Humor

Tidbits and Errata

I have an accumulation of randomness that I always think, “Hey this would make for a good blog.” But then I realize that I would have to type out one every day and I’m not at the point in my life where I have time for that. So here is a smattering of photos and the thoughts attached to them. Enjoy.

Of all the fun word games that are available to modern adults, my favorites are “That’s What She Said” and “That Was My Nickname in High School”.  The other day I was shopping in Walmart and while perusing the French Fries I had an excellent “That Was My Nickname in High School” opportunity. I was totally and utterly alone. So, I took a picture.

IMG_1928

We have been waiting for weeks for school photos to come back. We sent the kids to school somewhat unpolished on Picture Day because we didn’t remember it was Picture Day. I secretly prefer awkward pictures because that makes them worth looking at fifteen years down the road. Donna Threeto did not disappoint. Prima did a good job too.

IMG_1945

Like she had no idea what was going on or who these people with strange objects are. 

IMG_1946

Another epic photo that I came across in my newsfeed came from a language barrier. It is a thought provoking piece that should serve as a warning to all the young men and women who get inspirational quotes tattooed on their body in strange foreign languages. Just know that what you think says, “Love, Life, Laughs” might actually be the Chinese characters that say something like “Sperm Dumpster”. It would only be fair repayment of the untruths we release on the world. Somewhere in Africa there are entire villages clothed in T-shirts that claim the Atlanta Falcons won the last Super Bowl. Now imagine that you have a cute pinchy-cheeked child and he gets a free hat from America! What a generous and benevolent country! Happy Day! I think this kid lives in Vietnam.

Motivational

If you laughed at this photo you have an ethical and moral obligation to visit fredcolton.wordpress.com 

I have had to say goodbye to something that was part of my life for as long as I can remember. It functioned in the background. A supporting role. I dare say I took it for granted. Then my mother sent me a picture of it on the day it died. Standing next to it was the replacement. Staring her down. Mocking her death and degrading her service to our family. How could you?

IMG_1936

I grew up thinking everyone used old plastic jugs as sugar storage.

The free market system does a great job of reflecting society. I live in the south. While at lunch at a Mexican restaurant last week I had a chance encounter that perfectly captured southern priorities. There was a claw machine in the front lobby. A variation of the claw machine where prizes hang by a string and the claw is a dull scissor device. It is such a scam that there is actually a note on the machine explaining that the scissor might not cut the string on the first try. The prizes include a DeWalt Drill.

Redneck_Claw

How is this not gambling?

Have you ever said a common word slowly or repeatedly and realized that it starts to lose its identity. Like margarine. Mar-ga-rine. MAR-JAR-RINN. Butter’s replacement. Margarine. Look at the word. Is it even spelled right? Who the hell knows. When you get too close to something that you should breeze by and only view peripherally, it overloads your brain and life unravels. The world ceases to make sense. I felt like that recently when examining my smashed pinkie toe. It started to look like an Orc finger and I had an out of body experience.

IMG_1943

Holy shit. Look at that thing. 

I have also been delving into a little family history. I learned that my Grandfather was a gansta-ass-boss-playa from day one of busting outta the mutha-fuckin womb. Rolling hard on his foes and never hesitating to bust a cap in multiple asses. All the while never staining his socks or letting a single strand of his luxurious hair become mussed.

OG

Seen here riding a “Try Me” cycle. 

If you like a good dose of random musing, this post is for you. You’re welcome. I didn’t even mention the new dog. Then again, that subject is deserving of its own dedicated post. Until next time.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane Harvey jacked up Texas. Irma pummeled Florida. Jose might smash New York. Yellowstone has earthquake swarms rolling around getting people all worried about a super volcano. Montana is burning to the ground. The sun just launched some solar flares and a G3 magnetic storm. A ship just passed through the Arctic without the help of an ice breaking vessel. HBO still hasn’t offered to bring back Dexter. I got served pulling into my driveway. My kid crop dusted me in Walmart. Plus kids in school are expensive, how do private school families make it work? Selling organs?

Let’s start with Walmart. We had a normal bi-annual lapse in judgement and took all four kids shopping. They reminded us why anxiety medications exist. The highlight was when Prima farted in the snack aisle and I thought she crapped her pants. The smell crept up and slapped me in the face. I was tired and annoyed by that point in our trip and I exclaimed out loud, with very little forethought, “Jesus, who just shit their pants?” I caught side-eye from a passing family and an arm punch from my wife. They were judging me but they didn’t have to bear the smell. I was there. It was straight toxic fumes off a hot turd nugget. Poo particles lingered in my nose. Offensive. I can’t believe the kids were still picking snacks off the shelf and talking about which ones tasted better. I was trying to maintain my balance and avoid vomiting. Those kids should work in the medical field or the sanitation industry.

Whats next? Oh yeah.

I realized that we need to move. I’m driving home the other day and there are several kids playing basketball in the street in front of my house. Not unusually because we live on a cove. As my car approached this one kid turns to face me and starts making weird symbols with his hands. I had the benefit of a high class public education so I know some gang signs when I see them. I believe the term when I was in school was “stacking”. I also remember that kids who learned about throwing gang signs would play around with it and try to act cool in front of their friends. I am certain that this kid was doing the same thing – just trying to be cool for his friends. The sad part is that he was maybe ten years old. After I pulled into my driveway I asked him if he was making gang signs with his hands. He told me he just felt like holding them that way. His friends giggled and didn’t make eye contact. Maybe I was wrong and he really did have awkward hand positions. I hate assuming the worst but being a parent makes me a cautious cynic.

A couple of days after my encounter with unconventional sign language we decided to go out and ride bikes as a family. Prima, who has no sense of how she is perceived, was racing in circles on her pink bike while wearing a bright unicorn helmet. Two of the neighborhood boys were playing basketball and she kept riding through the middle of their game. Each pass she would try to strike up a conversation. Only it didn’t sound like that was her goal. She never meets a stranger and says exactly what she is thinking. She doesn’t adjust her tone for anyone and often sounds like an asshole. One of the boys had removed his sandals and left them laying in the road.

She told the boys, “Whose shoes are in the road? You better move them before they get run over.” She stared directly at them with wide eyes and an emotionless face. She might as well have been Pennywise the Clown asking if they wanted to play a game. It sounded like, “Move your shoes asshole before I move them for you.” Playful in that aggressive kind of style. I would say that she will catch a punch one day but she is so much taller than kids her age that I bet she gets away with it for a while. Until middle school anyway.

Speaking of school, I don’t know if she will make it to middle school in the public system. We may have to home school. The totally free public school is expensive. I have tried to make a mental note of all the things we buy or assist with or fund-raise for. I understand the causes on an individual level but collectively, with four children, it all gets to be a lot. Below are the extra-curricular things and my notes on them:

 

T-Shirts – Raising money for the playground. Always the playground.

Jackets – I like the jackets. No negativity with this one. They have monogrammed names on the back.

Smart Cards -I always pay and never remember to use the damn thing. Mine is an idiot card.

Uniform Charity Extortion – This one is interesting. If the students donate to a specific charity then they are allowed to deviate from system-wide uniform standards on Fridays. Lesson => Money creates different rules. I’m not sure how I feel because it is a real-life lesson that holds true. I bribe them with money all the time. And soda. I’m the worst.

Charity Snacks – Carrying snacks to a nearby school that is also public but somehow has a high ratio of lower income bracket students?

Book Club – Fully support this one. They need a book writing club. Story club.

Book Fair – On the fence about this one. It is a sale of books inside of the library. They are selling books in a huge room dedicated to free books. Anyone? No one? Carry on.

Shoe Box Dioramas – We always get reminded of these projects the night before and spend fifty dollars at Walmart for them to make something that looks like we spent fifty cents. I refuse to do projects because I have enough projects of my own.

Ice Cream Money – Why not? We can’t send cupcakes or sugary snacks for birthday celebrations. Damn healthy rules. Thanks Mrs. Obama.

Math-A-Thons – Money for solving math problems. Again, this mirrors life so probably is fine.

Dance-A-Thons – Money for physical exertion. I need someone to pay me to move around more.

Yearbooks – They don’t even make them hardbacked anymore. The last set that came home looked like the recipe books that church ladies put together to sell at the bazaar. And do kids even sign each other’s yearbooks anymore? I remember all the fun things that I used to write. Stay cool.   I signed your crack.    I’ve waited all year to disclose my undying love and here we are at the edge of summer so maybe we will be in the same class next year and I can continue to choke down these feelings.)

Butterbraids — Fund raiser where parents have to figure out the logistics of delivering frozen treats.

Picture Day – Two to three times in a year; Uniforms, Casual Clothes, Class Photos. I enjoy seeing how the children will find new ways to ruin the world’s easiest photo shoot.

Bake Sales – I love cake. These are easy because you can buy some cookies at Walmart, throw them on a paper plate, and wrap them with Saran Wrap. Boom. Good to go.

Spirit Night – I felt misled. This was not about whiskey as I had hoped.

Baseball Nights – Joining the great American pastime. If only my kids cared about Baseball. They have dollar beer sometimes which could be problematic.

Ads for the Yearbook – Show how much you love your child by buying a second picture with a personalized message. If the printing is sponsored by ad sales, can we at least have hardback editions? This plastic spiral bound this is bothering me.

Christmas Toy Boxes – One year we shipped these toy boxes over seas. I had real distress over what would be appropriate to put in the box. I didn’t want to make assumptions. Do they need batteries and flashlights or hand sanitizer? Or candy? Or C vitamins to prevent blindness like that Sally Struthers commercial? It is a lot or pressure trying to be the light of the free world. Do you put too much stuff and then another kid with a shitty box feels cheated by the inconsistencies of America?


We have parent-teacher conference tomorrow and those are always fun. They give us unrealistic suggestions like setting aside quiet study areas and practicing spelling words. That is some only-child advice. Reality at our house is different. There are six of us trying to watch Henry Danger in the living room over a plate of spaghetti in our laps while we keep the dog away from our garlic bread. Quiet isn’t going to happen. We do practice spelling words though -when they actually bring the list home. Children are terrible students sometimes.

I don’t know if any of this was coherent or worth reading but I feel better. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Total Eclipse of the Part

The Perseid Meteor showers are gracing our skies this weekend. YouTube conspiracists promise the brightest showing in modern history sprinkled with end-of-all-humanity. I haven’t bothered to Google the event because it is partly cloudy here and I probably won’t get to see the action. Plus, we are only on Episode 9 of Season 3 in The Flash. The binge watch is real. I have become addicted to the characters more so than the plot lines but it is a fun show with some good complexity so I will keep watching. My dishes may lie dirty in the sink. My laundry may live in limbo between the floor and the dryer. My friends and family may report me missing and fear I have died but I know one thing… I will find out if Barry and Iris are really meant to be. This means that I probably will fail to notice the setting sun and I will wake up in the recliner, having completely missed the world’s most impressive meteor shower. Thank you Netflix.

That will be okay because on August 21st there will be a full solar eclipse. I plan on watching that event with my family. Our only decision to make regarding the solar eclipse is where we are going to watch and how we can avoid being part of an Interstate National Disaster. Experts expect millions of people to flock to the “Totality” zone where the eclipse will be an absolute darkening of the sun instead of 90% in the 100 miles adjacent. The ensuing traffic jam promises to become a disaster urban legend. I must decide if we will brave the migration of sky-watchers or settle for something less than amazing. My track record suggests the latter. I buy generic coffee for my Keurig because it is “good enough”. We clean out our van when we become unsure of “that crunching sound”. We are, generally, terrible at self-motivation and superstars at procrastination. (I’ll write a blog on that topic tomorrow.)

Not this year. We are cramming in some quality family memories. We are going to Disney in October. That should be amazing and exhausting. We will take pictures with every character that we encounter. We will buy the fifty-dollar, plastic and felt Mickey Ears Hat. We will be the best parents that selective photo posts on Facebook will allow.

As a warm-up, we are going to watch the solar eclipse in nine days. We might even try for a dinner together as a family afterwards. Anything is possible. No pain no gains.

I’m excited about the solar eclipse. I hope it makes a special memory for the girls and they aren’t preoccupied with having to go pee or wanting to listen to silly songs on XM radio. That is expecting a lot from a demographic group that mistreats toys but insist on playing for hours with empty Tupperware. Maybe the memory will be more powerful in their future adult brains.

I remember the first time that celestial objects seemed like real things. Not just bright spots in the sky. My sister and I went with our Grandmother on a road trip to Indiana to visit family. My Aunt and Uncle had a really cool house with a heated pool and a next-door neighbor who played football for the Colts. One night we were in the backyard laying on the trampoline, staring at the stars. My uncle pointed out a star that was moving faster than the other stars across the sky. “That’s a satellite”, he told me. It was a cool moment. It moved space and satellites from something imaginary to something I could observe and understand. We watched at least ten more objects coast across the sky over the next couple of hours. I hope the eclipse will do something similar for my girls. Of course, I will probably leave out all the dirty jokes my uncle was telling while we stared up at the heavens. I doubt the girls would appreciate tales of frogs who perform sexual favors or dogs who lick themselves and the old men who say, “You better pet him first.” I thought the jokes were hilarious. They were a hit at school later that fall. Thanks Uncle J.

If you enjoy the wonders of the cosmos and dirty jokes, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Late Night Raid

Sometimes my analytical mind gets me into trouble. I reason through problems, unchecked by pesky facts. As long as my thoughts are logical from one point to the next then I feel reasonably satisfied that the end result will be okay. That is not always a reasonable assumption.

Example.

I know that the exterior doors on my house have weather stripping to prevent air leakage from inside to outside. Those plastic-coated foam inserts seat firmly against the door and keep cooling costs to a minimum. Surely there is not a better seal available outside of bank vaults and the doors on aircraft. Air tight.

I also know that there are spiders in my garage. I walk into webs every time that I decide to go outside to find a tool (Allen Wrench) to repair a household item (stop the squeaking of children’s furniture). The spiders live in every crack and crevice. I know that dispersing a gas and allowing it to soak into each crack and crevice might be an effective approach.

I also know that the warning on Raid Bug Bombs suggests that “people and pets be removed from the residence for a period of not less than four hours” and that “upon returning to the residence, ventilate area for a minimum of thirty minutes”. A powerful warning and wise advice.

However, I remembered that the door to my garage has weather stripping and there are spiders in my garage. These two facts made me confident that I could disregard the instructions on a Raid Bug Bomb because, thanks to the door, my garage is outside my house. A) House is safe. B) Spiders must die. Thereby and heretofore there is no actual threat to the pets and residents inside the house and insofarsuchto the arachnids will perish.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Holy shit dude. What if some of that bug nerve gas seeps in through the cracks in the weather stripping around that air-tight door? It could wipe out your entire family. Not a problem. I learned enough in my freshman year of college to understand how to correctly tape the edge of a door frame. My RA didn’t smell any pot. These bugs will be sealed to their fates. Which I did with packing tape right after I deployed the Bug Bomb in the garage at 7:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night while the dog and children played in the nearby living room. Yay! I make decisions!

The moment that the last piece of door tape had been applied I started to have second thoughts. Maybe they could be described more accurately as Delayed-First-Thoughts. Thing like, “Hmmm, is this a good idea?” and “Maybe 7:00 at night was a bit late in the day for an experiment.” I began to implement some additional safety measures. I decreed the bonus room as off-limits because it was directly above the garage. I started to think about the attic space not being separated from the garage at the soffits. I began to think about the fan for the air conditioner that was located in the attic and how the aluminum cover on the circulation unit is not exactly air-tight. I became convinced that I had not only accidentally exposed my family to a deadly nerve agent but that I had injected this poison with ninja-like precision. I started having ghost pains in my chest.

Thirty minutes later, while walking through the living room, I smelled a faint odor of fresh flowers. Similar to using six dryer sheets with a load of towels on high heat.

“Hey Supermom…”

“What?”, with an eyeroll.

“Walk by the stairs and tell me if you notice anything.”

Big sigh as she sets down her Kindle, “Hmmm, not really.”

“Do you smell something like dryer sheets?”

“Sort of. I don’t know. Maybe.”

I decided that to be safe I would venture outside and walk by the garage to see if any similar odors were present. They were. Strongly. Bigly.

Fuck.

I went back into the house. “Honey. Get the kids dressed and grab some iPads.”

“Where are we going?”

“Walmart parking lot for three hours I guess.”

“What about the dog?”

“We rescued her and let her sleep at the foot of our bed. It’s been a good life. If she doesn’t make it then that is a burden I will have to bear.”

“Okay.” Shoulder shrug.

 

So… we evacuated our house to Walmart parking-lot-purgatory while Supermom read her kindle and wondered why she married me or allowed me to reproduce with her so often. After about an hour we had all had enough and decided to return home and welcome death with open arms.

Upside – The house smelled amazing and the spiders in the garage were definitely dead. Live and learn.

If you are an idiot and bug bombed your residence with a total disregard for safety or directions, this post is for you. I hope you killed your spiders. You’re welcome.

 

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Party Pegasus

Lady Bug recently had her birthday weekend. A two day run of festivities. We celebrated the birthday weekend because of parenting guilt for not preparing a party or bothering to bake a cake. In fact, we had no real plans for how to celebrate with our four-year-old until about two days before her big event.

As the day broke we realized that something must be done. When I got home from work everyone loaded up into the car for a trip to Toys R Us. Up and down the aisles looking at all manner of cheap plastic shit to step on. Why do we constantly buy this stuff? Each child selected something that they couldn’t live without and the birthday girl got a larger budget than the others. A total first-world way to handle the issue. Once everyone is satisfied with their selection we pay the lady at the front and get into the van. The children immediately open the new toys and lose 53% of all the accessory trinkets in each box.

All that shopping made us hungry so we went to the number one choice for when mommy says, “I don’t care..” when asked where to eat. Cracker Barrel. It was 7:40 at night so we hoped the dinner rush was finished. As we pulled in the parking lot I noticed a charter bus with a large Cruisin-for-Christ logo down the side. I don’t suppose the logo is relevant to the story other than I found it humorous as I imagined what road tripping for the lord in a charter bus and stopping at the Cracker Barrel actually looked like. I found out. Inside the lobby was a group of 40+ septuagenarians who refused to group up and share tables so they were being sat two at a time. I was disappointed. I feel that Jesus would have encouraged sharing of tables. Especially in the midst of a cruise in his honor. BDAY2

I could see that my family of six was out of luck for quick eats. We had to fall back to the always decent second choice of Olive Garden. The only place that I go into with the intent of eating soup and salad and end up bingeing on every carb ever created. This trip went exactly like that. Pasta speaks to me in a dark and romantic language. As I crammed the last scorched end of a buttery breadstick down into my stomach I remembered that we promised ice cream as desert. The girls were smart enough not to touch their dinner while I ate like a land based catfish; hovering over uneaten scraps. Shoveling the precious pasta into my pie-hole.

Once I felt totally defeated from the inside out I sat in my self-loathing for a few moments until I overheard a conversation that was happening a couple of booths down. A grandmother person was angry at a child person and was berating her. The child spilled a drink and it ran off the table into this grandmother person’s purse. Grandma proceeded to pepper the child with frustration and f-bombs to the point I thought she was going to become physically violent. The mother of the child was there but remained silent. Obviously, she was a victim of the same type of abuse. It was very disappointing to watch.

I noticed my girls starting to stare at the action and I got their attention.

UD: See that lady. (I pointed)

Kids: Yes.

UD: No one should ever talk to you like that.

Kids: Okay daddy.

UD: Don’t let them!

Kids: We won’t.

UD: There’s a second part…

Kids: What?

UD: Don’t ever treat anyone like that. No matter how frustrated or mad you get. Look around. I mean it. Everyone here has an opinion of that woman now and it isn’t a good one. Her kids will grow up thinking that treating people that way is normal. You can’t be part of that.

Kids: Okay.

UD: I love you girls.

Kids: Love you too daddy.

They seemed to understand that not all people are nice and that calling a child a “stupid little f*ck” is generally in poor taste. It was hard to get out of my head because those scenarios are tricky. I have trouble deciding on action because nothing big will change and my saying something might make a bad situation worse for the child. I do report people who are really shitty but I don’t confront people directly as often as I would like. We paid off the Italian overlords and got up to leave.

As I lumbered into the parking lot, smelling like garlic and shining from the greasy glow of alfredo sauce, I realized that I would need a minute before heading to the ice cream shop. We went to the literary purgatory known as Books-A-Million. Everyone got a book because of course they did. I turn my back for one minute and they had made their selections. I didn’t really turn my back. I actually took a dump in the world’s most uncomfortable bathroom. The only stall is handicap accessible which means the door is five feet away so you already feel like you are pooping in the middle of a room but the extra gaps in the partition walls really help bring the feeling home. When you can make eye contact through the small gaps in the wall and feel the social impulse to wave or do the head nod thing, I think the gap is too big. Toilets should be caves of solitude. Regardless, I am a man of action. A second critique of the bathroom… washing up I learned that the water pressure at Books-A-Million is amazing. The slightest turn of the knob ignited a geyser that soaked my pants in the general region where incontinence would have done the same. I returned to the sales floor with a large wet stain on the front of my pants and I tried to not make eye contact with the gentleman who ventured into the bathroom and stared at me through the partition gap.

I was more than ready when we left for ice cream. Not just any ice cream. The good place where they mix all the candy you want into the most glutinous pile of sweet cream ever scooped. My children have a terrible habit of touching, licking, or face pressing any glass display cases that they come across. The only problem is that other kids do the same. I noticed Donna Threeto sliding her hand across the glass just in time to tell her that I think she ran her hand through a smeared and dried booger. It was crusty and slightly green. What did she do? Smelled her hand and then licked it. I suppose to see if I told her the truth. I don’t even try to understand anymore. All the girls devoured their ice creams and we realized that it was way past bedtime so we started for home.

We managed to bribe the kids into bed solely on the fact that we still had birthday festivities the next day. We had promised a night at the movies to see Captain Underpants. I started to question the whole birthday weekend concept.

BDAY3

Captain Underpants was exactly the kind of movie that it promised to be. Fart humor. Funny banter. Crazy plot lines. Everyone had a good time. We snuck in some half -filled bags of candy and finished them off with popcorn once we got settled. Lady Bug set her bag down beside her chair and during the movie she started reaching down beside her seat by muscle memory to find her popcorn. Her eyes were glued to the screen. The bag fell away at some point and I noticed that Lady Bug was still reaching down beside her seat and eating something she picked up. Further investigation showed that she was eating the long forgotten pieces of old popcorn that fell between the seats sometime within the last five years. I only put the time limit of five years because surely, they manage to vacuum the seats at some interval? I shuddered in the darkness and then told her to stop eating the seat treats. What else could I do at that point? Charcoal, induce vomiting, stomach pumping? I leaned over towards Supermom.

UD: (in a whisper) I think Lady Bug just ate old seat popcorn.

Supermom: Nice.

UD: I told her to stop.

Supermom: Good.

 

The movie ended. We left the theater and Supermom decided that she needed a new bathing suit for going to the river the next day. We went to Target just before closing time; with four children who were jacked up on Sprite, popcorn, and a movie about flying around in underpants.

BDAY5

It was a test of my patience. It also tested my humility because my job was to take pieces of the swimsuits back to the rack and exchange sizes as needed by Supermom. The only worse job would be taking the four girls tampon shopping and having to explain the features of all the wings and strings and where each might fit in their future active lives.

BDAY4

I thought we were nearing the end of the punishment when Lady Bug announces that she needs to poop. Supermom disappeared to the bathroom with Lady Bug. I was left holding a striped blue swimsuit top while standing near the entrance like a creeper guy who got a job as a greeter. If Target even bothered with greeters. Honestly the store feels a little too arrogant for that. A few minutes later Supermom emerged with the blank stare of a parent who is done for the day. The exact same stare I had for the previous 45 minutes. Turns out the seat popcorn might have triggered diarrhea. Awesome.

At that point I knew we had achieved birthday success. It started with indulgence. Progressed through entertainment. Ended with shitting of pants in a Target bathroom. The tale of all good birthdays!

If you enjoy a good celebratory binge, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.