Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Dinosaur Button

I got a nasty surprise while driving with my three kids this morning. Out of nowhere, Julian, the three-year old, busts out the question:

“Dad, where do babies come from?”

Naturally, I was taken aback. Like most parents I assumed that television was teaching my kids about sex and I could avoid having this uncomfortable conversation. I mean, what’s the point of letting my small, impressionable children watch “The OC”, if it’s not going to be educational?

Once I got over the shock of hearing the question, I think I handled the situation with aplomb. First, I steered off the sidewalk and back onto the road. Not only was this, strictly speaking, the “legal” thing to do, but the screams of the pedestrians were making it hard to formulate a good answer to my son’s question.

Inspiration hit me and without turning around (because, strictly speaking, facing the rear while driving forward is not “legal”), I said this to Julian:

“Julian, what’s your favorite dinosaur?"

In the rear-view mirror, I could see Julian doing something that can only be described as rebooting. I think I actually saw his eyes counting RAM.

“I like raptors!” he blurted out.

“Me, too.” I said. We talked about dinosaurs for an hour, but the subject of babies did not come up again. I had lucked into an amazing, new child rearing method. Potentially, I could avoid the baby discussion indefinitely.

I called Bridget to tell her about my amazing new breakthrough but she was not impressed.

“It’s called the Dinosaur Button,” she said. “All males have it.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I said.

“What’s your favorite dinosaur?

“Nice try,” I laughed. “I’m not a three year-old.”

Bridget waited.

“I like raptors!” I blurted out.

I don’t remember the rest of the conversation.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Cosmo Wife Fu Test

Last week, we discussed my wife’s use of something called “Wife Fu”. Essentially, Wife Fu is a series of techniques designed to render men incapable of attracting other women when out of the wife’s visual range. Does your wife or significant other practice Wife Fu? Take this test and find out:

Does your wife encourage you to over-eat before you go out?

Think it’s a coincidence that chili night always falls on night you’re going out with the guys? Before you have that fifth bowl, consider this; studies show that only 20% of unmarried women are attracted to men who look like they’re pregnant. That number drops to nearly zero if the guy with the swollen stomach is actually farting.

Does your wife buy your clothes?

My dad once came to a family cookout wearing a tiny Garfield the Cat shirt stretched tight over his stomach. My brother and I knew instinctively that he did not buy that shirt. Poor, ignorant bastard. It made us want to grab him by his rainbow-colored suspenders and yell, “Wake up!”

Does your wife insist that you take the mini-van when you go out?

Forcing you to drive the mini-van is like forcing you to wear a second wedding ring – a 20 foot wedding ring. Look behind you. Is there a child’s car seat? Congratulations, your “mac” game has been completely neutralized.

Does your wife insist that you take your child with you when you go out?

I find this to be one of the toughest Wife Fu techniques to deal with. Some of the finer strip clubs simply won’t let you bring in a toddler. But this Wife Fu can backfire on your significant other if you actually seem to be a good father. This is called the “Baby Daddy” principle. It means that you can actually be in a strip club with your kid and, as long as you seem to like your kid, you will actually be attractive to women – because you’re a good father.

I don’t make this stuff up, I just report it.

Extra Credit

Does your wife insist that you take blood pressure medicine – even though you don’t have a heart problem?

Are you rich? If so, this has nothing to do with Wife Fu and everything to do with Life Insurance Fu.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Marital Arts of Wife Fu

So my friend Matt and I went to a movie the other night. While we waited for the movie to begin, we discussed the kind of things grown men usually discuss – quantum physics and Sharon Stone.

My wife encourages me to hang out with Matt, who I’ve known since I was a kid, for exactly this reason. Left to our own devices, we usually end up loudly discussing something like comic books or video games.

My wife says that this effectively neuters me and diminishes the chances that other women might talk to me while I’m out. This, in turn, prevents these women from seducing me and breaking up my marriage. And this is just one of the many techniques my wife employs in her combination of science and mysticism that I call Wife Fu.

I’d scoff, but I’m just not getting seduced out there. It’s either Wife Fu or that fact that I’m thirty-nine now, sporting some grey hair and regularly need to shave my ears.

It’s gotta be the Wife Fu.

Let’s get back to Sharon Stone and quantum physics. Some quantum theories posit that the universe is filled with infinite alternate realities where all possible outcomes occur. There is, for instance, another reality where I don’t have ear hair. There is yet another reality where I have the ear hair but don’t shave it. I call this the “Reingold Reality” in honor of an art teacher I had in junior high.

It occurred to me the other night that if quantum theory is true, there is some reality where I actually saw “Basic Instinct 2” – and liked it.

Matt visibly shuddered and said something even more chilling.

“If quantum theory is true, then there’s an alternate reality where you spend your entire life doing nothing but watching “Basic Instinct 2”.

While we walked, I swear I saw women actually repelled away from us, like positive particles fleeing the orbits of positive electrons.

Next Week: The Top Signs That Your Wife is a Master of the Marital Arts of Wife Fu

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Dilla

I went for my annual battery of medical physicals recently. It usually takes me about a month to cycle through all the various medical, dental and dermatological appointments. It’s an odd way to spend your time because these appointments usually consist of hours and hours of magazine reading punctuated by brief bursts where you have to get naked in front of strangers.

And that’s just the dentist.

I try to be positive about this process, but it’s not like the news is getting better. This year I learned that I have high cholesterol levels. This means that not only do I have to change my diet, but I have to acclimate to the new kinds of conversations I’ll be having.

For example, there’s the conversation that I had with my mother.

Mom: What are you having for dinner?

Me: Well, Bridget and the kids are having cheese quesadillas.

Mom: Why aren’t you having cheese quesadillas?

Me: I’m trying to watch my cholesterol. Cheese is bad for your cholesterol.

Mom: You could always have a quesadilla without the cheese.

Me: ?

I believe I actually said “?”, which I’ve never done before. Then again, I’ve never considered eating only the outside of a quesadilla – the “dilla” – before.

Still, I have to ask, has my mother stumbled on to something? Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers have been trying in vain to make tasty diet food by substituting new-fangled but bland ingredients for the unhealthy but deliciously dangerous ingredients. What if your line of diet food just left out the bad stuff completely?

I’d write more about it, but I just ordered a Supreme pizza from Pizza hut – hold the meat, hold the cheese and hold the crust. I’m paying $15 bucks for a layer of peppers, onions and olives in box. Yes, I’m on a low cholesterol diet. But on the bright side, I still get to eat pizza.

I think my mom may be a genius.