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..."