Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ultra Dog

As I predicted mere weeks ago, an attempt was made to insert a new dog into the Grim Richard family - a new dog we didn't need. Luckily, I sensed the attempt, put my foot down and let everyone in the family know that I'm against getting a puppy.

So, anyway, it's a Boston Terrier.

The black and white three pounder has already completed two-thirds of the demonic puppy trifecta. She vomited on my son Gabriel about 30 minutes after meeting him and peed on our kitchen ceramic tile later that night. She hasn't done the dirtiest dog deed in the house yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time. I'm am not fooled by her exaggerated comic galumphing around the house. I know she is plotting to poop in the house as soon as I let my guard down.

I saw this dog thing coming a mile away. So I prepared myself for the intrusion. I prepared myself for the mess. But there is one thing I was less than prepared for.

I love this freakin' dog.

It actually delights me to see her sliding around on our ceramic tile. It makes me happy deep in my heart to see her prancing and gamboling with my children. I'm not saying this ironically, either. I love this freakin' dog.

Let me demonstrate how weird I'm feeling about this dog. Remember when I said that the puppy peed on our ceramic tile? I actually thought it was cute because she didn't squat. She bowed down into a kind of dainty plie - like a ballet dancer - and did her business.

I think that's interesting. If an actual ballet dancer did a plie and then peed on my floor, I'd be horrified. But if this dog does it, I think it's adorable. This might be a sign of the apocalypse. Also, I just used the word "adorable" and I'm uncomfortable with that.

I'm not completely turning into a pushover because of this dog. One of the preconditions for getting the dog was that I'd be allowed to name it, no strings attached. I wanted something original and fun, so I winnowed my choices down to "Ultra Dog" (I have no idea why) and "Watts" (a clear nod to Mary Stuart Masterson's epic drummer girl from the 80s flick "Some Kind of Wonderful").

So, anyway, we're naming it "Marnie".

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother's Day Mystery

So, my family gave me a really sweet golf driver for Mother's Day.
Why would my family give me, the father, a gift for Mother's Day? Well, that part is simple. They gave me a new driver because they didn't break the old one. And why would my family replace a club that didn't need replacing?

It's a Mother's Day Mystery that started like this...

Time: 2:15 p.m. Mother's Day, Location: Sports Authority

My in-laws have just taken us to lunch to celebrate the holiday, but now we're at a sports store -ostensibly to pick up a golf glove for my five year-old son. My father-in-law walks up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder.

"Look, Bridget has some bad news to tell you, but she's afraid to do it. I'm just gonna lay it out for you."

For a second, I'm taken aback - not because my father-in-law has mysterious news to give me, but because he's a dude and his hand is on my shoulder. He notices my discomfort, removes his hand and continues.

"The kids broke your golf driver the other day. You need to buy a driver while you're here."

"My driver?" I gasped. I've never actually gasped before. My gasp is way more feminine than I expected.

"Your driver," he repeated and put his hand back on my shoulder. This time I didn't mind.

"How did it happen?" I asked. "When did it happen?"

Time: 9:30 a.m. 2 Weeks Ago - Location: Our Garage

The kids are playing in the garage. By playing in the garage, I mean that the kids are raising and lowering the electric garage door repeatedly. Suddenly, there is silence. Bridget goes out to investigate. There she finds my precious driver in three pieces and Julian in tears because he thinks he's in trouble. A decision is made there, a pact is sealed and a conspiracy is born. Nothing will be said to Dad about his obviously expensive club until a replacement can be purchased. There is, however, some things that my wife doesn't know.

Time: 2:17 p.m. Mother's Day - Location: Sports Authority

The news has sunk in and the entire family is waiting to see my response. Inside, I'm elated. I get to buy a new golf driver. And I get to do it guilt-free. Husbands never get to buy golf stuff without feeling guilty.

Except I know something that my wife doesn't know.

My driver is in my golf bag in the car - not in the garage. Julian probably broke a fairway wood that I never use. Even if he had broken my driver, it wouldn't matter. I bought my entire bag of clubs for a hundred dollars new. My driver is worth maybe eight dollars.

I'm standing in the Sports Authority, surrounded by my family and thousands of golf clubs. I'm tempted to pick up an expensive new club just to teach my wife a lesson. I'm tempted to buy a new driver and then tell her the story so that she understands how hurt I am by her lack of trust. But then I realize that I would never be able to use that club without feeling guilty. Buying a new club would mean that I sank to their level. Did I really want to do that?

Time: 3:18 p.m., Day After Mother's Day - Location: Golf Course

So, I got one of those new square, MOI drivers with a 10.5 degree loft. And you wanna know something? I can't swear to it, but I think guilt actually makes your ball go further.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Low Hanging Fruit

Sometimes, especially during prolonged presidential campaigns, it's easy to become jaded and assume that politicians spend too much time collecting money and not enough time solving the basic problems facing Americans.

Not here in Florida. In Florida, our legislature has kept their collective eye on the ball and have just finished months of debate about one of the hairiest moral dilemmas of our times:
Is it okay to hang simulated bull testicles from the bumper of your pickup truck?

For those of you not up to date on the latest truck technology, I'll explain. (Editor's Note: If you're one of those readers more interested in the latest bull testicle technology - you're on your own). It seems that while the Japanese car industry wasted time developing its almost-certain-to-fail hybrid motor technology, truly innovative American inventors pioneered a way to make giant, life-like bull testicles from plastic products and affix them to the bumpers of kick-ass American pickups.

You know, like a decoration - but a really kick-ass, inappropriately swinging, American decoration.

These plastic, simulated bull testicles have become so popular that horrified mothers around the state of Florida have complained to their representatives about the rapidly growing (and rapidly swinging) phenomena. I admire their courage of these women because most mothers I've met are reluctant to discuss simulated bull testicles - no matter how often I mention them in everyday conversation.

Go figure.

Luckily, politicians love to talk about simulated bull testicles as much as I do. They're constantly on the prowl for easy, no-brainer laws to pass - low hanging fruit, so to speak. And this was the lowest of the low hangers. So, for the past few months Floridians have been treated to lots of clever headlines, much posturing and more than a few pictures of plastic bull testicles. I've thought about tossing out a few double entendres of my own - you know, before the case peters out - but ultimately decided against it.

My decision to take the high road turned out to be a good one. The Florida legislature decided today to set aside any consideration of an anti-testicle legislation. American innovation has once again triumphed over the Japanese and, uh, mothers.