm talking about are polls -- polls.  You know, where you're asked about things.  You vote, compare your opinions to those of other pollsters...  "Repeat that -- my mind's somewhere else..."  I can only imagine where...  "I thought I had more singles in my pocket..."  Anyway, awhile back there was a poll that asked women if they found zombies attractive.  "Say what?! -- What about me, ladies?!  I'm quite the catch!"  Unfortunately, it's not about you.  It's all about the zombies.  "They're taking over our world! -- a man's world!  "What do zombies have that I don't have?!"  Now you understand why I found that poll to be very, very disturbing.   For women to actually take the time to participate in a zombie poll is not a good sign for us guys.   "It's a terrible sign!"  But I have one thing to say, ladies: Don't come crying back to us gents when you realize that zombies are emotionally detached. "What? -- what's detached?!"  Through the years, guys have made great strides in getting in touch with their feelings  -- and for what?!   "Women are kicking us to the curb!"  So many women complain that we're slobs, that fashion-wise we're so out-of-touch.  Well, what about zombies?  -- They're a bloody, unkempt mess!  "Why, I bet they don't even use deodorant -- spray nor roll-on!"  That, I haven't researched, but I wouldn't put anything past those hairy things, the zombies...  "So now what do we do?"  Men, there's only one thing we can do: we have to look out for each other, have each other's backs...  "That's a brilliant idea -- what does that mean?"  Well, we have to lend each other support.  Especially now that women have options, specifically zombies.  "I don't like this, I don't like this at all!"  We're in trouble, fellas...  Our prospects are dead -- sorry I said that -- if we don't get our act together -- and fast.  Before you know it, the male species will be phased out.  We'll become extinct, like the dinosaur.  "I don't wanna be extinct -- that'll stink!"  I hate to think about it, but think about it: the next poll's going to ask women something even more disturbing -- How sexy are amoebas?  "Oh, that's not so bad.  Amoebas are no threat to my buddies and me..."  Yeah well, you won't say that once I share my trips down to Mexico...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Did you clean your room?!"

I don't know about you guys, but I don't like surprises.  "Ooh, I absolutely love surprises!"  Yeah well, that makes one of us... "And who would that be?"  Look, maybe some of you out there won't agree with me, but I don't like the unexpected.  "That's to be expected..."  Sorry, but that's just me, that's the way I roll.  "Downhill, we assume..."  I don't like surprises, I've always been that way.  "Well, there goes that idea for a surprise party..."  It's especially stressful when it comes to surprise visitors: Knock. Knock.  Yes, I'll admit it: when there's an unexpected knock at the door, I tell the kids to hide -- in the fridge if necessary -- and to not make a sound.  "That's cold, man.  Really, really cold..."  Please, bear with me as I share a story about a bear that entered a home uninvited.  "Oh, I love 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' -- it's one of my favorites!"  No, well, this actually happened.  It's a true story... "What are you saying? What happened to Goldi?! -- What did you do to her?!"  Uh, Goldilocks doesn't exist.  She's a made-up character...  "How dare you say that!  Take it back!  Take it all back!"  Uh, okay, fine... Goldilocks is living a very happy life.  "That's better..." Yeah, she married one of the Chicago Bears and now they're living in Big Bear Lake, California.  "As long as they know how to swim, fine..."  There, now are you satisfied?  "Thank you, I love happy endings..."  If I may, I'd like to continue with the story... "Yes, you were saying something about a cute 'n cuddly door-knocking bear..."  Well, I don't know if it actually knocked, but the bear entered the property and made itself at home.  "Maybe it was looking for porridge -- or a bed to sleep in."  Bingo!  That's exactly why I tell my kids to make their beds everyday, to make sure the house is clean at all times.  But do they listen to me?  "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening -- what were you were saying?"  The lesson to be learned here is that you never know who's going to drop by, so keep your place clean at all times.  Don't get caught with your pants down...  "That's why I wear a belt."  No, it's just a saying, in this case about surprise guests...  "I'd have to guess one to three bears..."  Of course, the kids downplay everything I tell them: "Oh, Dad, nobody's  coming over, so why clean the house?"  Maybe I care too much about what others think -- especially furry friends -- but I dread the thought of a bear -- any bear -- going back to its cave with ideas that we're a messy family.  I wouldn't want to be the cause of a mortified, traumatized bear.  I mean, I can already hear it griping to its cubs: "You should've seen it, all the beds unmade -- they live like animals!"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stick 'Em Up!

I don't feel safe.  I'm always looking over my shoulder.  "Have you tried turning around?"  I'm not kidding.  I'm really scared.  "Then go hire a bodyguard."  That's ridiculous.  Why would I do that?  "Cuz you're a scaredy cat."  Excuse me?  "You just said that you're utterly scared."  I'm not utterly anything.  I'm just scared, that's all --  and that doesn't mean I need to hire a bodyguard.  "Just trying to help..."  Yeah well, please stop trying...  "You're so ungrateful.  I bet you don't have many friends..."  Why would you say that?  Why are you attacking me?!  "I'm not attacking you!  And if I was, I'd suggest that you call your bodyguard."  For the last time, I don't have a bodyguard -- I don't need a bodyguard!  "Fine.  But those that feel threatened  tend to hire bodyguards."  I must admit, I do feel threatened... "You must've done something horrible to require a bodyguard."  I didn't do anything horrible!  "That's not what I've heard."  What?!  What have you heard?  "Oh nothing, nothing at all..."  Hey, if it's about that goat on New Year's Eve, it wasn't a real goat -- it was a piñata! "Sure, okay..."  Can we start over, please?  "Yes, let's..."  Look, I merely made a comment about not feeling safe because a New Mexico inmate broke out of jail with the use of popsicle sticks.  "Good thing you don't live in New Mexico."  That could happen anywhere.  The simple truth's that our neighborhoods are no longer safe.  "You're right -- what flavor was the popsicle?"  Who cares?!  How would I know?!  "You seem to know everything..."  Popsicle flavors are the least of our worries in these situations, don't you think?   "Not if your tastebuds are picky..."  What's our nation's jail system coming to if someone can escape with the help of mere popsicle sticks!  "It's a scary thought.  It truly is..."  I told ya.  It's hard to get my head around the thought that inmates are skipping prison so easily.  "He probably threatened the guards with artificial flavors..."  That's scary in itself... "I really hope the guy suffered brain freeze prior to escaping..."  You know, sometimes you come up with the strangest ideas...  "I'll take that as a compliment..."  Only you would...  "I bet Harry Houdini would've loved this escape artist."  You'd have to ask him.  "Say, I wonder what the guy did to be rewarded with a popsicle treat in the first place..."  For once he was probably on his best behavior.  Next thing you know, jail wardens will hand out scratch 'n sniff stickers to felons... "In that case, keep me posted -- my favorite's cherry!" 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dear Deer...

They sure don't make deer like they used to.  "Did you say beer?"  I said deer.  I was so, so disappointed to read about several misbehaving deer that are roaming this great land of ours.  Especially right now, during the holiday season.  "Shouldn't that be deers?"  Uh, no.  The plural of deer is... deer.  "Are you sure, dear?"   Yes, my delightful dear, without a doubt...   "Sorry, my darling DEAR, but I do dare disagree!"  Fine, do as you wish.  "I always do, dear! -- and if I had any say, I'd spell that with two ee's!!!"  Look, I just want everybody to know that a deer stole cigarettes from a group of unsuspecting men.  "Isn't that harmful to one's health?"  It proceeded to chew on all of them.  "The cigarettes or the men?"  I'll let you figure it out.  "Oh, so now I have to finish your stories.  Talk about being lazy..."  Then, there was a deer that tried to, uh, initiate a romantic relationship with a startled cow, if you know what I mean.  "I'm not sure.  Are there pictures to better illustrate your point?"  I hope not.  And finally, there's another deer that attacked a political sign on a front lawn over and over again.  "Oh dear -- Republican or Democrat?"  I'd rather not go there.  "Where?"  Please, let's not turn this into a political statement... "You forgot to vote, didn't you?  And you call yourself an American..."  Can we get back to my story?! -- and yes I did vote!  "You know, for being a so-called storyteller, you don't have much to say..."  Anyway, my original point was that I don't know what's come over deers, uh, deer these days.  I just don't have a clue.  Do you?  "Don't ask us -- it's your story."  Well, what I'd like to do right now is to remind all the deer out there to behave appropriately.  "You mean like human beings so often fail to do..."  Yes -- no!  You know what I mean!  "I wish I did, really..."  Right now, during this holiday season is when deer should be at their cordial best.  They shouldn't be causing trouble for anybody.  "Maybe you should listen to your own advice..."  Hello!  Children love deer, they fawn all over them, for goodness sake!  "And I suggest that you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why..."  You mean, you mean, a very special visitor's coming to town?!  "Yeah, and if you continue with that attitude, he's gonna introduce you to Rudolph's very sharp antlers!" You'd like that wouldn't you?  "Yes.  It's at the top of my wish list."

Monday, November 19, 2012

It Takes A Lickin', But Keeps On Clickin'

I was very disturbed to hear about a home break-in recently.  "Oh no, was the house wiped clean?"  Well no, but... "Were very personal belongings taken from the house?"  No, but one particular item was tampered with in a very grotesque manner...  "How gross, I'm so sorry to hear that..."  Yeah well, there's no name for what happened inside that home.  "By the way, what is your name?"  I'd rather not say... "Fine, be that way..."  Please, let's get back to the break-in, okay?  "Yes, let's..."  Where was I?  "You're right here -- and you were about to share something gross."  Oh yes... gruesomely gross...  To be perfectly honest, I'm at a loss for words...  "Please, try to find them, since we've come this far."  I tell ya, it was sacrilegious what went on in that house one fateful night. It was not your typical break-in...  "Fine, tell us what happened!"  I don't think I should.  I'm afraid that copycats will follow.  "Please, pretty please -- with a perfectly purple pitted prune on top!"  Okay, if you insist... "That, we do.  We really, really do..."  Well, neighbors noticed suspicious activity going on at one particular house.  "Hey, that sounds like my house!"  Well, police arrived and caught a guy doing something really, really sick.  "Is this going to make me sick?"  This individual, he, he -- you won't believe what the cops found him doing.  "Don't tell me."  Okay, I won't.  "No, I meant 'Don't tell me' to encourage you to tell me!"  Uh, you're getting me confused... "Just say what you have to say, will ya?!"  Thank you, I will.  But first, let's make sure there aren't any impressionable young children around.  We don't want them getting any ideas...  "Okay, the coast is clear."  Now, this guy, the break-in artist, he -- he was caught licking something near and dear to every man's heart!  "No!"  Yes! -- he was licking the remote control!  "The what?!"  You heard -- the remote control!  "Say it ain't so!"  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but -- yes!  Police caught this sub species, this animal slobbering all over the remote control!  "You're sure it's the TV remote?"  Why do you doubt me?!  It controls the oversized flat screen mounted to the wall.  "Oh no, not the man cave!  Not the man cave!"  We have to assume so, yes.  Why else would the story be all over the news?  "That's pathetic.  A good-for-nothing trespasser leaving his saliva on man's best friend..."  I tell ya, what's this world coming to?  "To a bitter end, that's what!"  Never again will I look at my remote control in quite the same way.  This is devastating.  I may never recover... "Does that  mean you'll stop watching sports forever?  No more Dodgers?  No more Lakers?"  Well...  "Let's tell your wife the great news!"  Uh... Outta my way! -- I'm trying to change channels before tipoff! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Add another 30 seconds!"

There's no place like home -- to learn a thing or two... "Really?  Like what?"  Ladies and gentleman, please don't let your kids leave home without some basic domestic skills under their belts... "What if they don't wear belts?"  Uh, it's just a figure of speech... "Oh... so what brings up this topic?  You suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome?"  Come on, I'm sure you read about the guy that tried to dry his undies in the microwave...  "What's wrong with that?  Nobody likes wet underwear..."   Yeah well, the fool left them in the micro for too long, almost burned down a whole neighborhood. "How sad, that would've been inconvenient.  All those fire trucks and stuff..."  I mean, what was the guy thinking?  Didn't his parents teach him anything growing up?  "Oh, like you could..."  Sure I could.  I'd tell him not to leave his underwear in the micro for too long -- forty seconds, tops.  Better yet, he should've used the oven instead, even the outdoor grill.  That would've been safer.  "I wouldn't.  That propane tank's heavy, especially when it's full..."  It goes to show you how some people are useless when it comes to basic domestic skills... "I'd never buy domestic.  Foreign cars for me, thank you."  Oookay... If memory serves me right, when I went off to college, I already knew how to iron, cook, even hem my own pants.  "Oh, so that's why you wear highwaters..."  I do not!  It's just that I'm still growing... "In that case, you'll reach six feet by the time you're eighty..."  Go ahead, tease me about my height, but as far as housekeeping skills, you can't touch me... "I wouldn't want to."  My mother taught me all she knew about housekeeping when I was a kid.  That helped me later on, those five years on campus, all by myself...  "Wait a minute -- didn't you commute to college?"  Well, yeah -- but it was a fifty minute drive.  "You're so full of it..."  Hey, you don't know how many times I finished my ironing while stuck in traffic.  Which brings me to my next point: What happened to the days when people hung their clothes out to dry.  Those were good times, when people were proud to have their underwear out, let the wind hit them.  "I'm pretty sure they were struck by wind prior to..."  When I was a kid, we played this game where we -- "Should you be telling us?"  No listen, we played this game where we had to match hanging underwear with its rightful owner -- not as easy as it sounds.  "Uh, maybe you should've played 'Hide 'N Go Seek' instead..."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Be Sure To Insure

I get amused when I hear about famous celebrities insuring their beloved body parts: lips, toes, and everything in between...  "You're easily amused, aren't you?"  Well, all the insurance talk got me thinking one day... "Oh oh..."  Yes, I'll admit that I tried to come up with a list of my own body parts that should be insured for multi millions...  "You can afford the premiums?"  Well no, but it's fun to think about... "You're easy to please, aren't you?"  Anyway, at first I drew a blank, not sure of what to insure, so I proceeded to stand in front of a mirror and tried to choose that way.. "You're quite the narcissist, aren't you?"  First of all, no!  Second of all, I don't even know what that is!  "You really don't know what a narcissist is?"  How could I? -- I'm too busy thinking about myself... "I rest my case."  Looking back on it, it was pretty difficult trying to decide...  "In other words, there's nothing worth insuring, huh?"  I stood there, arguing with myself, trying to pick my most valuable body parts.  "You argue with yourself? -- don't make it a habit."  Look, I'm not putting up with haters today.  "Sorry..."  Anyway, where was I? -- ah, insuring body parts.  At first, I believed I'd want to insure my -- "Don't say it, you want to insure your --" That's right, my eyes.  "Why your eyes?"  Well, first of all, I have two.  "That's a good enough reason -- and it's an even number, no?"  Correct.  That makes them doubly important.  "Okay..."  Then, there are my ears, they're extremely important to me, too.  I'd never leave home without them.  And yes, they come in pairs also. (By the way, my ears work quite well -- unless my wife tries to get me to listen to her Honey Do list.)  "Look, if you're going to go by two's, then maybe you should insure your -- "  That's right, maybe I should insure my thumbs"That's not exactly what we had in mind..." Anyway, I went back and forth, unable to decide on my most prized body parts.  Finally, I grew frustrated and turned to my wife for advice: "Honey, hypothetically speaking, what body part would you want me to insure?  You know, in case I ever decided to do such a  thing..."  Well, my better half came up with an interesting response -- once she stopped laughing.  "I'd prefer to get insurance for the dog."  Huh?  What makes that pooch so special?  "Well, for one thing, he doesn't stand in front of a full length mirror staring at himself for hours!"  Oh...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Are You, A Space Cadet?

You all know, right?  "Know about what?"  Apparently you don't.  Let's start from the top.  "Let's not -- I'm afraid of heights."  As some of you may know, I'm always looking for new material.  "I prefer corduroy myself..."  No, not that kind of material.  "What do you have against corduroy?  Just because you failed Home Economics..."  For your information, I did NOT fail Home Economics.  "Fine, whatever you say... liar."  What I mean by 'new material' is new adventures, exciting new things to learn and do.  "Hey, I tried raw fish for the first time the other day."  And wasn't it liberating?  Wasn't it -- "I'll never do that again."  Oh, but at least you tried something new, right?  Something fresh, something to keep you from growing stale...  "Now that you mention it, that fish was stale..."  Look, being a writer requires me to go out and search for new material constantly.  It's called research.  "I'm a writer, too!  -- I write grocery lists all the time."  Please, if you'll allow me, I'm trying to make a point here.  "I'll stay quiet."  Thank you.  What I want people to know is that I may go away for awhile...  "It's about time them head doctors had you committed.  -- Should I call a taxi?"  No, actually, I may go away to become an alien hunter.  "A what?"  An alien hunter.  I found an ad and applied.   "You really are nutty, you know that?"  Again, I'm looking for new material to write about.  I've always wanted to try different genres, so this opportunity presented itself and it'll surely bring me a flood of ideas.  "That's wonderfuuuul!"  Now, I do have some concerns...  "You should, you're going to hunt down aliens."  But just for awhile.  I shall return.  "I don't know, you don't seem the type to work for the border patrol."  No, you've got it wrong.  I'm going to hunt down aliens --  aliens.  The ones from outer space.  "Oh.  You believe in space aliens?  You really think there are other beings out there?"  There's only one way of finding out... "Say 'Hi' to E.T. for us."  I'll have to go back to school, take some courses, but that's okay.  All in the name of good writing... "I'm allergic to school.  I break out in a rash in places I care not to mention."  Not me.  I look forward to walking onto a college campus again...   "Maybe you should go walking onto other planets instead..."  Yes, I'll do some of that, too, eventually.  "Speaking of college, I don't think you'll look good in a toga."  That's your opinion.  Anyway, back to my concerns.  I'm not sure how I'll react the first time I run into a space alien.  I mean, what if the thing's got a bunch of eyeballs and antennae popping out of its oblong head.  "Sounds like a recent date I had."  Look, I was raised not to stare at people, and the same applies for space aliens.  "It's not nice to stare."  I know, I'd hate to be rude.  "Rude is crude."  Here's another concern: what about diet?  "I don't recommend it -- you'll starve."  I mean, what if I have to eat out of a tube of toothpaste?  "That's easy -- ask for mint.  And don't forget to phone home."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Not Going Bananas... Am I?

Much to my chagrin -- "Do you even know what that means?" -- I was absolutely flabbergasted the other day -- "You and your words!" -- when I heard about a man that ran away from a gorilla.  Why?  He didn't have to do that.  "Excuuuuuse me, Mr. Tough Guy.  Not everybody's as fearless as you."  Wait, let me explain.  This so-called gorilla, it was not a real gorilla.  "What was it, a cartoon?  Cartoons aren't real."  Actually, it was someone dressed as a gorilla that was chasing after the guy.  "Oh.  Go on."  Unfortunately, the chasee was struck by a car and ended up in the hospital with needless injuries.  "He should've looked both ways."  That's what I say.  Meanwhile, my question remains: Why was the guy compelled to scamper away in the first place?  "You'll have to run him down and pose that question."  I mean, couldn't he tell it was a fake gorilla?  Didn't he see the Velcro and zippers?  "Or the 'Made in China' tag!"  That's a very good point.  "I'm happy to point it out."  In any case, I must've dwelled on the gorilla talk way too much; it's messing with my mind. "Don't tell us, you can't stop beating your chest."  Well, no, but --  "You climbed the Empire State Building and swatted away passing planes."  No, none of that.  But the other night I had a really strange dream.  "What else would you expect?  -- you're a strange dude."   Look, the dream centered on a gorilla and me... "Just the two of you?" Kinda, yes...  "Were candles involved?"  Don't be silly.  "Maybe you should keep this dream to yourself."  Please, let me finish: this dream involved a sleeping gorilla.  "Nothing wrong with that.  Gorillas have a right to sleep."  Uh, the gorilla was asleep in our washing machine.  It even snored.  "No way, Bombay!"  I'm serious.  "No, you're sick!"  What did it mean, this snoozing gorilla...  "Was there a spin cycle?"  I can't recall.  "Did the ape suffer from sleep apnea?  Now you're being absurd.  "Hey, I'm not the one that dreams about gorillas!"  Do you really think I need help?  "Freud would've loved you..."  Now, as a result of all this, I can't get near our laundry room.  I'm terrified to go in there.  "You mean, you can't help with the laundry?  You can't fold clothes?"  Nothing.  I can't help my wife with the darks nor the whites -- not even towels.   "Interesting... any chance your gorilla friend can visit our house?"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hold the Lettuce!

"911, how can I help you?"
Who am I to judge... "What, you think you're Judge Judy or somethin'?"  After considerable thought, I've come to the realization that emergencies come in all shapes and  sizes... "Excuse me, what does?"  Emergencies.  And that includes those at fast food drive-thrus.  "You're joking, right?  You can't be serious."  I'm very serious (and when I'm asleep, I'm even more serious).  What I've come to appreciate is that some people find it necessary to call 911 when their food orders get messed up.  "And you're gonna tell us that's okay?  You're gonna justify such actions?!"  Hey, I'm just putting it out there for discussion.  Perhaps we can find a happy medium... "I happen to be petite."  All I'm saying is that maybe we shouldn't be so critical, so judgmental of what some consider trivial 911 calls...  "Cops are swamped handing out fix-it tickets -- let them do their job!"  Okay, fine, but I my heart goes out to some of the calls made to dispatchers that are later ridiculed: "I bit into mayo!  This thing's got  mayo -- and now my arteries are clogged!  Get me to ER!"  Okay, so maybe some people are a little melodramatic with their food orders on occasion, but you never know what such conflicts can lead to... Sooner or later -- probably sooner -- the added stress will be linked to a plethora (I have a thing for that word) of ailments that could've been avoided.  "Here comes the big one!"  Then what?  Who's responsible then?  "Pickles?!  Who told you to put pickles?!  I'm allergic to those things!"  Now that I've shed some light -- "You did what?" -- maybe the critics will have a different  view of such 911 calls.  "I need a SWAT team! -- my fries aren't fresh!"  Again, while I don't always agree with such actions, I put myself in these people's buns, uh, shoes for a moment and I understand their concerns more readily...  "You forgot the special sauce!  I don't feel special!  -- I'm gonna jump off a bridge!"  It's time that we stop laughing at these drive-thru victims.  They're human beings just like the rest of us...  "Oh, you bleeding heart tree hugger!"  No, look, all I'm saying is that not everybody likes onions -- or ketchup -- and that's okay.  Let's have a little compassion for this faction of society.  Allow these consumers to have a voice.  Let them be heard.  "Oh, they just cry wolf, wasting taxpayers money!"  You still don't get it, do you?  "I guess I don't."  Maybe we should sit down, discuss it further.  I'm sure we can reach a mutual understanding... "Nothing you say will sway me. I  -- Ah!  Paper cut!  I'm drowning here, in this pool of blood!  Somebody call... gurgle... gurgle... 9...1...1..." 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Love Thy In-Laws...

It's no accident that I think the way I do.  "And how's that, exactly?"  Um, how do I phrase this in a sensitive, diplomatic manner... "You're not going into politics, are you?"  No.  That's the farthest thing from my mind.  I could never -- "Then say what's on your mind, mister.  Don't hold back. Stir the pot a little."  Okay, this is probably going to land me on the sofa for a couple of weeks, but here goes: Please understand, it's not that I think my wife's accident prone, but... "Oh, it's about the wife -- good luck!"  I know my wife's accident prone.  I mean, that poor girl (she feels younger when I call her that) gets hurt doing the simplest things... "Honey, I just sprained an eyelash..."  And now she wants to take up mountain bike riding!  "Surely you jest."  Surely I wish.  What's she thinking?  I mean, Emergency Room personnel know my wife on a first-wave basis.  "How's it going?  The doctors were asking about you."  Yeah, E.R. staffs actually worry when she doesn't show up with something sprained or broken.  "What's it today, metacarpals or a glenohumeral joint?"  Look, I want to be a supportive hubby; I'm there to assist as the mother of our three kids makes another attempt at physical exercise, but I have my doubts... "You're right, this is going to land you on the sofa.  Permanently."  At the very least, I'd like to offer one suggestion... "Go ahead, stick your foot in your mouth..." Before she goes all-out on that mountain bike, I'd like to see my wife start small.  "Baby steps, you mean?"  Yeah, perhaps she should start with a stationary bike.  Still boxed.  There's no way of getting hurt that way, right?  "Can we at least untape the box, dear?"  (she's always in such a rush)  Now, some people might ask who first encouraged my better half to try this hazardous venture of going down mountains on two wheels.  Well, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but... 'Reliable sources' (the kids eavesdrop on Mom's calls) tell me her sister hatched this crazy plan.  "Why would she ever do that?"  Uh, this is where things get dicey.  I contend that big sister holds a grudge from when they were kids.  "What grudge could that be?"  Well, family lore has it that bratty little sis shaved big sister's doll one day.  "She shaved the doll's head?"  That's right.  A favorite doll's head.  "One of these days, you little -- "  Well, it took  years, but now it appears that big sis is up to something sinister.  "And aren't you going to do something about it?  Stand up for your wife!"  Are you kidding?  I don't want to end up in an emergency ward... Just the other day I found myself in the line of fire:  "Hey bro-in-law, have you ever considered sky-diving?"  Oh oh...

Monday, September 24, 2012

What You Say?

There they go again, those mysterious e-mails that land in spam.  I got another one the other day.  I got so nervous, all I read was the subject line: Learn a New Language in 10 days.  "Why?  What's the rush?  And where are you going?"  I figured Spanish and English would suffice... "Suf -- what?  Don't you resort to such words, Mister!"  As far as I knew, I wasn't going anywhere.  Thus no need to learn another language.  "Boy, were you wrong."  I mean, I love my country.   I love the U.S. of A.  According to my birth certificate, I was born here.  This is where I belong!  I need to have a real sit-down with my parents and ask them some serious questions like: "Mom, Dad, is there something I need to know?  Did the stork drop me off  somewhere other than U.S. soil?!"  I'll get the truth out of them, eventually.  "The truth shall set them free."  I agree.  Look, maybe my English isn't perfect, but whose is, right?  Okay, so sometimes I get confused with me and I.  "I hate when that happens."  But that happens to everybody, right?  "Don't look at me..."  Come on, I shouldn't get booted for making dumb grammatical mistakes.  "Maybe, maybe not..."  Okay, you got me: on rare occasions I've been known to say supposebly.  I'm sorry, sometimes it slips... "What slips?"  I swear, I promise to learn the difference between Too, Two, and To if I have to (or is it too?).  Just let me stay in the greatest country in the world, please!  "We'll have to think about it..."  Look, I promise I'll take classes to sharpen my English -- as long as they don't conflict with my favorite novelas.  But please, oh please, let me stay.  Let me stay!  I'll even memorize the Constitution, I'll tattoo the Bill of Rights on my back if I have to.  "Name the Presidents that were lefties."  Uh... Oh my goodness, I just realized the unfathomable... "Un -- what language are you speaking?"  What if I'm shipped off to some far off corner of the world that doesn't carry Dodgers or Lakers?!  What if I'm sent to some remote island in the far-off Pacific?  "It was nice knowing ya..." I'll never forgive my parents for this!  "Hey, at least you'll get a nice tan."  No really, I'd rather stay here, in America.  I don't want to go anywhere!  "But don't you want a nice tan?"  Nah, I can always visit a local tanning booth for that, no questions asked... "Uh, you fell asleep, didn't you, sir?"  Kinda... Where's that island again? 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's Your Hurry?

Thanks to complimentary tickets -- I'll take anything that's FREE -- I went to my first race the other day.  "Let's go, Daddy!"  How could I resist, right?  So we loaded up the van, uh, sports utility vehicle, and off we went to the race track.  "What horses did you bet on?"  Uh, I'm talking/writing about car races, okay?  Anyway, it turned out to be a fun day.  For the most part.   Especially once we knew where we were going.  You see, we took a wrong turn... "Oh oh..."  We eventually got off the race track, just avoiding oncoming Indy cars.  "Daddy, I don't think this is the parking lot."  Kids can be such worry warts... "Are you brainless?! -- or just plain stupid?!"  (and event organizers can be so hostile)  Anyway, as we looked for our seats, panic started to set in.  I was overtaken by sheer anxiety.  "Take a deep breath... Find that happy place..." I was consumed by fear, with a feeling that I'd be asked all these complicated car questions by utter strangers.  I mean, it's not that I don't know much about cars, but... I just don't know much about cars.  You see, I didn't want to get embarrassed in front of my wife and kids (I have them fooled -- they think I'm brilliant.).  Sure enough, one guy started talking to me about 'Atmo engines.'  Huh?  Another dude, who'd surely consumed a few too many adult beverages, started muttering something about 'carbon fiber.'  (I informed him that my diet includes plenty of fiber, thank you.)   But the one that really got to me was when a discussion on 'crankshafts' broke out.   Come on, really?  Not in front of the children. All I could do was exchange perplexed looks with my poor kids.  Anyway, we covered our ears and braved the roaring engines as best we could.  Then, I came to the realization that car racing is not the best influence for teen drivers.  I mean, how am I supposed to instill good driving habits in my daughter?  There the blur of cars went, round and round, wasting fuel (who can afford fuel prices these days?!).  And the speeds those cars reached, they're a dad's worst nightmare.  I've never seen my daughter's eyes light up like they did that day... "Daddy, can I drive like that?!"  Please, pretty please!"   (All the while, people around us anticipated a spectacular crash.)  Heck, my blood pressure -- and insurance rates -- shot up just worrying about my kid behind the wheel...  Finally, the outing was well worth the trip to the boonies of Fontana, I guess.  You see, I found a little something to take home as a souvenir... No harm done, if you ask me... "Hey, mister! -- come back with those tires!"  Like they can't spare a few...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It Might Be In The Trunk

Hey everybody, please excuse me if you've heard this one before... "Would you repeat that, please."  I've mentioned several times in the past that contact lenses are no fun.  "What are you, the Fun Patrol?"  Trust me, I'm speaking from experience.  "What exactly have you experienced?"  Uh, let's stick to the subject, okay?  "Go on..."  You see, contact lenses are a really big hassle: they're easy to lose, they're uncomfortable -- they're a real pain.  "Does it hurt when I do this...?"  One more time: I discourage anyone from wearing contacts if they truly don't have to.  "But what if they have to?"  Anyway, awhile back I read about one particular patient that's a candidate for contacts.  I proceeded to react in a sane, sensible manner: "NO!  DON'T DO IT!  STAY AWAY FROM THOSE THINGS!"  You see, that eye patient is an elephant.  "A what?"  An elephant.  "Of the thick-skinned variety?"  It's very wrinkly, yes.  Upon reading this news I spiraled into a dark, abysmal funk.  "Funk -- you?"  I'm bitterly disappointed to learn that the human race has pushed elephants into the abyss of societal pressures.  "That must've been quite a THUD."  I mean, why should any elephant be so hung up over eye color?  "You sure that's the reason for the contacts?"  Of course -- whose ever heard of a near-sighted elephant?  "My neighbor's cousin has..."   If there's one thing I can't stand it's a vain, self-absorbed elephant.  "Don't you hate that?"  People, people don't go to the circus and/or zoo to admire an elephant's eyes.  "They're ocean blue!"  Please, world, leave our elephant friends alone.  Let them be.  "Bee? -- did you say bee?!"  Here's another thing, think about the poor eye doctor that has to insert those things... "Have a seat please..."  Might as well be a satellite dish installer... In retrospect, I applaud any eye doctor or vet that's responsible for such a difficult task.  "Peanuts, blink twice for me...  Good."  There, I've said my piece.  Live and let live.  But why elephants would subject themselves to a lifetime of misery is still beyond me.   "Cover your left eye -- put the ball down -- and read the second line for me... Yes, cover it with your trunk..."

Friday, August 31, 2012

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors...

What in the world is going on these days?  "We thought you knew -- you're the worldly one..."  Come on, you guys must've heard.  "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you -- what?"  You really don't know what I'm talking about, do you?  "Now I can hear you, that's better -- what?"  You know -- "No, I don't!" -- the bathroom fiasco.  It's an absolute joke.  "Hey, I didn't clog no bathroom, buddy.  Don't look at me..."  Look at me -- I need to tell you about the latest gimmick.  "Okay, ol' wise one, gimme the gimmick."  Before I start, you better brace yourselves because the world will never be the same.  "Oh, you must be talking about Snooki  becoming a mother.  I hear -- "  No, not that -- we'll leave that for another day... Actually, as hard as it is to fathom -- "Watch it with that f-word, buddy." -- there's talk of something even more unimaginable.  "You mean..." Yes, some genius wants to run ads on public bathroom mirrors!  "No way!"  Isn't that creepy?  "On high definition?!" Come on, guys, that's crossing the line, don't you think?  "I like to think sometimes, yes..."  Are you just going to sit there and do nothing about it?!   "And what about you?!"  Hey, I'm doing my part! -- I'm spreading the word! (why am I yelling?)  Is there no escaping commercialism anymore?  Is no place sacred?  "I hear George Clooney's Italian villa's pretty cool..."  Hey, I'm pretty sure you don't want to be inundated by commercials while you're doing your business.  You want to get in and out...  "Speak for yourself."  Well, I don't want a 30-second spot blaring before me as I struggle with my contacts.  "Go on..."  I don't want to be distracted by bathroom ads as I tuck back nose hairs.  "Oh come on, don't be silly.  Bathroom mirror commercials are not going to distract anybody. No way in  the -- Hey, you forgot to wash you hands, buddy!  Your hands!"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

You Can Come Down Now!

Protest is good, I guess... "I don't want my vegetables!"  After all, we live in a country where Freedom of Speech is one of our fundamental rights... "No talking during the movie, please!"  Subsequently, there's a woman in the Southwest who found a unique way to protest who-knows-what.  She decided to climb to the roof of her house.  And stay there.  "Is she adding solar panels or something?"  This woman refused to come down for days at a time.  "Not even to re-do her makeup?"  Family members couldn't find a way to get her down.  "I baked you your favorite, sweet potato pie..."  After awhile, everyone in her neighborhood started to worry.  "She's becoming an eye sore."   Personally, I hope there aren't ever any copycats, especially during the holidays.  I mean, I'd hate to hear that Santa skipped homes -- namely mine -- because he spotted angry protesters sitting on their rooftops (so far, I've been a very good boy this year).  At the same time, I have to admire the woman for taking such a strong stance.  Truth be told, I could never protest as vehemently as she did.  "Never?"  Sorry, but I'm being honest.  "I think you're lying."  Frankly, I don't like to protest or make waves (I'm afraid it might upset people).  Especially from a  pointy rooftop.  "Ouch..."  Then again, I could get a lot of reading done while up there... Oh, who am I trying to fool?  I couldn't sit on a roof for very long...  I mean, what if I got hungry?  What if I got a bad case of the shingles?  Sorry, but I can only go so long without my daily vitamins.  (I'd never hear the end of it if I got sick... "I promise, Ma, I'll never do it again...")  I mean, there's gotta be better ways for people to voice their concerns, right?   Ways where we don't have to miss important ballgames... Okay look, even if I was extremely passionate about a cause, I'd surely fall off the roof and cause serious damage to body parts that aren't insured.  Then what?  "Can I sign your body cast?"  I'd have to decline such requests for fear that some wise guy would try to sneak inappropriate messages onto my cast.  "Uh, can you erase that thing about Nantucket.  The drawings, too..."  I just hope my wife doesn't hear about the rooftop protester.  It might give her ideas, might get her thinking... "You'll find me near the satellite dish..."  Huh?  "And I'm not coming down 'til somebody helps me fold clothes!"  Oh boy, something tells me the kids won't be seeing their mom for a long, long time... "Can anybody hear me down there?!  Does anybody care?!"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

There Goes the Neighborhood...

"Have you noticed what I noticed?"  You know, I will say I have taken note.  It seems rather fashionable for jetliners to be converted into homes in certain neighborhoods.  "You seen the wings on that thing...?"  For the record, I once lived in a converted garage -- but a one-time big bird?  Can't say I've ever tried it.  "Don't knock it if you haven't..."  Sorry, but I don't think I'd like living out of an airplane.  "You'd feel like you're always on the road, huh?"  Well no, but... "Living out of a suitcase..."  First off, I'd have so much trouble deciding where to sit every time I came home.  "Please, dear, have a seat... " Yeah, which one? (not that I'm indecisive)  Then there are the boys from the old neighborhood who would try to take advantage, always ask me for favors: "Hey, homey, how 'bout a ride?"  I'd have to say "No" right?  "That's messed up, dude..."  Then again, on those days when I felt like a bit of an elitist, I could always sit in First Class...  "Caviar, please..." Yeah, right.  I can already see my wife taking advantage of such living arrangements: "Come and get it --  water and peanuts!"  Forget that.  And believe you me, I wouldn't stay quiet: "How 'bout something with meat and bones once in awhile!"  On the other hand, staying in coach would help keep me grounded, given all my recent success (stop laughing).  Maybe I should try living in an airplane on a trial basis, maybe put one next to our current house.  But wait, first I'd have to get an 'okay' from our esteemed association (you have to get written permission just to sneeze in our community).  And here's another thing: I don't think my wife would care too much for her new wardrobe:  "I'm tired of dressing like a flight attendant all week long!"  (At least she wouldn't complain there wasn't a thing to wear.)  Nah, maybe living in an airplane wouldn't be such a good idea.  Knowing my wife, she'd get tired of giving instructions to the kids every morning as they left for school... "Exits are on either side -- and this time leave the oxygen masks behind!"  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm Hooked!

"Something fishy's going on around here..."  As a matter of fact, it is, especially now that bass fishing's an official sport in Kentucky high schools.  "Are you sure?"  Well, uh, that's my understanding.  I think... Being the worldly guy that I am, I'm pretty certain they're talking about the fish... Then again, maybe it's bass guitars... (I figure it's the fish since so few of those guitars are  tossed into lakes and streams each year anyway.) But let's assume it's those big-eyed sea creatures they're talking about down south.  If so, it brings to question how compatible the sport of fishing will be with scholastic life.  Will the student body welcome the sport with open mouths, uh, arms?  "You would think so..."  Will team members be allowed to roam the hallways with fishing rods?  "My eye!  You poked my eye!"  Simply put, will the sport of fishing be detrimental to a 'positive learning environment'?  "Did something die? -- What's that smell?!"  Here's another thing: Will the varsity guys and gals get to  'letter' in this new sport, too?  "I don't see why not..."  Will the image of a flopping fish be proudly on display on the letterman jackets?  Most importantly, how are those fishing school boys ever going to find prom dates?  "You're asking me to the prom? -- smelling like that?!"  With any luck, bass fishing will be as popular as Kentucky basketball someday.  "Adolf Rupp's gonna roll over in his grave..."  And I wonder if actress Ashley Judd will start showing up for Final Four 'Fish-offs' in her home state now that it's a competitive sport.  You know, to cheer on her favorite fishing squad... "Go team! -- finish that fish!"  How funny, all this fish talk has me interested in taking up the sport myself.  I mean, it appears relaxing and kind of fun... I'm sure my wife wouldn't mind... "Are you sure?"  Sure, I'm sure.  My wife's a good sport...  "That's not what we heard..." Okay, so she has a sensitive nose, and she does mind when I apply stinky ointments to my achy erector spinae muscles.  But other than that, I don't think my lovely spouse will have any problems if I take up fish -- "OUT!  AND STAY OUT!"  Maybe I'll take up bird watching instead...  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let the Name Calling Begin...

"It's not nice to call people names."  Okay, fine, but what about race horses?  "Uh, what do you mean?"  As you may know -- "I don't." --  I'm going to own race horses someday.  "Really?"  And you know what that means... "I hate to be mean, but, what does that mean?"  As owner, I'll get to name my horses... "But sir, the horse already has a name..." Oh yeah, I'm going to flex my very creative muscles.  "You have muscles?"  I can't wait to get started.  I'll give my ponies really cool names, something wild like 'El Caballo.'   "You're going to name your horse 'Horse'?"  Hey, I just have a knack for that sort of thing, I guess.  It's a gift (though I still can't figure out why I wasn't allowed to name my own kids). Another name I have ready for one of my future horses is 'I Ate Too Much'.  Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?  "To be honest, sir, that makes my stomach churn..."  Oh, you're just saying that...  "Maybe you should stop while you're ahead."  Nah, I'll keep going --  so many names, so little time: 'Where Have Those Hooves Been?' and 'Tail of Two Cities' are two of the many other monikers I'd have to consider for my four-legged friends.  "Frankly, sir, a monkey could come up with better names."  Yes, this name-calling thing is really my, uh, calling...  "There's a couple of things I'd like to call you right about now."  Having said that, why limit myself to horses?  Maybe I should expand the business... "None of my business, but what business?"  It's the one where expectant parents can come to me for name-calling advice...  "We can't decide on 'Bruce ' or 'Wayne.'"  I can do better -- name him 'Shirley.' (don't knock it -- it was a popular boys name awhile back)  Yes, I'll be more than happy to name couples' children if they can't settle on a name.  Something memorable, something unique... Something like -- I got it! -- Engelbert Humperdinck. "Uh, that name's already taken."  Oh, well, in that case, how about 'Robert R. Roberts'?  "Uh, we'll get back to you..."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Blow It, Kid!

We're paying for music lessons.  "Oh, you're a singer?"  Only in the shower.  Actually,  I'm talking about trumpet lessons.  "Cool.  We always knew you were talented at something."  Uh, the lessons are for our younger son, a boy.  "Oh, that's nice, too..."  Yes, and the lessons are for good reason: the kid's got a lot of hot air in him.  "That's wonderful!"  His mother and I couldn't agree more.  We put our heads together (not literally)  and decided it was a good idea to steer our boy toward music.  "Good... that's a good idea..."  Not because he's my kid, but he displays an uncanny ability when it comes to the trumpet.  I mean, you should see how good he is at putting the instrument back in its case at record speeds.   "Sounds like you have a protegé on your hands."  Oh, I wouldn't go that far... Though I do expect him to headline a concert someday.  But no pressure.  In the meantime, some have suggested that our Trumpet Boy get in a little practice time at freeway exits, maybe pick up a few bucks along the way...  "It sure would help for college."  That's what I say, right?  It's never too soon to start saving.   Yes, I really  think our son has the talent to go a long way -- as long as he applies all that air in an appropriate, socially acceptable manner.  Now, let's not fool ourselves.  There are some inherent risks that come with trumpet playing -- like puffy cheeks that resemble a chipmunk's.  "You don't want that for your son, do you?"  No worries.  I figure he could always audition for the Mexican version of  The Godfather, right?  "Don Corleone, how would you like your quesadillas?"  I tell ya, my son's grandparents will be so proud.  He'll be a one-boy mariachi band.  "Play us 'La Cucaracha!'"  And just to clarify, this is not a replay of when I was a kid.  Back in the day, my dad 'encouraged' me to play my guitar for every friend and relative that set foot in our house... "Play something -- or else!"  No siree, no way will I subject my kid to such awkward moments.  No way...  I want to ease him into the world of music, to make him feel comfortable with his God-given gift...  Don't believe me?  Then why else would I be trying to convince his brother and sister to play the tuba and trombone, respectively... "Not in a million years, Pops."  It doesn't hurt to ask...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Business Is Dead

"Daddy, I know what I want to do when I grow up."  No, absolutely not... Where in the world do kids get their crazy ideas?  "From their parents, usually..."  Oh... In any case, there's something I find very disturbing... "So, you're saying you're a disturbed person..."  Look, my daughter's shown interest in dissecting a human body, maybe making it a career.  "A dead body, right?"  I'm not sure -- I'm too afraid to ask -- but let's hope so.  I'm concerned.  I mean, why such proclivity for the macabre?  "Pro... maca... what?"  I'd like to place all the blame for her strange career interests on horror flicks she watches.  "Oh, you're just being silly..." Hey, you have to admit, slasher movies play tricks on kids' minds.  I mean, why else would my kid want to cut open a body, right?  Then again, as a parent, I'll take some responsibility.  "It's about time..."  You see, years ago -- over my wife's objections -- I decided it wasn't a good idea to let our  daughter dissect frogs at school.  "Why not?  That's very educational."  Nobody understood my hard-line stance at the time.  And I was hesitant to explain my reasoning.  Until now... I just hope it's not too late.  You see, out of respect to frogs -- particularly Kermit the Frog -- I wouldn't allow it.  Look, just between you and me, I always wanted a stuffed Kermit as a kid (my mom thought it was healthier for me to snuggle with a stuffed panda, instead).  I never got a Kermit, so years later, even as an adult, I felt like I owed something to Kermit and his amphibious pals.  "You made a pact?"  Yes, I promised myself -- and Kermit -- that I'd never slice and dice a defenseless frog.  "What about frog legs?  Have you ever eaten those?"  I'm going to ignore that...  Anyway, that's the explanation for why I never let my kid dissect a frog.  "I bet you feel better talking about it, huh?"  Yeah, but now look at the results.  My daughter's having weird thoughts.  She's looking at humans in a whole different light.  "Oh, you have nothing to worry about..."  I can only hope it's just a phase she's going through... "Daddy, do you have an axe I can borrow...?"  Gulp...     

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wasn't Me...

Before I start -- "You just did." -- I want to make something perfectly clear: In no way, shape, or form do I want to turn the following into sophomoric, silly, bathroom humor.  "Fine, we'll behave like mature adults..."  Don't get me wrong: bathroom humor has a place in our society... mainly in bathrooms, outhouses, and porta potties across America... So, where do I begin?  "You began here quite a while ago..." Okay, so... Apparently, dinosaurs had much to do with Global Warming  way back when...  "When exactly was when?"  Believe it or not, we can blame the change in climate during the Dinosaur Era on methane gas, if you catch my whiff, uh, drift... "You mean...?"  It seems that British scientists with too much time on their hands learned that dinosaurs really affected the environment with their uh, bodily, uh, gases.  "No way!"  Yes way!  "You've got to be joking!"  Not at all.  I'm being totally serious.  "Totally? -- since when?"  This is no time to joke.  No time to laugh.  "But it's funny!"  No, it's not!  We're talking science here, people!  "I never liked science -- especially dissecting those frogs."  Thank you for sharing... Simply put, dinosaurs were the first to cause global warming: the Allosaurus, the Brachiosaurus -- never mind the Ford Taurus...  "You've got something against Al Gore, don't you?  You're mocking him!  You're poking fun at him!"  Wait just a minute, I'm not poking anybody!  And I'm certainly not trying to get political here.    Please, listen to me -- and wipe that silly grin off your face, will ya?  "But this is hilarious!"  Please stop... "Okay, go on..."  Thank you... So, to summarize, dinosaurs contributed to their own demise by --  "You're making this up."  Think what you want, but why would I lie?  "We know your type."  I'm just the messenger, folks.  Scientists are sure about this... By the way, I'd like to know what the families of these brilliant minds thought about the dinosaur findings... "We sent you to Cambridge and Oxford for this?!" 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Where's The Powder Room?

"Location.  Location.  Location."  When I'm not busy solving many of our world's problems, I dabble in real estate.  In fact, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in that department.  "Expert? -- you?"  Alright, wise guy...  To be perfectly honest, I get amused when I read about those mansions that go up for sale.   "Are you in the market?"  Right now, the only market I'm into sells me 2 lbs. of chorizo.  As far as purchasing a mansion, I'm not interested.  Never will be... "Too expensive for you?"  Please, don't insult me.  "Are you envious of those than can actually afford big homes?"  Now you're getting me mad.  If you must know, there's something about big homes that really bugs me.  "You are dripping with envy..."  I don't drip for anyone!  No one, you hear me?!  Look, if you really must know, I can't get past the idea that these multi-million dollar homes have so many bathrooms.  "Bathrooms?  What do you have against bathrooms?"  Nothing -- especially when I have to use one...  If you'll allow me, awhile back I went to an Open House at one one of those luxury homes.  "How luxurious was it?"  You'll never believe the first thing the real estate agent says to me: "Let me show you the bathrooms."  Really?  For those who know me: Do I look like a guy that spends all his time in the bathroom? (better yet, don't answer that, please) Anyway, that house had so many bathrooms, I ran out of fingers for counting.  "You should've taken off your shoes."  The whole time I'm thinking, "Who actually has time to use all these bathrooms?"   (I'd have to carry a map just to remember where each is located. ) And another thing, there's a lot of pressure in keeping up all those bathrooms.  "Bathroom no. 17 needs more candles!"  Imagine living in a home where double-digit toilet seats need to be put down -- and aren't.  "That's a lot to worry about."  Not to mention -- I'm about to -- all those wet towels that have to be picked up off the floor (my kids are allergic to doing so). Of course, my worst nightmare then comes to mind: "Where's my toothbrush?!  I don't remember where I left my beloved toothbrush!"  I'm sorry all you mansion lovers, but so many bathrooms are a waste of space -- and energy, if you ask me.  "I don't ask you nothin'..."  Uh, let's keep it that way...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flash Me!

Maybe I'm too sensitive,  I don't know.... "Please, let it out.  Let it all out..."  Oh, I don't want to make a big deal about it, really...  "No, you have to express your feelings, it's okay..."  Well, if you insist... Everybody take a seat.... "I'd rather stand."  Recently, I got my feelings hurt pretty badly.  "You poor thing, what happened?"  I'm heartbroken, actually.  "Don't say it, she -- " He.  It was a 'he.'  "Huh?"  I must say, I never thought it would happen to me.  "Hey, it happens to the best of us..." You see, a few days ago -- it was morning, actually -- I was driving on the freeway and I let a big truck squeeze in front of me.  Then, I waited.  And I waited some more, for some sort of acknowledgment.  Anything.  Any sign of "Thank You!"  Well, I got nothing... That's right, the truck driver did NOT bother to flash his tail lights -- nothing!  "Why, the nerve of that guy!"  That's what I said!  To be taken for granted like that, it hurt.  It really hurt.  In case anyone's wondering, my eyes welled with tears.  "You cried about that?"  Wouldn't you?  "Uh... no..."  What's so difficult about flashing your light to someone in an appreciative way, right?  Right?!  "You may need some help..."  So, what did I do after that?  Why, I did what anybody else with half a brain would do: I followed that truck.  "You what?"  Yeah, I kept pace with that guy for a good long while... I even cut him off.  "You really do need help."  All with the hope that he'd finally flash his lights.  "And...?"  Negative.  So, I slowed down, got behind the big, bad truck again and memorized the license place.  I was determined to have the DMV hear about this absolute lack of manners (All I got was an answering machine, so I left a message.) Anyway, it seems I lost track of time in my quest for the trucker's attention.  "How long were you driving?"  Funny you should ask.  First, the sun started to set -- more than once.  Then, the next I knew, I saw a big sign.  It read:  "Welcome to Canada."  Of all places... "You drove all the way to -- "  Anybody know how to say "I don't have a passport " in Canadian?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Daddy, Don't Do Dat!

"You don't want us to do what?"  You heard me.  "Why not?"  My decision is final!  "You can't be serious..."  Yes -- I refuse to be considered for any Father of the Year awards... "But... but..."  No matter what the masses think, my mind is set.  Especially with Father's Day right around the corner.  Nothing will change my mind... "You'll change your mind..."   No!  Do I make myself clear?  "Yes, sir... Are you sure don't want -- ?"  I'm not worthy of any Daddy awards, okay?  Don't make me explain...  "Please, explain yourself."  I'm not going to --  I'm a bad dad, okay?  That's all I'm going to say...  I'm a rotten dad.  "Rotten egg bad?"  Call it what you will.  You see, some weeks ago, I let my younger son near a very bad influence.  Really bad.  What was I thinking?  I'm supposed to be there for him, to protect him, to steer him away from wrong... "You don't mean -- " Yes, the Evil Empire...  "How could you?! -- the New York Yankees?!"  Yes...  "No!  How could you do that to your own son?!"  It's terrible, I know... I haven't been the same since.  As a life-long Dodgers fan, I don't know how I ever allowed my child -- my own flesh and blood --  to wear a Yankees jersey.  "Damn Yankees..."  That's what I say.  Now, I wake up every night, tossing and turning, hoping it was all a bad dream, but no, it really happened.  "You let him wear a Yankees jersey?"  It was only for a school project,  but my conscience, it won't let me rest.  You see, the kid wanted to do a report on Babe Ruth, but he had to dress up like the Bambino and... he got me  at a weak moment, okay?  Now,  I'm haunted by Ghosts of Dodgers Past -- Pee Wee and Jackie -- Van Lingle Mungo!  They follow me everywhere, they poke and they prod -- they won't leave me alone!  "Good. You deserve that and more!"  I totally agree.  That's why I renounce my candidacy for any Father of the Year accolades.  "Accolades?  -- that's a joke."  Look, I feel terrible for what I did.  I can only hope my son recovers, that those nasty pinstripes didn't dig deep into his veins... "To the dungeon with you!"  Yes, I know.  I deserve whatever punishment comes my way, no matter what it is... Even if it's water boarding... But before we go there, I do have a question: the water's not too chilly, is it?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Can I Bring Lunch To Brunch?

Awhile back there was a lot of criticism directed at a certain celebrity.  People wouldn't stop talking about him... "Did he break the law or something?"  Uh, no... "How bad's the mug shot?"  Uh, if you'd let me explai --  "What naughty images did he post on a social network?" -- Please, let me finish!  Jeez...  The criticism dumped on this guy was so uncalled for, if you ask me.  "Can I ask you something?"  Not now.   You see, our celebrity friend was spotted with a lunch bag.   In a restaurant.   So what?!  "You're pulling my leg."  I'm not pulling anything.  Look, I don't see anything wrong with walking into a restaurant with a lunch bag.  Do you?  "I do."  Sorry I asked... My suggestion is that we learn the facts instead of ridiculing this celebrity who shall remain nameless.  "What's his name?"  Look it up yourself.  "Come on, just one little hint..." NO!  It's so obvious that sack lunches have significant meaning for this man.  We should be respectful.  I mean, I'm guessing that he clings to those childhood days when his wonderful mama packed him a delicious lunch, a spicy homemade burrito, with a loving handwritten message tucked inside his Scooby Doo lunch pail --- uh, lunch bag... (excuse me while I dab away some tears... it's my contacts)  Getting back to the celebrity with the sack, uh, lunch: I say, leave the guy alone, okay?  Let him eat his homemade lunch.  At restaurants, the dentist -- or anywhere else he darn well pleases... The guy probably just doesn't want to eat by himself... All you waiters, give him a break, okay?  Be nice, and he'll surely leave a good tip...  "Sir, will you be ordering anything today?"  I actually think it's a nice gesture on the celeb's part.  "How so?"  Can't you see?   "I can't."  He's actually lessening the load for restaurant staff...  From what I understand, this famous patron doesn't put any demands on the waiters, for the most part... "Yes, I'm going to need a doggy bag... for my lunch bag."  Oh...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Happened To Andrew Jackson?

Image Detail

ATM's used to make me nervous. "Nervous?  ATM's?" Now they creep me out.  "Creep you out...?" And for very good reason, yes.  You see, it all started with a recurring nightmare... In my nightmare I approach an ATM, push a few buttons here, a few buttons there... There's all this whirring and stirring and  -- voila! -- nothing.  "Nothing?"  Nada.  Absolutely no money, no lana, no -- wait a minute, that's no nightmare -- that's my reality!  "You have a zero balance, sir.  A big fat zero..."  (I wish ATM's were a little more discreet) Okay, so I have no money, the story of my life... But at least there's a silver lining in this whole mess... "So, how so with this fiasco?"  Well, in a strange sort of way, it's really good news that I have no reason to visit ATM's these days.  You see, some automatic teller machines are delivering something other than bills.  "Really?  Like what?"  Try mice and snakes.  "Mice and -- say what?!"  I'm not joking.  I'm really not joking.  "He's not joking."  People stand there, expecting their money, and what do they get instead?  Furry little friends with beady little eyes... The horror... "When was this guy president?"  Look, I love money as much as the next guy, so if I ever have to go to an ATM again, I'll expect greenbacks -- not green creatures that wrap themselves around my throat!  "He was good man... but he never looked good in turtlenecks..."  I can only imagine the look on customers' faces when they receive their surprise: "How do I fit this thing in my wallet?"  Just to clarify, I'm not that afraid of snakes or rodents, but I do think it's un-American to have something other than bills coming out of our nation's ATM's.  Hopefully, it's just a fad... No disrespect to anybody, but that's how I feel... "We feel for you..."  It's a sign of the times, I guess... Hopefully, it doesn't get out of hand... "Sir, uh, how would you like your money -- prairie dog or black mamba?"  Sheeesh...

Monday, May 21, 2012

NIce Wallet You Have There...

I love feel-good stories.  They make me feel so... good.  Yes,  and stories that reveal the decency in people make me feel especially good.  They uplift me, help me get up in the morning (that, and too many liquids) .  For example, there's the warm and fuzzy story about a lost wallet that was returned after some 35 years.  35 years!  Can you believe that?  "I do believe that, I believe I do."  Simply put, there are good people out there, and they're doing good things... Now, if my math is correct (good luck on that one),  35 years takes us back to around 1976,  during our country's Bicentennial.  "Bison what?"  You know, lots of red-white-and-blue, a bunch of fireworks and parades (I wasn't around, but I watch a lot of History Channel). Anyway, getting back to the stray wallet, I know I'd return a lost wallet if I stumbled upon one.  Yes, I'm pretty sure... "Why doesn't anyone believe me?! If I found a wallet, I'd return it, I swear!"  I mean, returning a lost wallet is the right thing to do (no, I'm not trying to convince myself!).  It makes for a very nice story that warms the heart, I think.  Unfortunately, some people out there (not me!) are so cynical, so jaded.  Critics say that before we give too much credit to Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes who returned the wallet, tough questions should be asked.  Like, this guy, did he prefer to keep the wallet for himself all this time, until he wore it out?  Did he borrow money found in the wallet for an extended period of time?  If so, he should've included accrued interest, no?  All very good points if you ask me, uh... those harsh critics.  When all is said and done -- "I'm done!" -- when you actually take everything into consideration, the lesson learned from this story is to not pick up other people's wallets... "Don't touch -- leave it alone!"  It's too much work.  Too many questions will be asked of you, too much scrutiny... You just hope the rightful owners of lost wallets are appreciative upon their return, no matter how long it takes.  Yeah, you hope... "Hey, my baby picture's missing!  It was right next to these credit cards!  You stole my baby picture! -- Police!"  Oh boy...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dude, Why So Rude?

It's really, really  tough for me to write today....  This is a really difficult subject to tackle... "But... but... why?"  Well, I don't want to offend anyone... (I have to remind myself that I'm just the messenger... ) "Pssssst, you're just the messenger..."  But what's my mom going to think?  "If you don't have anything nice to say..."  See, I was raised to see the good in people.  Only the good.  Unless I'm cut off on the freeway.  Or told I'm ugly.  Or offered a stale piece of birthday cake... "Words will never hurt you, mijo..."  Okay, I gave everybody fair warning.  What I'm about to present will surely ruffle some feathers (I just hope I'm not the cause of an international incident)...  Here goes nothing:  Recently, I stumbled upon a list of the world's Rudest Nations: France, Russia, Britain, Germany, and Other (I've always wanted to go to Other).  This according to a survey of very offended travelers... "You offend me!"  Now, thanks to that list, I'll save tons of money -- I refuse to visit any of those countries... other than Other...  "Other is so nice this time of year..."  But what about the United States?  Why aren't we on that list?!  "We're as rude as they come!"  If I want to be humiliated, mistreated, or just plain disrespected, I'll just stay here in the states, visit Yankee Stadium... or perhaps Fenway Park.  I don't have to spend thousands of dollars on foreign travel when I can find all the rude people I want here in the U.S. of A.  "Is this a great country or what? -- and plenty rude, too."  You better believe it... Rude and proud of it.  "And don't you forget it, Mister!"  How could I?  As it is, so many people tell me I'm Number One every day of the week... 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

There He Blows!

My wife caught me the other day.  "Busted, can't be trusted."  It's a day I'll never forget.  "What are you doing? -- let me see!"  She was mortified, and I was embarrassed, quite frankly.  "I can't believe what I'm seeing..."   Yes, my wife was absolutely shocked by my actions... Just when she thought she knew me, too... What moved me to such desperate measures?  "I was vulnerable!"  I'll get to that in a moment.  What matters is that it happened and I have to admit to it...  Yes, that's right... I cried.  "Are you crying?"  Try to understand, my wife's always seen me as unflappable, with nerves of steel.  "My knight in shining armor..."  How I hate to disappoint her.  But here's some good news: Doctors say it's healthy to cry, it's a great stress reliever.  "Are you sure?"  Please understand, some of us were taught that crying's a sign of weakness.    "There's names for crybabies like you!"  I don't like to hold grudges, and I don't mean to blame my parents, but... I'm going to blame my parents.  But all's forgiven.  I feel liberated... "I can cry!  I can cry!"  Okay, but now what do I cry about?  Suddenly I can't muster up a single tear.  That concerns me.  Right when I get the green light to cry, I discover that life is beautiful.  Life is perfect... "Hey, did you see that Lakers playoff loss...?"  Somebody get me a tissue -- now!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

May I Borrow Your Key?

I know all of you out there are law abiding citizens.  You'd never want to break the law, right...?  "I once got a ticket for jaywalking.  Does that count?"  Okay, but you didn't end up in the "Gray Bar Hotel," I bet.  Go to the Dark Side for a quick moment, imagine getting thrown in jail with a bunch of hardened criminals.  Pretty heavy stuff, right?  All eyes are on the new guy, everybody's tense. Even the toughest of the tough are a little bit nervous as the newest inmate settles in.  You could hear a pin drop... Finally, somebody dares to ask:  "What ya in for, son?  First degree something, right?"  That's when the new guy admits: "Uh, I stole a 2-year-old's piggy bank."  Huh?  "¿Qué dice este vato?"  Don't believe me?  "Don't believe you."  Yes, this actually happened.  Look it up...  I understand the judge even tried to give this genius a second chance: "You sure you don't want to give it another go, rob a bank or something?"   Sources tell me the inmates didn't beat this guy to a pulp for one sole reason: They couldn't stop laughing.  "You stole WHAT from WHO?!  You're killin' me!"  People on the inside tell me some lifers were really insulted by the Piggy Bank Bandit's  actions.  "He'll ruin our reputation!"  Why, Al Capone's ghost was so upset,  he put in a call to Geraldo Rivera:  "What's next, a 6-month-old's pacifier?"  In the end, let this be a reminder to us all: Crime doesn't pay.  "But what about politics?"  That's a different story...