Archive for February, 2010

It saddens me to announce that I heard a new term the other day that, well, it saddened me.

Wife didn’t think much of it at first…she herself has sunken so far into the depths of this societal scourge that she can hardly recognize it.

I myself knew of the on-going problems with teen pregnancies, and I knew that girls were maturing at younger ages than previous generations, but I was flabbergasted to hear this term — to learn just how dire the situation had become.

My wife, she said, had a meeting at Pre-school with the other “Two-year-old Moms.”

Oh Lordy, the babies are having babies. Those toddlers have no idea what responsibilities lie ahead. At two years old, they should only be worried about potty training and pulling siblings hair and dumping juice on the floor, but now they have to push all that aside.

“Two-year-old Moms…”

Well, one positive note: These “Two-year-old Moms,” most of them are already married to “Two-year-old Dads.” I think the Two-year-old Dads gather at the pub.

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Men enjoy making themselves useful at labor camp

In light of Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker’s recent announcement that she’s a sexist…

Shovels. Men want shovels, the bigger the better, Parker wrote in her column, “Men: The Original Shovel-Ready Project.”

We just want to be useful, Parker thunk, so all the snow in D.C. has been great, because now there’s a reason for allowing men to take up all this oxygen we’ve been using.

“Add to the cultural shifts our recent economic woes, which have left more men than women without jobs, and men are all the more riveted by opportunities to be useful.”

Oh, YEAH, I bet the men of Washington, D.C., LOVED shoveling two-foot deep snow for hours on end in sub-freezing temperatures. Good to be useful.

It’s a huge secret, but men also love being useful in other ways, like:

Jacking the car up and moving the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front, so you, Kathleen, can have a smoother ride to the latte shoppe.

Rolling the garbage and recycling bins to the curb (just showing off the ol’ master’s degree, Kathleen, so you don’t have to).

Reaching our hands into the back of the toilet when the chain holding up that other thing gets stuck (turns you on, doesn’t it Kathleen, when us men-folk have toilet water dripping from our hands).

Finally moving that bush that the previous owners left to the back corner of the yard (like you asked last spring, Kathleen).

And, again, yes, shoveling snow…so you, Kathleen, can stay in the house and watch a man shoveling your walk, and write about it, and pretend to be an enlightened columnist.

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Now I know why that name struck me wrong (See previous post). My sister, who works for an animal welfare group, notes that — luckily for the purpose of my new car — the name “The Neuter Scooter” is already taken. Though, I suppose, what we’re talking about here are homonyms (neuter/newter).

So if you see this thing coming, might want to tuck in the tail and run.

If you see ME coming in the Newter Scooter, just wave.

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After 12 and a half years of mostly bliss, but with periodic spans of utter disgust and contempt for each other, I have parted with my trusty 1998 VW Jetta. (Oh, come on, what did you think? I wouldn’t hock the wife for 2,600 bucks).

Turns out, there’s this bizarre bazaar called Craigslist, and a lot of people are at the bazaar right now looking for cheap, reliable cars. And “The Scooter Car” — as the girls named it — drew many inquiries and was sold in 48 hours.

So it was that “Dave” came over last night to cinch the deal. Fontaine was in the kitchen writing Valentine’s notes as Dave and I talked. I gave him the owner’s manual, the keys, and finally told him, “Hey, it’s almost 13 years old so I can’t make you any promises, but I’ve told you about everything wrong that I know about. I can’t think of anything else…”

Fontaine looks up.

“Daddy, did you tell him that the doors stick shut sometimes?”

Uh, doh, doy, die, “Oh yes, the doors stick shut sometimes, but usually only when my face is red and I feel like a jackass.”

“How about gas, is there gas in the car, Daddy?”

Yes, full tank.

“Daddy, what about that time the EGR valve and the MSG sensors failed, sending the car into a tailspin, causing that accident that bent the car frame?”

Oh yeah, well, there was that, but Dave bought it and drove away anyway.

Now, Fontaine’s nicknamed the new car, “The Newter Scooter.” She just means it’s the new scooter and it rhymes, but for some reason, I don’t care for the sound of it.

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Tonight, Wife worked, and I loaded the three girls up and took them to Moe’s. It’s Fontaine’s favorite place to eat, and the other two have finally found things they like (so that’s a “Moo-Moo Mr. Cow, a Mini-Masterpiece and a Power Wagon.”).

Now, go back with me an hour. I got Rosebud out of her crib after her nap, and she pointed to an orange kids’ bowl and said “Baby Jesus” was in there. She had been taking care of “her.” (She is Rosebud, you will hear her roar, and if she says Baby Jesus is a she, I’ll roll with that).

When we started to suit up for Moe’s, Rosebud insisted that Baby Jesus go along. None of us could see Her in the orange bowl with some sort of face painted on the bottom, but Rose insisted that She was in there and was indeed hungry. So when I buckled Rosebud into her car seat, I had to be careful to work the straps around Baby Jesus.

On the ride there, I did briefly wonder what chain places Jesus might frequent, if She happened to be walking about America in 2010. Would She go to Starbucks or the indie coffee shop? Would she eat Tex-Mex fast food?! Would She being driving an SUV like us, or maybe a righteous hybrid?

At Moe’s, the three girls, myself and Baby Jesus went through the line with Rose questioning whether the Moe’s employees had shouted “WELCOME TO MOE’S” when we came in, and demanded several additional “WELCOME TO MOE’S”-es from one particular worker.

Once we sat, Rose ate a couple of triangles of quesadilla, then offered a corner to Baby Jesus.

“She’s hungry,” Rose told her sisters.

Fontaine looked at Elizabeth, and Elizabeth explained in pure monotone:

“Baby Jesus is a bowl.”

Then we all kept eating. The Savior represented by a Chinese-made orange plastic bowl and munching on a cheese quesadilla at Moe’s Southwestern Grill.

Nothing unusual here.

(Picture above: “Baby Jesus” eats Her first quesadilla).

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I walked into the family room this evening, and came upon what was obviously a camp site thrown up by homeless people.

I first spotted a flat-roofed structure and thought that was the entire thing. But beyond that, I noticed an A-frame, and peeked in to see they had fashioned furniture from couch cushions and blankets.  They seemed to be using the front portion of the shelter as a hang-out room, and the room in the back as sleeping quarters.

There must be more than one of them, I thought, because behind the green-roof (a part of the compound not visible in the photo) they even used cushions and blankets to create trundle-style beds. Clearly, they had been here a while.

It was all well and good, and I even privately commended whoever they were for an ingenious ability to survive on their own, but then I noticed something. A lamp lit up their living quarters. These scoundrels had run a cord and were stealing our electricity.

These rascals weren’t surviving on their own. They were bleeding us dry.

Not only our electricity, but then I saw they had stolen some of our groceries, our couch cushions, our kitchen chairs. They had made off with a sum total of at least four years of pre-school and one year and counting of private school tuition.

Obviously, they had been using our bathrooms, because toilet paper has been vanishing at an astonishing rate.

Then, in the back corner of their lean-to, I lifted a blanket and discovered they had also pilfered much of our youth and almost all of our sanity.

Who were these people, I wondered, and how did they get into our house?

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