Thursday, December 21, 2006

Once a Week. Whether You Like It or Not

I’m not bragging or anything, but Grim Richard gets a fair amount of e-mail and comments. True, most of this correspondence has the subject line “Four Inches in Six Months!”, but that’s indicative of nothing in particular. The readers in Grim Richard’s life haven’t had anything to complain about (wink) if you know what I mean.

Why? Have you heard something?

Actually, some of our readers have commented about the frequency of my posts and apparently my wife agrees because after reading my last entry, she casually dropped this bomb:

“You should write one of these every day.”

She smiled when she said this. I believe she regards these posts as a kind of bilious gas that builds up and must be released - followed almost immediately by an apology. I patiently explained the method to my madness.

“I used to post all the time. As I grow older, though, I’ve realized that quality is more important than quantity. So, instead of doling out a daily dose of dreck that depends mostly on double entendre and fart jokes, I like to give my readers one solid column every week on Thursday. Whether they like it or not. Unless I’m tired.”

“They have no idea how lucky they are,” my wife said dryly.

I am nothing, however, if not attentive. Commencing immediately, Grim Richard readers can subscribe to the Grim Richard notification service. Simply e-mail me at and I’ll make sure that you get an e-mail whenever a new post goes up.

And don’t worry about being spammed. It requires a kind of dedication I’m just not willing to give.

Just ask my wife.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Great Herds of Babysitters

So my wife and I decided to go on a date. This required a baby sitter because it’s against the law to leave young children at home unless they’re shepherded by someone wiser, more stable and more logical than the tots.

Or you can pay a teenager. This is the route we chose and it was not an easy one. Any parent can tell you that babysitters are rare and hard to find – like unicorns or the Fountain of Youth. Actually, babysitters are even harder to find. You will actually stumble upon unicorns peeing in the Fountain of Youth before you find a teenager willing to accept a lot of money for watching television and occasionally yelling at the kids.

Ironically, I do this every day for free.

When I was a kid, great moving herds of babysitters used to cover the landscape. When my parents needed a babysitter, they merely stepped outside, waved our cable bill to prove we had HBO, and – BAM! – they had three or four babysitters willing to take a dollar an hour to watch three kids. The babysitting herds have largely disappeared now. I blame global warming and Chik-Fil-A.

We lucked out eventually and the daughter of a friend agreed to watch our kids. We picked the babysitter up and drove her to our house where she immediately began watching MTV. Our kids began jumping around, giddy as they pictured the amount of damage they were going to cause in the next few hours.

Before we left, my wife and I took a few bittersweet moments to walk around the house and say goodbye to the personal belongings we cherished the most. Bridget and I paused on the threshold to kiss our children and ask one last question of this rare creature called the babysitter. She didn’t answer or even look away from the television.

No doubt, like us, she was dreaming of a different time; a time when there were only twenty channels on television and only parents were allowed to exploit the cheap labor of teenagers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Killer Pie

I haven’t posted since Thanksgiving two weeks ago, but I have an excuse. I can neither button my pants nor bend in the middle like most human beings. I think this has something to do with the 27 pieces of pumpkin pie, but I’m just guessing.

I wouldn’t have eaten that much pumpkin pie normally. During the holidays, though, I think irrationally. When I see pumpkin pie, for instance, there’s always this little voice that says, “What if it’s another year before you get another chance to eat pumpkin pie?

If I successfully ignore that voice, another ups the ante by saying, “Anything could happen between now and next year. There could be pumpkin plague for all you know. What if you never get another chance to eat pumpkin pie?”

Which brings me to killer whales.

In San Antonio recently, a killer whale at Sea World suddenly turned on his trainer and attacked him. Experts chimed in with various theories concerning hormones and – I’m not kidding about this – killer whale sexuality. Apparently, this particular animal was “approaching his breeding age.”

I’d love to see this trainer’s My Space page. “I spend a large part of my day swimming in a pool with a horny killer whale. Before I get in, though, I like to put on a black wetsuit so that the animal can’t tell whether I’m a human, a harbor seal or another, less dominant killer whale. While I’m in the pool, I force him to perform tricks before I feed him.”

Still, I have my own theory about this attack and it has little to do with sexuality and everything to do with the holidays. I can almost picture the trainer tentatively dipping his toe in the pool. I picture the killer whale across the pool nonchalantly performing flips and spins on cue. All the while, he’s thinking this:

“What if I never get another chance to eat a trainer?”