Friday, June 22, 2012

Boy Finds Finger in Yogurt, Sues Parents

A Chicago toddler known as Bub gave “finger foods” a new meaning yesterday when he discovered an errant digit enmeshed in his bowl of Chobani yogurt.

“I thought it was a chunk of mango,” he said. “Then I found myself wondering, do mangoes have fingernails?”

Authorities are just trying to finger it all out.

Quick to point fingers in a particular direction, Bub is suing his father, Daddy, for reckless endangerment and failure to notice a human body part buoyed in a serving of baby food.

Danny Greenstone, Bub’s lawyer, clarified: “Any time an appendage is found in an otherwise edible arena, liability is determined by who allowed said appendage to reach said position.”

“Kid threw his spoon on the floor and stuck his finger in the bowl,” Daddy said. “Big whoop.”

“Nevertheless, the fact remains that there was a finger in my client’s food,” Greenstone answered. “You’ll notice Mr. Daddy is not denying that.”

“It was his own fucking finger!” Daddy screamed.

“Well, I think we can all just say praise Jesus that he didn’t take a bite, then! We’ll see you in court, sir.”

The potential ramifications of the suit were already sending shockwaves around the finger food community. Cocktail Weenie announced toothpicks will now be included in every package of itself. Finger Sandwich legally changed its name to Utensil Friendly Sandwich. Ethiopian Food opened formal negotiations with Fork. Chicken Fingers just retired.

Others took more drastic measures. Colonel Sanders, in a pre-emptive strike, officially announced that his chicken is now “bone-sucking good.” Fingerhut made no change, since nobody’s quite sure what it is. The Finger Lakes simply drained themselves. And Rollie Fingers holed up in a bunker in northern Arizona “until this blows over” with a few canned goods, water and his handlebar mustache.

Police have asked anyone with information about the case, or just any poor bastard with nine fingers, to step forward.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Caulk and Chalk

Man, English is hard, but it’s hardest on the little ones. Bub recently discovered a new way to dawdle away hazy summer afternoons: sidewalk chalk. Harmless, washable, non-toxic multi-colored sidewalk chalk. 

Only problem is his pronunciation hasn’t quite caught up to his newfangled artistic vision. In his defense, the ‘ch’ is a late-bloomer in the vast field of English phonetics, whereas the hard ‘c’ comes quite easily. And that makes for some funny-funny.

Here are some excerpts from today’s sidewalk adventure, written as Bub believes he said/heard them, not necessarily how they were actually delivered:

1.       Daddy: Bub, what’s that in your hand?
Bub: (with a small jump) Chalk!
2.       Daddy: Ooh, Bub, what color is your chalk?
Bub: Blue!
3.       Mommy: Bub, get that chalk out of your mouth!
4.       Daddy: Oh, Bub, you’ve got chalk all over your face.
5.       Mommy: Bub, please brush the chalk off your pants.
6.       Mommy: No, we do not use our chalk on the front porch.
7.       Mommy: Why don’t you give Daddy your chalk?
8.       Daddy: Why don’t we try one chalk at a time, Bub?
9.       Bub: More.
Daddy: Oh, you want some more juice?
Bub: No, chalk!
10.   Mommy: (in song) Chalk away, chalk away, it’s time to put our chalk away.
11.   Daddy: C’mon, Bub. Put your chalk in the box with the others.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One and Done

There’s a new lexical player in town. And much like a medieval mace, it’s crude and blunt, but oddly effective. Welcome to the Thunderdome, Done.

Done was like the sword in the stone, waiting for just the right tiny hands to unsheathe it and harness its powers. Bub now wields Done with the reckless zeal of a Balkan warlord. To eliminate any misinterpretation, he throws in an enthusiastic hand sweep that no blackjack dealer would dare hit on.

Done, like so many others, got his start on the hardscrabble streets of Rejected Foodstuffs. Carrots? Done. It then got generalized into bathtime, toys, etc. Done was demonstrative, definite and final. You did not argue with Done, or you yourself would be Done.

Then Done got legs. Done started wearing wife-beaters and jaywalking and smoking Black and Milds. Sitting at the computer one day, Bub waltzes in, assesses the situation, and announces, ‘Done.’ He wasn’t doing a damn thing; my computer time, it seemed, was Done. I put on some Black Keys the other day, Done. Try to finish the crossword, Done. Enthusiastic hand sweep.

Done had magical powers.

What a simple, brilliant concept. Basically anything that annoys you, you can vanquish with a single syllable. Consider:

You’re on the bus, it’s hot. The kind of heat that even flies say fuck it. A dense aroma of French fries marinated in B.O. permeates. And there’s That Guy, the one subjecting the masses to his crap-pop because he’s too cheap or arrogant to buy headphones. You walk over to him with your swampy pits and just one word: Done.

Sir, do you know how fast you were going? Yes, officer, I do. I clocked myself at Done miles per hour.

You open the door, walk right on to the squash court, mid-point. But we have a reservation! Chad protests. Yeah, well I’ve got a Done. Pardon me, fellas.

You’re watching the NBA finals. Wife sits down.
W: Who’s winning?
M: It’s tied.
W: Hmm. So we really need to talk about baby names.
M: Ehhhhh, Done. Done! (Enthusiastic hand sweep)

Friday, June 15, 2012


There’s a new sheriff around these parts. It’s Hot. Nobody says shit to Hot. When Hot walks by, you do not make eye contact. Hot double-parks in front of hydrants and steps on your mama’s tulip bed and you’d best look the other way. Hot dried the rain and got Slovakia on the Euro. Hot smiled once, the dinosaurs died. You get the point: Hot is a bad mammajamma.

Hot is the de facto safety word we’ve established in our household. It means a lot of things, though more often than not, it means nothing. It lives in that dubious DMZ bordering the dangerous, the unknown and the misunderstood.

The oven is hot, fact. Not always, but this is probably the one bedroom shanty into which Hot was born. Electrical outlets, open Drano bottles, rusty nails and dark alleys were the stuff Hot was raised on.

But somewhere in the formative years, Hot got wise. Like Peter Parker discovering his web slingers, it was only a matter of time before Hot mastered his powers. It was now Hot outside. Fried eggs are Hot. I ask Bub what’s in my coffee mug, yep, it’s a cup o’ Hot.

The first rule of Hot is that you always talk about Hot.

Hot was getting big. Hot was hot.

For better or worse, we started using Hot to our advantage. Not that Hot can be manipulated by simpleton parents, mind you—Hot is the Shizzy. We simply abetted the growth of the legend.

Daddy’s Ipod became Hot. The remote, cell phones, the camera, all very, very Hot. Daddy’s beer is practically the surface temperature of Venus. During bath time, Daddy’s penis is scorching, Mommy’s boobs active volcanoes.

But, like most powermongers, Hot got too big for his hotpants. He got lazy, careless, started slipping up, let himself go. A crumpled-up piece of wrapping paper was now hot. A clipped toenail, a Matchbox 20 CD and even a Choco Taco all passed for Hot.

It seems only a matter of time before they get to Hot. What will it be, the shower shank? The brick pillowcase? But until a word simple, catchy and monosyllabic enough stages a coup, in these parts revenge is still a dish best served Hot. We get Hot feet when nervous, and quitting is best done Hot Turkey. And it could be a Hot day in hell before that changes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stick Whisperer

Editor’s Note:  What follows is an interview with a Chicago toddler named Bub, friend of the forest and author of the new book The Stick Whisperer: How I Learned to Truly Get Wood.

Q: You’ve been called a lot of things in the media: a genius, a fraud, a niche-market savant, a dumb-ass. How would you label yourself?

A: The Stick Whisperer. I thought the title made that fairly clear.

Q: Right. About the title: Some have said it is misleading and prurient. Was that intentional on your part?

A: I don’t see what’s misleading. You either get wood or you don’t. Why are you smirking?

Q: Sorry. Moving on, you claim to have tamed dozens of feral sticks in your short career. You ever met a stick you didn’t like? Like a real sharp, rowdy sonofabtich?

A: There was a certain American beech that I’d rather not revisit. Ha ha, JK, love you, Raymond! But no, they are all my children.

Q: You ever get in any scuffles with other stickherders?

A: Several months ago, a kid on the playground punched me in the pee-pee, took my new friend Norman, away from me, and then beat me with him. I’m still in therapy.

Q: In your experience, what would you say is the worst thing about being a stick?

A: Stickball.

Q: If you could say one thing to forest fire starters, what would it be?

A: Hmmm, that’s a tough one. But I guess I would say ‘Stop’ or maybe ‘Don’t do it.’

Q: Do you feel any sort of strange kinship toward stick figures?

A: Do you?

Q: Touche, little buddy. Last question—what’s next? Are you next going to tame cement? How about rocks?

A: No thank you, sir. I think we all know what happens when you mix sticks and stones.