Saturday, August 26, 2006

Broccoli Afro, Vegetable Nemesis

I watched my son Gabriel hack and struggle through the greeny goodness of his broccoli the other day. He took a few moments to explain his ground rules for the vegetable.

"Mom says I have to eat the leaves, but I don't have eat the whole tree."

And true to his word, he was busily deforesting his forest of broccoli, chewing off the soft little leaves which comprised maybe a quarter of each broccoli stalk and leaving the huge fallen trunks to be thrown away.

In other words, my son only eats the part of the broccoli that I used to refer to as the "broccoli Afro". I do not use this designation any more because it is potentially offensive and because I'm terrified that one of my children will go to school and announce, "My dad says that I have to eat Afros because they're good for me."

Parents have interesting phobias.

I can't blame Gabriel for being cautious about vegetables. It turns out that everyone in the world has vegetable nemesis. Mine is beets. Put a plate of those purple bastards in front of me and I'll writhe and cry and possibly even throw up. And that's just from seeing them. I am constantly amazed that the only food really, really healthful for us is the food that no one really, deep down, likes eating.

While I considered this, I took Gabriel's forest of half-eaten broccoli trees down off the table and put them in the dog's dish. The dog came over for a second, sniffed the broccoli and gave me a look that said, "Sorry, dude, but I only eat the leaves."

It occurs to me that my dog will eat her own vomit, but she will not eat broccoli.

When I was young and wouldn't eat my beets, my grandmother used to talk about how much she liked vegetables, beets in particular.

She was lying.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Baz Truman is Back!

Editor’s Note:

For years, workers have suffered through the advice of pundits, over-achievers and corporate lackeys, some of whom have had only three or four jobs in their entire lives.

Wouldn’t it be better to get career advice from someone with experience at literally thousands of jobs?

Baz Truman thinks so. Since the early 1980s, Baz Truman has been working at and getting fired from more jobs in a week than most people get fired from in a lifetime. Baz’ single-minded determination to excel at his career - no matter the cost – has gotten him fired from some of the world’s biggest and brightest companies.

Look here for Baz Truman’s weekly career advice on matters ranging from sexual discrimination to Christmas parties. We hope you enjoy it.

The Most Fired Man in America
By Baz Truman

Dear Baz:

I’m the female telemarketer and I’ve become obsessed with one of co-workers. I think about him all the time and it’s begun to affect both my work and my happy marriage. Nothing has happened so far but that can’t last for long. What should I do?

Obsessed and Unhappy in Phoenix

Dear Obsessed and Unhappy in Phoenix:

You’re on the verge committing a colossal mistake that could potentially ruin your marriage and destroy your career, all for a few moments of pleasure with someone you probably have little in common with. You need to ask yourself a few important questions like, “Is it worth it?” and, more importantly, “How can I get away with this?”

Your next step is to signal your feelings to your co-worker. I would shy away from e-mail. From my experience, people tend to over-react when they get a few thousand e-mails. Try to be creative. Nothing, for instance, says “I like you” like mysterious panties sent via interoffice mail. I’ve also learned the hard way that mysterious new panties work better than mysterious old panties.

And finally, be strong. Once you’ve been fired and thrown out of your house, it’s easy to get pessimistic. Look on the bright side – you may be an adulterer but at least you’re not a telemarketer any more.

No need to thank me,


Friday, August 04, 2006

Big Breasted Baywatch Nights

My wife and I jog together now. We jog at night, partially because it’s cooler but also because the neighbors had a talk with my wife. I’m not sure what my jogging Speedo has to do with neighborhood property values, but my wife assures me that there’s a link.

We’re close enough to the beach to spend part of each run jogging there. As we pound down the sandy water line, I’m surprised by a few things.

I sweat a lot, for instance. And I mean A LOT. I sweat so much UNICEF should hire me to accompany Angelina Jolie to arid third world countries where I could just jog in a circle and sweat. Thirsty villagers could run behind me with earthen containers and catch the sweat and take it back to their families.

I’ve also noticed that despite giving birth to three babies, my wife is still hot – even while running. It reminds me of “Baywatch” – not seasons 10 and 11 where they decided to call it “Baywatch Hawaii” but more like the classic seasons 4 through 7 where you had Pamela Anderson and Yasmine Bleeth, both of whom were really good at, uh, running and being hot at the same time.

I feel just like David Hasselhoff in “Baywatch” when my wife and I run; I am entranced by the sight of beautiful, magnificent breasts bouncing in time to our cadence – until I realize that they are my big, beautiful breasts bouncing in time to my big, beautiful belly.

And then I really feel like David Hasselhoff.

It makes me hum the theme from “Baywatch” – not the official theme by Jimi Jamison, formerly of Survivor, but the original theme by Peter Cetera, formerly of the band Chicago.