Month: June 2016

Butterfly Effect

I had a good conversation the other day about the beauty of randomness. The art of chaos and how our lives are shaped by insignificant details. All the major things that we plan really have very little bearing on what actually happens. For me it has been cross connections and memories. I was talking with my mother about a vacation we took when I was probably 10 to 12 years old. Through that conversation I was able to pinpoint a chain of events that would be responsible for the life I currently live.

Growing up we always rode horses. I am not a rider deep down in my soul like other horse riders but I was legally a minor and forced to join the family on trail rides. There were a number of reasons that I was less than excited about outdoor activities. Let’s do a quick rundown.

  1. I had a one eyed horse named Lightning whose fastest speed was an aggressive walk.

2. I am allergic to horse dander and generally averse to bodily injury.

3. A giant horse named Red stepped on my foot when I was six years old.

4. I busted my bottom lip on a three wheeler when I was four or five because of a carefree daredevil who thought riding a small child around through a grassy field would be fun. I still remember looking in the mirror and seeing blood gushing out and the imprint of HONDA backwards on my chin. Not the entire word because I was a small child but there were definite parts.

So basically the thought of running through woods on an oversized special-needs horse made me nervous. It was a summary of everything bad that had happened to me in life up to that point. Sometimes we stepped in yellow jacket nests and you know how I feel about bees so the picture of my nightmare is complete. (Yellow jackets are small ground nesting wasps that swarm out of holes and ruin picnics.)

One day my mother tells us that we are going on vacation. Yay! To a week long trail riding camp. Oh… The general plan was to camp in the sleeper part of the horse trailer. Wake up. Ride horses all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG. Then crash in an exhausted heap only to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to do it again. Boy oh boy. Sign me up.

The week arrives and the first day is exactly what I thought. Near death experiences and saddle-sore ass cheeks. The area was beautiful and we saw some really cool things but seriously, near death experiences. The trail went along the side of a cliff and surprise surprise, my horse’s bad eye was on the side that he needed to be aware of the face of a cliff. Did I mention that he bumped a dead tree and it fell, scaring him into a mad dash across the side of the mountain? That happened. Then at the bottom of the ravine our lead horse stepped in a yellow jacket nest and everyone ran for their lives. I remember the big guy taking off his shirt and talking about getting stung in his “love handles”. I laughed but I wouldn’t comprehend the phrase for a few more years. The day came to a close and I remember thinking how excited I was for six more days just like this one.

The next day I left our campsite early and went to the mess hall for breakfast. I must have been annoying my parents because they let me go by myself and they didn’t join until later. I decided to make some friends and systematically moved from table to table talking to everyone who would listen. Legend has it that I made friends with the entire camp by 9:30 am. (I used to be so outgoing and full of life. *sigh*) Anyway. I made friends with the trail leader (who looked like Burt Reynolds) and was invited to ride at the front of the group with him which to a preteen was some prestigious shit. Top-o-the-world kind of importance. I got much more excited about the riding but the nights were still boring. The only thing going was a lame-ass dance hall. I wouldn’t have gone but after dark in a horse camp there isn’t a lot of option for entertainment.

I walked into the barn where the dances were held and found a seat out of the way of the action. I realized really quickly that cute girls liked to dance and that learning an easy one would be a good way to meet a few. The group of hotties I selected were probably sixteen and thought that a little ten year old kid with buck teeth and cowboy boots was adorable. They taught me a dance called “The Rebel Stomp” and I had lots of fun. The rest of the week flew by with all the dancing and socializing.

For the next eight years I had zero encounters with country line dancing. My interactions with horses dwindled as well. By the time I went to college I would venture to say that my country-ness was at an all-time low. I had the whole Slim-Shady bleach blonde shaved head thing going on. One night someone mentioned going to college-night at the Cotton-Eyed Joe. Yee Haw. My friends and I sat on the sidelines watching the cowboy-clad people hopping around to country classics such as “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy”. Riveting stuff. We were about to leave when I heard the DJ announce that the upcoming dance would be the Rebel Stomp. I had a trace memory of what to do and we had smuggled a flask of vodka so I figured what the hell. One dance before we leave.

I remembered how much fun it could be and more importantly, that girls love to line dance. Our group became regulars at the Cotton Eyed Joe and the rest is history. I should probably do an entire story on the Cotton Eyed Joe, it deserves a book unto itself. For those unfamiliar with some of the history, that story is here.

If you enjoy a good story about Serendipity then this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.


Kids are definitely creepy. Part of the creepiness has to be the fact that they don’t have any reference for acceptable social conversation. We have a neighbor kid who I can tell is really smart, well-spoken for a four year old, and a little quirky.

He hears my girls playing in the backyard and usually starts talking to them through the fence. Then he comes over to play. Boys are a little more risk oriented than girls so I have to routinely stop them from doing things like throwing wooden blocks at each other as they are sliding or jousting with wooden tomato stakes. I have to set boundaries on violent games and the way they all interact verbally. Lately I have had to set a few other boundaries.

One day the girls came inside from playing and were laughing about their neighbor friend. They told me that he comes into our yard without us knowing sometimes and he looks into the windows. Awesome. I have started wearing pants around the house a little more which I think is unfair to me as a homeowner. If I want to stroll commando at 10:30 at night to get an icy cold Coke or make a sandwich then I should have to worry about peeping minors being scarred for life. So we started semi-locking the gate. I would call it locking but some wind blew the gate backwards and those doors are barely hanging now. It is more of a booby-trap than a barrier.

We added a shallow pool to our backyard repertoire and our neighbor was super excited to come play. At first he was in some new clothes and my girls insisted that he join in the fun. I tried to keep them from being too insistent as they continuously asked, “Why don’t you come swimming? Its fun! Its fun!”

I tried to give him a window to feel less pressured, “He is in his nice clothes girls, he will have to go home and change.”

“He could just swim naked!” responds Threeto.

“Dear God no. That is not… um… legal. He would definitely go to jail. Nobody can be naked outdoors, it is in the Constitution.” I looked at the confused four-year-old sternly. Then I gave the same look to the girls. “He can swim if he asks his mother and changes into a swimming suit.”

I don’t condone minors skinny dipping.

He came back over and they all had a grand time swimming around the ten foot wide swimming pool. I told him that we had to be home and outside but if we were then he could join us. That evening the girls went to their Mamaw’s house and Supermom and I had a free night.  We were sitting in the bedroom around 5:00 when I heard an exterior door open and then shut again. I rushed to the living room and saw the boy looking in through the back door. He had come inside and then gone out again. I opened the door and explained to him that he shouldn’t come into the back yard through a closed gate if we aren’t outside and he certainly shouldn’t come into the house unannounced. I suggested that he use the front door to knock and see if anyone is home. Then I walked him out of the backyard. Ten seconds later he knocked on the front door.

“The girls aren’t home right now buddy.” I said as I tried to act like he had just appeared and didn’t come directly from my backyard.

He had a perplexed look and thought deeply before responding. “Okay. I’m going to a monster truck show so I will be back at 5:30.”

“They won’t be home for a day or two so…”

“That’s okay. You can come get me in a little while.”

“I feel like we are not communicating here.”

“Can I come knock on the door later?”


“Okay I’ll be back later.”

I just laughed.

He is such a sweet and innocent kid but he keeps me nervous that he is living in my attic and listening through the air vents. Kids can be so awkward.

If you enjoy a little variety and suspense from kids with no social boundaries, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Breath of A Salesman

Know your product. If you are going to come sell me something, do your homework. That is all I ask. I had two fun encounters recently where I would say that the product rep wasn’t actually educated on his product.

Case Number One –

Supermom calls me one afternoon. “I’m switching our cable to satellite.”

Underdaddy: Okay. Why?

Supermom: This guy is here and it sounds like a good deal.

Underdaddy: Hand him the phone. (Not because I don’t trust her decision but I dont like anyone trying to do a rush sales job. It makes me suspicious. Supermom is more trusting than I am.)

Sales Dude: Hello!

Underdaddy: Can you just leave me some information to look over and we can call you later?

Sales Dude: We don’t typically leave materials but I am going to be in the neighborhood, can I call you later this evening?

Underdaddy: Um. Leave me the number and I will call you.

Sales Dude: Maybe you could tell me what you drive and I could look for your car.

Underdaddy: Like campout and stalk my house. No we’re not going to do that.

Sales Dude: I see your point. I will leave a number.

Underdaddy: Thank you, person I don’t know.


So later that afternoon when I get home Supermom and I discuss and decide we don’t know about the internet service and decide to not mess with it. Then about 7:30 there is a knock on the door.


Sales Dude: Hi! I just wanted to stop back by and see if I could answer any questions you might have.

Underdaddy: Sure. I have questions.


I proceeded to ask questions. I will preface this by giving you some background. Apparently this was his first day on the job. He completed sales team training a few days before and didn’t have credentials, a name tag, or any idea that he was in a neighborhood where knocking on doors and waking babies gets you shot.


Q: How fast is the internet?

A: Pretty fast.


Q: What about the wind blowing and messing up service.

A: That doesn’t happen anymore.

Q: Wind?

A: No, the satellites work better now.

Q: Did you give them a pay raise or something?

A: What? I don’t understand.


Q: How do I know you work for the satellite company?

A: I don’t actually. We are a firm that gets customers for the company.


Q: So how do I sign up?

A: Well. I call the customer service and they do a light credit check with you SS number.

Q: They aren’t in India or some shit are they?

A: Yes actually. We are working on a domestic call center but don’t have one yet.

Q: So they haven’t gotten you a name tag, customer service is in India, and I have to give out my social?

A: Yes

Underdaddy: That doesn’t make me confident. Just so you know.

Sales Dude: Oh don’t worry. My major in college was cyber security and I take it seriously.

Underdaddy: So if anyone could screw me it would be you.

Sales Dude: I see your point.

Underdaddy: Okay. It still sounds like a good deal or an elaborate scam. If you can get me some credentials then I am in.


So we sat for ten minutes trying to get someone from his sales team to send me something I could believe in. I was pretty sure that he was telling the truth but was really young and new to the game so I did what anyone would do. I continued to screw with him. Over the next ten minutes I had him text me the Driver’s license of everyone in his team.

I found out what each one of them drove. Got all of the employee numbers. Texted him on his personal cell phone. It was awesome. One lady has a cream colored Kate Spade purse and the other dude drove a Corvette so I guess business is good.

Then we called the sign-up lady in India. She couldn’t understand us and canceled the order. We called another lady and she spoke better English. We can fast forward a week to today. The installation guys showed up and after about an hour of prep time outside, one of them knocked on the front door.


Underdaddy: Hi.

Installer: So do you have the name of the guy who sold you the service?

(I silently think Oh shit, it was the most elaborate scam on the planet. I’m ruined. He is probably trying to steal all of my tens of dollars.)

Underdaddy: Funny story. I have all of their names, numbers, and ID’s.

Installer: Let me get that. I need to call him because he is selling service and we don’t even have cable in this part of town.

Underdaddy: Awesome.

Installer: Yeah. I guess you don’t want the service right?

Underdaddy: That is correct.

This is why they say life is stranger than fiction.

Now, as an added bonus, everyone who has managed to go this far deserves the gift of a second story. I have a relative who drinks a lot. He espouses values of the religious right-wing yet knows very little about the actual religious part. He just knows that everyone else seems to believe something and he agrees with them. I also apologize for the contradictory blasphemy but it is the official transcript. It goes back to my no-censorship promise.

Scenario Number Two

Drunk Person: I don’t know… why… we just, we just. They should blow up the Middle East they don’t know about Jesus.

Underdaddy: I think they are familiar with the concept.

Drunk Person: They ain’t nothing but Muslims and Jews.

Underdaddy: You do know that Jesus was a Jew.

Drunk Person: Watch your mouth.

Underdaddy: Really? … Where do you think he lived? Kansas?

Drunk Person: I know it wasn’t no Middle East. He wasn’t a Jew. He was a Christian.

Underdaddy: How could he be something that technically describes “people who follow” him? Kind of impossible and would completely miss the point if he wasn’t Jewish btw. I hate to break it to you but he would be from the Middle East. They spoke Aramaic or something like that. Hell, he would probably be on a no-fly list if he lived in the modern day.

Drunk Person: Jesus wasn’t no goddamned Arab.

Underdaddy: True. He was a godblessed Arab if anything.

Drunk Person: You don’t know your history books. That’s why they need prayer in school.

Underdaddy: … I think you need to re-read the brochure.

Then I found this site and had a silent giggle to myself. I know it is bad and offensive and all that but, hilarious too.

So there it is. Two salesmen who didn’t know their product.

If you have ever experienced confusing discussions, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.