Friday, November 30, 2012

Sound Bites from the Funny Farm

“I take a pants off?”
“You gonna take your pants off, too?”
“Daddy’s pants OFF!”
“That’s right, Bub, Daddy’s pants are already off. Sounds like a party.”
“C’mon. The water’s getting cold.”
“I go to party?”

“Daddy no wearing shirt.”
“That’s right, Bub. Daddy just got up. Can I have a hug?”
“No. No hug.”
“That’s not very nice.”
“Daddy, put shirt on!”
“Does Daddy offend?”

Mommy: “So, I see you eat meat now.”
Bub: “Yes.”
Daddy: “You like meat, Bub?”
Bub: “Yes. Mommy like meat?”
Daddy: “Yes.”
Bub: “Yes. Daddy eat meat, Mommy eat meat, everybody eat meat!”
Mommy: “Well, not everybody, Bub. Mommy’s a vegetarian.”
Bub: “Yes. Mommy no eat meat.”
Daddy: “But she sure likes the bone.”
Bub: “Yes.”
Daddy: “High five!”

“What do you say, Bub?”
“Cuse me.”
“Thank you. Do you like the mac and cheese?”
“Wow. Okay, what do say?”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Snake in the Tub

If I learned one thing from the dozens of dorm room half-viewings Scarface, it was that nothing good ever happens in an empty bathtub. Nothing. Unfortunately, this story is no exception.

So, Bub’s become mildly obsessed with the drain lately. He squats down, sometimes daring to poke a finger into the unknown, sometimes trying to stem the flow with a stacking cup. But usually he just watches the water gently eddy into oblivion, really getting his money’s worth on nakey time.

“Ooh! Water gone!” Every time. With absolute disbelief.

“Yep, water’s gone, Bub,” I said this unfortunate evening. “Let’s put those cups away, what do you say?”

He started in on the task at hand. I snuck in a couple crossword answers. Yesssss. Then he started crying. Geez, Bub, come on, it’s red, then white, then…

“OH MY GOD, SNAKE!” I screamed. “Bub, don’t move. There’s a…really…slow…snake moving RIGHT below you. It’s coming this way, hold still!”

I rolled my newspaper, but this fella sure was taking his time—what is he, wounded or something? Is he crawling backwards? I don’t see a tongue. Or eyes. Bub, why are you making that face? My God, is that snake crawling out of your ass? Ohhhhhhh. Oh, no, not that. In the words of the sagely Obi-Won, this was no moon.

Now, Bub’s defecated in the tub before. Who hasn’t, though, right? It’s just so damn relaxing and warm and like a self-cleaning oven in many ways. But not when it’s empty, man. That's just so presumptuous.

Well, now what? I start fumbling around, trying to keep him calm and out of the radius of the big brown whale that just beached on Conley Island. I yell for reinforcements, but Mommy is feeding HP. Then I turn back to see Bub standing now, the very curious turd in his hand.

“Ooh…heavy,” he says.

He’s only seen a handful (ewww) of his own giftss, and they’ve all been in the (full) tub, bobbing like gator heads in the bayou.

But his levity was short-lived. He suddenly realized what millions of people all over the world have roundly accepted: that doody makes a bad toy. He started crying. And he wanted it off. So, naturally, he wiped it on his chest.

I finally snapped to, grabbed a handful of toilet paper and transferred the contraband to the toilet, then turned the hot water on full blast, cleaned his hand and chest, pumped some soap, cleaned his butt, and popped him into his towel. We looked at the big bad turd in the toilet, said a little poo-poo prayer, then flushed it out into Lake Michigan and had a Dum Dum.

It wasn’t exactly the intro to potty training I was envisioning. It was way more exciting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Be One of Us

If this doesn't make you want to watch the movie...

If you’re too young (or classy) to remember The Lost Boys, this little 1987 Joel Schumacher gem was, on the surface, just a vehicle to get both of THE COREYs to share screen time. No qualms there. But then it messed around and was awesome.

The story is pretty simple: Teen punk vampires (headed up by Keifer Sutherland) feast on the inhabitants of a hapless coastal town. But sometimes they have to recruit, expand the eternal gene pool.

Normally, eternal life, much like Keifer’s blonde mini-mullet and dangly earrings ensemble, sells itself. But he actually has to work to solicit Jason Patric’s membership to the club. 

Keifer’s like a personal trainer, hovering over Patric, chugging whey protein, spouting about muscle confusion and free first sessions. And all Patric wants to do is pound out this set of squats, finish this Cannibal Corpse mix.

“Join us, Michael,” Keifer coos. “Be one of us, Michael. KEEP YOUR FUCKING KNEES IN! Be one of us. By the way, drink some of my blood. But mostly, be one of us.”

Parents are the same way, always trying to bully you non-parents into drinking from our bottles of sleepless sorrow. And most of us have mini-mullets, shifty eyes.

Join us, non-parents. Have a baby. What are you waiting for? Our kids could have play dates, we’ll babysit, it would so AWESOME. Don’t you want our kids to be the same age?!

No-goodniks through and through, us parents. Classic manipulators:

Join us, non-parents. What do you want to do, see the world or something? Buy a National Geographic, man. Much cheaper, and you don’t have to take vacation time or get duped by a fast-talking tuk tuk driver. Less mosquitoes, too.

Assholes, the lot of us:

What’s that, you want to make manager? What greater promotion could you possibly get in life than becoming a parent? Think about it. But not too long. Clock is ticking. Increased risks and whatnot. Join us.

We’re so desperate, we’re likely to say anything to get you to turn:

You know how much tax credit we got for our kid? Cha-CHING, buddy! Also, my penis grew an inch. TMI?

Pathetic. It’s not even that we want you to commiserate with us. No no, we’re much more selfish than that; it’s more like we just want you to empathize with us. We just want you to really know what this is like. And you can’t do that until you’re a card-carrying member.

Of course, the real fallacy of our sales campaign is the product itself. You can put a bow on a turd, but that doesn’t make it a good gift. Babies, much like turds, cannot be returned or re-gifted. Keifer was selling eternal life and motorcycle gusto and sexytime with Jami Gertz. I’m covered in spit-up and haven’t showered in three days. So, join us. Grow a mini-mullet. Keep your fucking knees in. But mostly, be one of us.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little Baby Chimps

Portrait of the author, c. 1977

I met a woman at the playground with one kid running around and another small fry in the stroller. Kind of like me, I thought. Except she had hair. I decided to introduce myself for some unknown reason.

Anyway, I forget her name instantly, but more relevant to the story, I forgot her kids’ names. Both of them. I’m not good with names. Problem was, her small fry was dressed in white, so I was then relegated to asking carefully-worded, fragmented questions, in hopes of eliciting the child’s sex:

“Awww, very cute. How old?

“Two months,” she said. Nary a gender-specific pronoun. “What about yours?”

“Well, SHE is ten weeks. Sometimes I still can’t believe I actually have a DAUGHTER.”

“Well, I guess it’s 50/50, right? When my son was born, I swore that was it. Then The Noodle came along, so…”

Noodle? What kind of stupid, non-specific nickname is that? Don’t you know there’s so sweeter sound to a person than the sound of their own name? I’m sorry, what was your name again? I tried a different tack.

“Nicknames are fun. We call this one The Blob. Mostly because she eats like a two year-old already.”

“Yeah, mine, too,” she said. “Comes by it honestly, I must say, ha ha.”

Really? You eat like a two year-old? She was starting to piss me off. It’s almost like she knew, and was just messing with me at this point. The whole thing reeked of hippyism. Why don’t you just put your kid in a blue outfit with airplanes and shit on it like everybody else? You’re making playground time weird. Finally I took a stab, it was 50/50. Her words, not mine.

“So how old is his brother?” You know, the one running around over there, appropriately clad in airplanes and shit.

“Well, HER brother is three,” scoff scoff. Duh, you fucking IDIOT. Brow wrinkled. “Did the name Olivia not give it away?”

“I thought you said Oliver. Oliver-a. That’s Spanish for Oliver.”

“No, it’s not.” That could have been verdad.

“Well, she’s a fine looking girl. Much cuter than mine, even.”

Looooooooong pause. She pulled her phone out, pretended to read a message. Looked up at me like DO YOU MIND? I’m trying to read a fake text, asshole. I felt kind of bad. If somebody called HP a boy, I’d probably check my fake inbox for a fake message, too.

“Hey, listen, I didn’t mean anything by it,” I tried. “They all look like little baby chimps to me.”

Well, that was that. She put her phone away and corralled her son, mumbled something about lunch time, and vamoosed. Some people just don’t know an apology when they hear it. Bub was still playing, HP sleeping. So I did the only thing I could think to do. I pulled out my QWERTY and hammered out a few fake messages.