Thursday, July 26, 2012

Toddler Declares Self King of Tiniest Municipality

A Chicago toddler named Bub has declared his crib an independent state and now rules what could be the world’s smallest empire.

“I call it Bublandia,” Bub said of his 2.5’ X 4’ kingdom.

“Yeah, what is that, like, eight square feet?” Daddy, the boy’s father said. “It’s like a lock-in with no lock. I give it 48 hours.”

“I’ve got everything I need right here,” Bub said. “I’ve amassed quite a cache already, and supply lines to the outside have been established.”

“He’s got an Elmo phone and a Papa John’s flyer,” Daddy said. “Good luck with that, buddy.”

The move comes in direct response to freshly-passed family legislation aimed at limiting “waking crib time.”

“Basically, he’d just sit there for hours, lining up his stuffed animals and kissing them one by one,” Daddy said, the boy’s father said. “Shit’s weird, right? So, he started his own country. Whatever.”

“I prefer the term fiefdom,” Bub said. “I have my own heraldry, and am currently putting the finishing touches on the national anthem, Sweet Home Bublandia.

Asked where he got the idea for Bublandia, Bub said simply, “Texas.”

Relationships with his neighboring Parentopolis are already frayed, and Bub has escalated the mounting tensions by heavily fortifying his kingdom walls. They are guarded by a whopping 13 loyal, stuffed subjects, or Bublandians.

“The disputed airspace overhead, however, continues to be my Achilles heel,” Bub said. “I have installed a force shield and declared it a No-Fly Zone, but the enemy is persistent.”

“Yeah, I can just reach in there and pick his little ass up whenever I want to,” Daddy said. “Hey, not that I want to, mind you. This is what we call win-win, bitches!”

Asked what the number one concern for his tiny nation was after starvation, waste disposal, water acquisition, access to medicine, general hygiene, physical growth and marauding Parentopolists, Bub thought for a minute, then said, “Crib sores.”

Production is under way on the currency of Bublandia, and King Bub says that while he plans to export full diapers "to the highest bidder," its GDP will be largely dependent on eco-tourism.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Father Starts Rumpus at Children’s Museum

Courtesy of Uncle Marty

 A Chicago father known as Daddy was publically scorned and nearly arrested yesterday after fostering an “unpleasant, idiotic atmosphere” at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

“Mr. Daddy was apparently under the impression that children were somehow on display like a kiddie zoo,” curator Frank Gillard said. “The man’s an idiot.”

“No, no, no. More like a petting zoo. You know, like you buy Cheerios from the quarter machine and feed the cute ones,” Daddy said. “Hey, don’t steal my idea, yo.”

“He scadded about erratically, screaming ‘GET BACK IN YOUR CAGES!!!’ at all the kids,” Gillard recounted. “Then security tased him. Idiot.”

“I was at least expecting some historical dioramas of little Neanderthal kids getting trampled by wooly mammoths and shit,” Daddy said. “Instead I pissed my pants and forgot where I was for an hour.”

When he awoke from the taser-induced nap, Daddy apparently pleaded fervently with Gillard to accept his son, Bub, as a “Friends of a Friend of a Friend of the Museum” level donation.

“I thought they could at the very least do some research on him,” Daddy said. “Find out why he’s so annoying, maybe?”

“I told the idiot to try the Salvation Army,” Gillard said. “They are always accepting donations.”

“Yeah, I wish,” Daddy responded. “They won’t take him till he’s 18.”

Daddy threatened to sue for millions, but settled out of court for his $12 admission fee and a complimentary Segue tour. He also publicly demanded that the museum change its name on the grounds that it’s “misleading.” Gillard said he has no plans to change the name.

“I guess I can vaguely see the confusion, though” Gillard said. “If there were an Idiot Museum, I’d expect to find a bunch of idiots.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This is My BOOM Stick

Bruce Campbell is the shit. Some know him for his writing, most of us for his acting, and all of us for The Chin. Few know its exact chemical makeup, but if you’re thinking brimstone and horsepower, then you’re on the right track. The Chin shattered Thor’s hammer, then sprinkled the bits on top of its Cobb Salad. They say that staring at The Chin too long can create an eerily womb-like sensation. Chin straps and plastic surgeons tremble when in the same room. And it’s not that hair can’t grow on The Chin; it’s just out of respect that it doesn’t. Hail to the king, baby.

So Bub is a Wii Resort Golf duffer now. Smooth segue, I know. It’s how my mind works. It will make more sense in the end, I promise. Stick with me here. Boom Stick with me.

I originally introduced him to the magic of the Wii several months ago. I was bored, and Bub didn’t really share many amusing anecdotes or inspire much witty banter. Didn’t really do shit, frankly; just kind of sat there like a drooling little Buddha. So I decided to entertain him by doing exactly what I wanted to do.

We started with baseball on Wii Sports. He was kind of into it, but lacked a fundamental understanding of the game. He’d dish up a 64 mph cherry right down the pike, then cheer as the computer doubled into right. The only rule he came to understand was The Mercy Rule.

Then one day, dicking around in the Training mode, I found the home run derby. Phenomenal. Never knew it was there. With each sweet crackerjack of the bat, I started yelling “BOOM!” which he got a big kick out of. Babies are an easy crowd; the jokes rarely get old.

But the derby did. Bub now required something a little more sophisticated, refined. A gentleman’s game, if you will. He was ready for Wii Resort Golf. Much more complicated than baseball to operate, he was content at first to sit and watch. He carried the BOOM over like a long-division remainder from baseball to my tees shots. And then the Disembodied Wii Vocabulary Builder would chime in with “Nice shot!”

He loved it. A week later, he started showing up to the links of the bedroom in polos and tablecloth pants. A fifth of single malt, spikes, a divot tool. He made thoughtful club recommendations (“BOOM!”), praised good play (“Nice shot!”) and quieted the gallery before each putt. I’m certain he would have pulled the pins if only the TV were a few inches lower.

Then, inevitably, Bubber Woods wanted a turn. He would just swing and swing, not hitting anything yet exclaiming “BOOM! Nice shot!” What he lacked in proficiency, he made up for with enthusiasm. He’d pick up a stick outside—“BOOM! Nice shot!” A piece of chalk, a CD, his juice cup—his world is full of Boom Sticks, as well it should be. We even caught him one night in his crib, eyes heavy with milk, hitting imaginary greens in regulation.

Say what you want about Video Game Parenting, but the dexterity and hand-eye coordination demanded of this game is formidable. And Bub can actually hit balls on his own now. Sure, his short game is for shit and his putting physically pains me to watch, but I'm proud of him. He did it. And the satisfaction he must feel? Immeasurable. Nice shot, kid.

***Okay, so I lied. There’s really not much tie-in here back to Bruce Campbell, other than hoping that Bub turns out just like him. Dare to dream. He’s got the Boom Stick. Now we just need to work on that chin.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Local Father to Explore Free Agent Market After Contract Negotiations Stall

A local father known as Daddy is “open to listening to any reasonable offers” after the option on his parental contract was not picked up by his son, Bub.

“Look, there’s low-balling, then there’s utterly shafting someone. And then there’s the offer he put on the table,” Daddy said. “I’ve never been more insulted in my life.”

“Oh, I seriously doubt that,” Bub said. “The offer was well more than the fair market value for a petulant, prima donna dad on the wrong side of 35.”

Some say the contentious negotiations were doomed from the get-go, after Daddy showed up to training camp hopelessly out of shape.

“He looked like a deep-fried piece of lard dipped in marshmallow fluff,” Bub said. “It was embarrassing. You just can’t teach work ethic.”

“I pulled a hammy during the 40-yard stroller dash. I don’t think that warranted being cut,” Daddy said. “I think my stats from last season speak for themselves.”

Indeed they do. While Daddy’s diaper changes were up slightly, he recorded career lows in QTS (Quality Time Spent) and SPA (Showing Physical Affection).

“What the fuck is physical affection?” Daddy said. “That’s not fair, I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.”

Other sticking points in the performance-based contract include the length (one month) and guaranteed money (zero).

“We tried a one year contract initially. I wound up with diaper rash for the last three months. Never again,” Bub said. “And as far as the money, no one hands out medals before the race is run, right?”

“This kid isn’t the only dirty diaper action in town,” Daddy said. “And there’s always overseas.”

“It’s a buyer’s market out there, my friend,” Bub said. “But don’t worry—your jersey won't be retired.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Name of the Game

So Bub has started calling me by my first name. This is weird on many levels. It cuts me pretty deep, actually. All this work, all this sacrifice, and you just refer to me like your poker buddy or co-worker? Get it straight, Bub. We’re neither poker buddies nor co-workers. I work for you, yet I’m your boss. It’s complicated. But the name remains the same. And that name is Daddy, damnit.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a minor relief when I finally realized what he was saying. For the first week or so, I thought he was calling me Trash. It made sense. He knows what trash is, he knows who I am. Wait…No, I’d like to think it was an honest mistake. I’d like to, but I don’t. Truly, nothing says holly jolly household like coming from work to have your son point at you and yell, “Trash!” Oh, I’m kidding, of course. I don’t have a job.

He obviously got this nasty little habit from my wife. She insists on calling me by my name, despite my pleadings for her to refer to me as Daddy (it’s been an ongoing source of tension in our relationship over the years). So the only logical defense I have is to teach him her name. See how she likes that one.

Actually, my wife loves nothing better than the sound of her own name. She loves the way it fills the airspace and dances around her eardrums. In fact, the only thing she likes more than hearing her name spoken is hearing her name yelled in a deep canyon. Falling asleep to her name on a one-track CD on repeat.

She always complains I don’t call her by her name enough. Don’t take it personal, Wifey. I rarely call anybody by their Christian name. I don’t know why. It’s probably some sort of deep-rooted psychological detachment/intimacy issue. It’s not you, it’s me. At least I don’t call you Trash.

The only part that reeks of deliberate on his part is that he has no other titular problems—Mommy, Nana, Bubbe, Boompah, even Doctor, for shit’s sake. Yeah, I said "titular."

If this keeps up, I may just return the favor, start calling him by his real name. Ah, probably not, though. Let’s be honest. Let's not get too personal, Bub.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Local Romeo Cast as Lead in Reality Show

Riding the coattails of the unprecedented romantic success at his uncle’s wedding, the local toddler known as Bub will take his talents to the small screen in ABC’s forthcoming spin-off, The Bachelor: Toddler Edition.

The Bachelor: Toddler Edition? Really?

“Hey man, it’s summer,” producer Gary Wolf said. “It’s was that or Celebrity Shrimp Trawlers.

Similar to the flagship, the show will feature 20 eligible toddlerettes vying for the attention of one dashing sub-two year-old. The dissimilarities include crayons in lieu of roses, no hot tub scenes (legal reasons) and the stately mansion will take the form of the nearest Gymboree.

Bub, a self-described “strong, awesome type,” seems to have gone Hollywood already. His kiss-and-tell antics have the crickets chirping at several area playlots. He rounded first base with a pint-sized vixen at just nine months of age and never looked back.

“I’d just learned how to stand,” Bub said, sipping a virgin cognac. “Then she knocked me over.”

“Yeah, chicks dig standing,” Daddy, Bub’s quickly-consenting manager said. “Totally got that from me.”

Producer Wolf said Bub’s audition tape stood out from the literally dozens of others because of his statement on the environment (“Yes, I’m in favor of it”) and a myriad of “moody, slow-mo cup-stacking scenes,” set to a pulsing soundtrack of A-Ha’s Take on Me.

“That tape was my Everest,” Daddy said, choking back tears. “And those forty-five minutes are about to pay some serious dissidents.”

“Off the record, you should have seen the others,” Wolf said. “But the kid said something that struck a chord deep in my loins: It’s much easier to talk to women once you can actually talk. Brilliant.”

In addition to questions of programming quality and taste, the show raises sociological questions about child exploitation. Is it not morally unsound to have two children of limited free will wed for the sake of “entertainment?” And does this not make us question the very definition of what it is to entertain and, more importantly, to be entertained?

“No, that’s stupid,” Daddy said, adding, “Most parents have to wait 20 years to get rid of their kid. I’m, like, out early on good behavior. And I’m going to Disneyland, bitches!”

Not exactly. Operating on a summer budget, the show will feature only a handful of “locally exotic” locations, including the Cook County Forest Preserve, Gary, Indiana and a U-pickem blueberry lot in southwestern Michigan.