Month: July 2016

How To Be Rich

Let’s talk today about how you can make tens of dollars with a little thing I like to call “yard sales”. A.K.A. garage sales, rummage sales, or fun-time-with-lemons-and-razors.

I agreed to the yard sale for the same reason I agree to everything. My wife is beautiful and persuasive. She learned long ago that I am a powerless negotiator in the arena of married life. She holds the cards, so to speak. Regardless, I did agree and we spent the better part of two weeks sorting out the piles of hoarded junk into marketable goods. Hundreds of pieces of pottery and I dare say, thousands of clothes for girls from sizes Newborn – 3T.

There were a few outfits marked “Just Born” which I thought was an aggressive suggestion for a clothing tag to make. Can they only wear the item if they were just born? What is the timeframe on just born? Hmm.

Moving on. Friday and the sale items are all prepared. Good thing because we had planned on seeing one of my favorite people, Peyton Manning, speak live at an event in my hometown. He is a class act. Funny and easy going with a little wisdom sprinkled along the way. I left the event feeling motivated to do something. That something was to lead our yard sale to victory. Never mind that we only had six hours to sleep before dragging out all the tables and junk to meet the 6 am crowd (psychopaths, no one enjoys 6 am), we were determined and this shit was gonna happen.

Saturday morning we got up, got doughnuts, and prepared the sale. By 7:00 we were ready for the wave of inevitable commerce. By noon we would surely have financed a trip to Bora Bora or Fiji.

8:30 rolls around and we have seen no one. A lonely car pulls up and an elderly lady walks over and starts judging our life one piece of junk at a time. “My goodness you must have a lot of children”, she said. “We do. Four of them.” I replied. She kept walking and ended up at the hanging rack of nicer clothes that we felt deserved more than $0.50. She picked out three nice outfits and one was a decorative Christmas dress which was a modest $5. Originally it cost $40 and I’m certain it was only worn once, briefly, for photos.

“Five dollars seems expensive.”

“Does it? I thought that was a decent price.”

“It was more than I was wanting to pay.”

“I think your frame of reference is off. You are from the generation where a nickel was admission to the movies. This decade, five dollars is a fancy cup of shit-tasting coffee. If you can’t imagine paying 100 admissions to the theatre for a simple dress I can understand but to me the choice looks an awful lot like naked poverty versus a latte. I think you know the right choice.”

“Would you take three dollars?”

“Sure. Thanks for stopping by.”

The old lady made off like a bandit for a grand total of $6.25. In the meantime, two older gentlemen in beat-up pickups did drive by inspections of our crap and visually determined that we suck and our stuff wasn’t even worth pumping the brakes. If I had been standing near the road I might have been killed.

We had some gracious friends drop by and relieve us of some pottery and clothes. Then we had what can only be described as “the rush”. For a period of five to ten minutes there were three separate customers shopping in our makeshift store. Some of them even bought things.

Near lunchtime the skies began to darken and rain moved in. We started moving things into the garage to shut down the sale and people kept driving up. In the rain. To pile in the garage and look at junk.

A couple more sales of $2 and $4 and we managed to close the garage while there was a break in traffic. We locked up and went into the house for a well-deserved nap.

About ten minutes into naptime someone knocked on the front door. They weren’t confident that the knock would be enough because they immediately rang the doorbell too. I was greeted by two ladies who had bought several baby shoes earlier and realized that they didn’t have matches. We opened the garage, located the boxes of baby shoes and sorted out the missing shoes on the floor of the garage. Thank God they made the trip of thirty minutes back out to the house to save that $0.50 worth of missing toddler sandals. I closed the garage again and managed to take a nap.

We didn’t want to count the money right away because it might cause us to pack our bags and move to Mexico or Belize. You have to ease yourself into being rich so you don’t appear to be “new money”. After waking up and eating some lunch we rolled out the bankroll. I am an engineer to the core so I did a cost benefit just to be sure we were officially wealthy. After deductions of obvious costs like donuts, price stickers, gas to go get display tables and hanging racks, and a box of Red Bull to get me through the morning, I was confident that we had made a profit well beyond $5.50. I dare say… $6.00.

If I understand Federal law correctly, my wife employed me to help. Henceforth and theretowith, I should be guaranteed the minimum wage at the very least. I assume I could sue her in court for lost wages and benefits but I’m not sure if I would be awarded attorney fees. The Better Business Bureau would be very little help in the yard sale market. So to save time and balance the scales of morality I ate a few of her chocolate glazed donuts even though chocolate is not my favorite flavor. I know that stealing pastries sounds harsh but I feel it is a lesson she needed to learn.

Lesson = When disappointed and undercompensated, I will eat your pastries with total disregard for my own preference in flavor.

If you have ever kick-started the road to fame and fortune via yard-sale, this post is for you. You’re welcome. Let’s spend our six dollars on a beer together.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Sucky Choices

There is something amazing about the modern world. Our mobility allows us to live and work in completely different areas. We move from family homes and strike out into the world knowing that the people we love are only a plane ride away. Maybe a day-long drive. But for all our nimble-ness, modern life does stretch us to make weird decisions.

Last week we had a few scares in the family. A trip to the emergency room. An uncertain diagnosis. Lots of crossed fingers and wait-and-see.

There is something depressing about having to make a decision about visiting critically ill family or considering the possibility of needing to attend a funeral. What scenario exists where you don’t feel like an ass-hat for saying I would have done both but we have work and school and blah blah blah.

It is a human reaction to want to be all things to everyone. I get that. Too bad that isn’t how life works. We have to put value on things that are priceless. Time is endlessly limited.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.


I’m so bad at this. I have zero parenting skills. I have no dog skills.

The dog is one hundred percent against all things. She tries to ruin things. She ate a hole in the carpet.

Carpet Hole

Potty training for Lady Bug is going just as well. We are on the fourth pair of panties today. One incident was a number two. Imagine squeezing chocolate through cheesecloth. Awful.

Our house needs major attention. We started cleaning the other day and wheeled out the vacuum. Lady Bug looked at it and tilted her head to one side, “What’s that?”

I feel it is safe to say that if your three year old child doesn’t recognize a vacuum, you might need to use it more. The ensuing wave of guilt pushed us to agree to a neighborhood yard sale that we were made aware of about a week before. To get ready we decided to clean and organize the garage. That should say a lot because if I had to choose between a yard sale and another vasectomy, I would pick the sale but only by a small margin.

I knew the garage was in bad shape. We live in a house that is too small for the six of us anyway and all extra boxes, toys, and junk gets pushed into the garage. A few years ago the garage door burned out the electrical circuits in the garage so we had even less incentive to keep it cleaned up since we quit using it as access to the house. It has been practically inaccessible for about six months. Cluttered for years. We prepared for a long day but I wasn’t ready to face the level of junk.
Hoarders have less. Here are a few of the highlights.


Each year we get four pumpkins for Halloween. Apparently we promptly throw them in the garage and forget they exist. We found a total of sixteen plastic pumpkins, six woven Easter baskets, and one Elmo head bucket.

Yard Sale

There was a pile of cardboard boxes that got completely out of hand. Half was diaper related. The other half consisted of boxes from Christmas presents, appliances, and miscellaneous purchases. Our garbage service requires everything to be in a bag for pickup. I am amused by the irony of having thirteen bags of boxes.

We have a lot of good things to sell. Some of it will be handmade pottery because we took lessons for four years and accumulated a metric ton of ceramic dishes. One day will be dedicated to sorting out mugs, plates, cups, bowls, and teapots.

If you are a disgusting human being, this post is for you. You’re welcome.


Also, Supermom glued her fingers together with superglue. Lol.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

The Art of Pinching A Loaf

I think repeatedly, “Don’t kill the dog. Don’t kill the dog. Don’t kill the dog.”

What is it about potty training a puppy that is so infuriating? Our new puppy is sitting around 50/50 for shitting in the house versus outside. I swear she stores it for the forbidden parts of the house. We follow the rules; crate-outside to pee – eat – go back outside after 20 minutes for poopy – playtime – nap time – potty – eat dinner – go back outside after 20 minutes for poopy – free play – pee before bed. Wake up if she is whining and go outside again. This is the routine. It is reliable. It works.

Except when it doesn’t. Which is 50% of the time. The primary problem is my dog and the fact that she is a yellow-bellied-Red-Badge-of-Courage-scared-of-her-own-shadow textbook pussy.

We will walk circles around the backyard looking for the perfect blade of grass to shit on and her butt hole will be puckered into a bag of hemorrhoids. A half opened airlock from a sci-fi movie. This is happening. Awesome. The perfect storm for a speedy dump which is good because the mosquitoes are usually eating me alive.

Just as the turtle head is starting to crown she will hear the whisper of a dog barking from seven blocks away. Probably the smallest dog on the Earth. Suddenly, the emerging turd sucks up like a landing gear and the tail locks down between her legs as she runs to the door, begging to go inside. She refuses to go back out but I can’t trust her to walk around on shore leave with a loaded gun. Five minutes later she is sniffing and circling in the living room so I take her back outside. Again something barely louder than a mouse fart spooks her into a panic constipation. At this point I lean down and talk to her like Americans talk to people who don’t understand English, I say “GO POOP!” loud enough that my neighbors can hear me through the fence. She looks at me with a blank stare.

We go back into the house and I am defeated. Supermom and I have a conversation about the pooping dog.

SM: Did she poop.

UD: No. She saw her shadow so six more weeks before a bowel movement.

SM: Maybe she doesn’t have to go.

UD: She was almost finished. She just needed to pinch it off and call it a day and she pulled it back up. Like a fucking snail retreating into its stinky shell. I swear if she shits in the living room I’m going to beat her until my hand hurts.

SM: She doesn’t know.

UD: Oh she knows…

She starts circling again. I grab the leash again and we go outside. Again.

This time the stars align and she has complete reverence from nature which allows her to poop. Suddenly I am very proud of her and want her to be positive about pooping outside. We celebrate and confirm how good of a girl she is. Judy Cornbread is totally excited about her accomplishment and races into the house to get her poop treat.

UD: Tell mommy how good you are Judy!

SM: *talking to the dog* Did you go poopy!?

UD: She did!


And we wait a few hours and do it all again.

If your dog has a shy anus, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Fluffy Murder and Summertime

They say that serial killers practice on animals to perfect their methods before starting with people. I wonder if the same can be said for gangsters. I noticed that Halbert the Penguin had been quiet lately and I wondered what he was up to. After all, a penguin who doubles as a pillow should be fairly popular and indeed he was until a few weeks ago.

It was early in the evening and I was playing “Where is that smell of puppy shit coming from?” and I ventured upstairs. There was no doubt I had located the puppy pile but something in the corner of the room caught my eye. Halbert the Penguin. He had clearly crossed someone very important and received his revenge.


Notice the blank stare of death in his little eyes.

I’ve never seen the damage from a chocolate milk shotgun. So violent. So much apparent suffering and carnage. All I can say is that I hope it was Qwik.

Come on people. Three paragraphs to set up a weak pun. Qwik… Chocolaty drink?  I am proud of myself.


Summer is in full swing around the Underdaddy lair. The kids have been doing loads of fun summer things. Swimming, horseback riding, playing iPads. The kind of things that all red blooded Americans should do. There are a couple of other things too…

Lizard Eggs

Collecting lizard eggs. I hope they are lizard eggs. Mamaw swears they are. Bold statement Mamaw, I hope you are right.


Throwing sleeping tantrums. Lady Bug has taken to laying down in the middle of stores for a quick recharge during shopping trips. I’m sure that some point in my past I would have been concerned about hygiene and third party opinions. Ehh.

We ate at a good pizza place. Pizza Rev. It works like subway but for pizzas and at the end of the line they oven fire the pizzas really fast. I’ve never seen a fast food pizza that is fresh made but they pulled it off. They have some sort of Oreo desert pizza that I think will get obesity levels near 90% if the word gets out on how delicious it is.


Supermom is still sending me fun texts during the day. I got this gem a few days ago. Have I mentioned that my entire parenting goals have been distilled into making sure the girls do anything besides drugs and prostitution? Yeah that is where I have the bar right now.


Oh I almost forgot. Supermom got to snuggle a baby yesterday. My nephew, you can call him Keanu. We had the family together and realized girls outnumbered the boys about 6 to 1. Little Keanu was snugly enough that I’m sure it stimulated some womanly hormone and we will have a new pet in a week or so. I’m glad we took care of the baby issue.

Anyway, that is my life over the past couple of weeks. Just living in fast forward in a house that stays destroyed and with kids who have gotten their last four baths via chlorine pool. Winning.

If you are trying to keep up with a speedy summer, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.