Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now, That's Amazing!

So, this is the kind of week that my wife had:

She decided to visit an upscale vitamin store near our city's center in order to buy a natural remedy of some kind. I've never been there, but my wife describes it as a holistically beautiful store with quiet, soothing music and delicious fragrances wafting through the air. It's like a Starbucks but with more drugs. My wife was so intent on getting her natural remedy that she broke the cardinal rule for preserving soothing, relaxing environments.

She took my my kids.

I'd like to say it started out well, but it didn't. My four year-old son skipped into the store happily, took a moment to get oriented in the beautifully designed, healthy environment and then he vomited. Literally. We have no idea why. Strangely enough, the health professionals at the store were not happy to see this potential client and when my family left, my wife looked behind to see a salesperson propping open the door to let air in.

A few days later, our family went to a pizza parlor. A friend of my seven year-old son accompanied us. During the middle of the meal, while the kids played with Star Wars action figures, Gabriel's friend entertained us with a rap song. I didn't listen closely at first, because I'm a Public Enemy fan and I like to kick it old school. Also, by now I think the shorties understand I'm the sickest MC.

Still, on his second time through the rap, I noticed that my wife and most of the other patrons in this restaurant were staring in the direction of this kid. And that's because one of his rhymes has just ended with the word "whore". Later, after my red-faced wife had explained why that word is bad, she whispered to me, "I'm amazed at what comes out of kid's mouths these days."

I shrugged because this sounded like something an old person would say.

A few days later, my family and I sat down at another restaurant. The food was great. My two year-old daughter Riley loved the food most of all. She ate all of her fries, she ate most of her grilled cheese sandwich and she even helped herself to a generous portion of Julian's macaroni and cheese.

Then Riley turned to my wife and started upchucking on her. This was no regular upchucking either. It manifested itself like an elaborate magic trick. Everything came out compartmentalized, neat and in reverse order. First, the mac and cheese came, followed by the grilled cheese. Then we saw some of lemonade Riley had quaffed just after her fries. Finally, the fries came out, too. It was like someone had drilled a core sample on my daughter's stomach and neatly deposited a geographic history of her meal in my wife's lap.

My wife looked really stressed while she cleaned up the mess and I wanted to say something helpful.

"You were right," I said.

"About what?" she asked as she grabbed extra napkins.

"It really is amazing what comes out of kids' mouths these days."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Terrifying Amish Games

Most parents are dismayed by the amount of time kids spend online, watching television or playing video games. Not me. I prefer that they relax with some "Grand Theft Auto". I encourage them to watch MTV's "Cribs". Heck, I encourage them to steal my credit card and play online poker.

My reasoning is simple: If technology doesn't entertain my kids, they get all Amish on me and start making up their own terrifying, non-tech games.

It's true. One of my favorites so far has been the classic "Ask Dad a Question While He's on the Toilet" game. The rules are simple. Ignore Dad until he goes into the bathroom and locks the door. Wait for the fan to come on and then start messing with door knob. When he yells, "I'm in here!," start asking questions. The first question should always be "Dad, what are you doing?," but any question after that is fair game.

Now that my children are 7,4, and 2 respectively, they've designed a terrifying new game to play when they're not watching television. It's called "Let's Catch Mommy and Daddy Doing It".

Warning: the rest of this essay may include frank discussion of the ways that parents express their love for each other. The mental images generated by this kind of discussion can result in light sensitivity, motion sickness or seizures. Before reading on, try saying a sentence that includes the phrases "my parents" and "open-mouthed kiss". If this makes you a little queasy, please do not continue.

Editor's Note: I, for instance, tasted a little Hamburger Helper just writing that sentence. But I will soldier on.

"Let's Catch Mommy and Daddy Doing It" is, at its core, a hunting game. Any time you suspect your mother or father are sharing a moment of intimacy, it is your job to track them down, bypass any obstacles they've set up, burst in and destroy any sense of privacy that they've built.

My kids are good at this game and getting better. I want to explain to them that winning this game might ultimately scar them for life. I want to explain that even their mother and I feel uncomfortable being there, but we sorta have to be. My kids can win this game, but only in the sense that the Nazis won when they discovered the Lost Ark of the Covenant.

I hope they come to their senses before it's too late. Meanwhile, the hunt goes on.

Me: Did you lock the bedroom door, the outer bathroom door, the inner bathroom door and the front door?
Wife: Check.
Me: Did you turn on that "South Park" episode we never wanted them to watch, threaten them with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and close their door?
Wife: Of course I did. I also turned on our radio, stuffed shirts under the door and spent the entire week practicing how to enjoy myself without raising my voice above a whisper.
Me: Good....wait...what was that noise? Was that the door knob? Omigod! I think they're breached the outer perimeter!
Wife: Oh god! They just keep coming. Why won't they leave us alone? What do they want? Aaaaaaaaaaiiaiaiaiaiia.....

Final Editor's Note: Sorry about the graphic imagery in this post, but I would like to point out that I'm the first writer in the history of the world to ever use the phrases "Amish", "Nazis" and "open-mouthed kiss" in the same piece. People better recognize.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Waxy Ellis Island

I have many good excuses for why I haven't updated in a few weeks, but the best one is this:

I have been growing a beard and it's taken all of my concentration.

I know. I know. I also thought that beard growing was a hands-off process. One simply stopped shaving and before long one had a beard that would make Grizzly Adams look on in shame and cause two thirds of ZZ Top to blush with envy.

But I have discovered a truth. I am like a tree and my beard is like moss - it will not grow on one half of my face. After two weeks of dedicated growing, my left cheek sports a burly mountain man look and my right cheek...well, it looks like the right cheek of a high school sophomore who's trying to grow a beard. A female high school sophomore who's trying to grow a beard, actually.

This bothered me at first. It's not like I lack the follicles to produce hair. In fact, if I quit pruning my right eyebrow, right ear and right nostril, I'm fairly sure hair would o'er run the right side of my face like Kudzu in Georgia.

Until now, in fact, I've wondered why I started growing hair is those places and now I know. The follicles left my cheek and immigrated to new lands. I have immigrant follicles and my ears are like a really, really waxy Ellis Island.

I'm assuming these immigrant follicles are growing hair in places where the original hairs refused to grow hair. Naturally, this demands some sort of political intervention or policy. I'm considering a wall...

Editor's Note: We have an actual domain now. Grim Richard's Irregulars can now be reached Please feel free to try out our new address...leave it on cocktail napkins in seedy bars...vandalize park benches with it.