Friday, April 28, 2006

It Was Nice Knowin' Ya...

Well, I'm off to Bozeman tomorrow. I've packed my toothbrush, a change of nappies and my assless chaps, so I guess I'm ready to go. Hopefully, I'll be able to post something while I'm away, whether audio or text, I know not. I'll be sure to pet a cow for you. And that may, or may not, be a euphemism. I'll soon find out.

I will leave you with yesterday's trip to Miss O's dentist appointment. She and I were on our way, driving through some major farty cattle, farmy wasteland to get there. It was a great day, so I had the windows down and was playing 'Bobby Buttons' with the radio, trying to find the perfect soundtrack for our excursion.

The radio stopped on a classic rock station that was playing "Devil Went Down to Georgia," by the Charlie Daniels Band. Of course, I did what I always do when I hear that classic -- I changed the station. But Miss O shouted out, "DAD! PUT THAT BACK!"

Okay. It's music and she seemed to want to hear it, so I put it back. And, I CRANKED IT WAY THE FUCK UP!

Well, I sat through the whole sordid ordeal, all 48 or so minutes of it, complete with Charlie's unbelievably out of tune violin (seriously, he didn't have five minutes to tune that thing?! What the shit, Chuck?!). When it finally ended, I turned down the station and asked, "Well? What did you think?"

Miss O enthusiastically replied, "That was a great story!"

And, it really was. The devil shows up with a golden violin and challenges a porcine, bearded, out-of-tune fiddler to a bow-off. Even though the devil rocks the house, the challenger only needs his fingernails-on-a-chalkboard fiddle playing and a bunch of hayseed background singers to pull out the victory. It's basically "Rocky" but with the Devil and some mouth-breathing moron... it's basically "Rocky."

And I have to say that Miss O did a phenomenal job at the dentist. They did x-rays, cleaned the crap out of her little Chiclet teeth and even did that fluoride rinse shit that makes you dry-barf. Pretty fucking impressive for a four year old, I must say. She truly earned the one-cent piece of crap plastic toy they gave her from the treasure box. Cheap dental bastards.

And there you have it. I guess I've gotta prepare to white-knuckle it to Montana tomorrow. I'll prepare by not eating anything tonight, and then, for breakfast, I'll dump a bunch of green tea into my empty colon along with a Bonine, three or four Advil, some Citrucel, maybe a couple of Immodiums and I'll top it off with a Prevacid. Wow, I'm full just thinking about it! Mmmmmmm!

Okay then. I'm going. Yep, that's it. I'm going to leave my basement. Then my house. I mean it. I'm not coming back for a full 84 hours or so. Seriously. I'm actually going on a vacation. I'm not jokin' around...

Really, I don't have to go if you don't want me to. I can cancel my flight. Sure, the tickets are non-refundable, but if you really need me to stay, I will. What's that, Bloggy? You want me to go? Fine! Fuck you, I'm outta here!

No, really. I can still cancel...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ahh, Thursday Bath Night!

So, I was in washing Miss O's hair in one bathroom while Mr. Z was in the other tub, doing that voodoo that he do so well. After I finished, I went in to see how the boy was doing. You know those little hair catchers that you put in the drain of the tub? Kinda like this, but wire mesh:

Well, when I got into the bathroom, he had it perched atop his little shmeckel like a jaunty sombrero. He looked up at me like I had just caught him strangling a kitten. Instinctively, I yelled, "Get that off of there, dude! That things covered in germs!" (meaning the hair catcher, not the shmeckel.)

He instantly complied and I composed myself. I felt bad that I had kinda startled him, so I just threw out the line, "Dude, you have to take care of your penis..." He seemed to be waiting for the thought's completion, so I lamely added, "... so it will take care of you."

What?! I swear, this kid is going to be in therapy for the rest of his goddamn life.

Not surprisingly, he queried, "What does that mean, Dad?" Of course, I had no response except for my standard "fuck-if-I-know" look. Then it seemed to click for him and he continued, "Oh, I get it. Like when I get older and I'm someplace and I REALLY have to pee, or something."

Grateful for an out, I said, "Yep! Exactly!"

I'm such an idiot.

Of course, he couldn't stop there. As he got out of the tub and started drying off, he said, "Dad, what would happen if poop came out of your penis?"

My initial response, obviously, was to do a reflex nose laugh and almost blow snot across the room. Then I seriously considered his question and answered, "Well, let's hope I never have to find out."

Then he dropped his towel and did the naked spazmo dance back to his room.

[end scene]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An Audio Aumbarrassment

This is my test of Audioblogger. It's a moronic idea and, in the hands of someone like myself, will only end in tears... somewhere. I make no excuses for what you are about to hear. It is simply the ramblings of a 41 year old man, sitting in his basement while reading a story written by his son. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to continue the search for my last shred of dignity.

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Maybe I'm Going through 'The Change'

I don't know what's going on today. It started when I dropped Miss O off at school this morning. As she was getting out of the car to walk into school, she said "Bye, Daddy!" and I have to say, I got a little choked up. Yep, a little fermisht in my kishka. I felt like some fucking mom on the WE Network.

And all day I've had this strange wistfulness-cloud hovering over me. When I heard the kids get home, I bolted upstairs and gave them hugs and asked about their days and all that crap. Shit, I was even tempted to bring out "The Chef" for dinner tonight (though I balked at the last second because I couldn't locate the pipe-cleaner moustachio).

It's gotta be some combination of sleep-deprivation, ambivalence about the kids getting older, anticipatory stress about my pending trip and gas from last night's asparagus.

Part of it was brought on because the old lady and I were filling out the forms for the kiddies' summer day camps last night. They're both excited to go, and I'm sure they'll have a great time. I just feel kind of guilty shipping them off every day of the summer so I can keep my precious work day clear. Fucking jobs. I should've been a teacher so I could have the summers off. If only I didn't hate teaching things to other peoples' children so much.

It's definitely the trip, too. I am such a fucking shitty traveler. Especially solo. You'd think it would be a breeze, traveling without the kids but at least when they're around, I can focus my stress externally. When I'm solo, I have plenty of time to sit and think about the plane crashing, having to dump on the plane, missing my connecting flight in Minneapolis -- let me clarify, I didn't mean that I worry about shitting on top of the plane. I should have said "having to take a dump while traveling on the plane." Just had to clear that up.

I'm sure it'll be fine. I'm also actually worried about how I'm going to do my blog entries while I'm gone. How pathetic is that?! And I don't even think they have computers in Bozeman. I'm thinking about trying that "Audioblogger" thing and phoning in my posts (I mean, moreso than I do already... HELLO!). That'll be weird. If you thought this shit was feeble-minded in text form, wait until you hear it in the author's voice. Whew! El stinko. Maybe I'll try a test post before I leave.

I hope they have phones in Montana.

The whole thing is so fucking trite. You want your kids to get older so you can have a little more freedom but you don't want them to grow up because then they're that much closer to being independent and leaving home forever. Maybe if I had them encased in Lucite it would solve all my problems. Yeah, but Lucite's expensive. DAMN!

Oh, why didn't we just get two goldfish like we had originally planned?!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sure! Send 'Em on Over!

Well, it was "all-the-parents-decided-to-send-their-kids-to-our-goddamn-house" day today. I didn't mind but I would never have the nards to walk over to a neighbor's house, with my kid in tow, and say, "Oh hi, my daughter wanted to come over to your house and play today, is that all right?" What am I going to do, say "Oh, well, now that my kid sees your kid here and they're both jumping up and down and can't wait to play together, and it's not like I had anything else to do this afternoon anyway, I'd love to help you out but you know, fuck off and babysit your own kid for the afternoon."

Haven't these people heard of a fucking telephone? What the shit?!

It turned out that two moms and one nanny pulled that crap on me today and the place was crawling with youth. It was fun, though. They were running around, entertaining themselves and I actually had a few minutes to sweep/rake the Magnolia barf off of the driveway/lawn and extract some slaggy feculence from the clogged gutters.

I only had to intervene once when Mr. Z started playing tag with Miss O and her friends Miss A and Miss L. They were chasing him around the lawn and it was quite the wholesome scene when things took a nasty turn. One of them managed to tackle the athletically challenged Mr. Z and they all piled on after that. It sounded like they were having fun, all giggles and flailing limbs, until I heard a panicked Mr. Z screaming, "DAD! DAD! GET 'EM OFF ME! I CAN'T BREATHE! HELP!"

Luckily, I was able to extract him from the vicious girly scrum, but I had a hard time keeping a straight face. He's like four feet taller than all of them but if I didn't intervene, he'd probably still be out there. Poor guy never had a chance.

Did I mention the girls were all wearing ballet shoes and tiaras?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Warning: Do NOT Look Directly into Its Eyes!

Mr. Z and Miss O have created this disturbing new character, and they've named him Loordelanz, Jr. [pronounced "loor-duh-lants." Don't ask me.]

The character itself is not necessarily all that disturbing. It's the doll they're using to portray the character:

The thing is creepy as shit. It's like a bizarre cross between that Quizno's talking baby and an infant Paul Sorvino. They dress it up in capes and shit and run around the house with it and frankly, the whole thing is giving me a bad case of the willies and/or heebie jeebies.

I don't understand the game at all. First, the name is just plain bizarre. Loordelanz, Jr.? Is that French? Italian? Esperanto? There's also some other character named Arthur, who owns a McDonalds and Miss O has recently introduced a mini version of the baby known as Princess Loordelantz, III.

And they leave that freaky doll all over the house: in the kitchen, the bathroom, sticking out from under the bed. I'm waiting to have a fucking grabber sometime when I pull back a shower curtain and see that zombie hell-baby staring back at me with its cold, dead eyes.

Oh, and the voice Mr. Z provides for the thing just ups the whole creepiness factor. It's like this:

"I ame is Oor uh lantz unior. Ut is oor ame?"

Apparently, Loordelantz, Jr. has already scared most of the consonants out of its vocabulary.

I've gotta start letting them watch more TV and stop making them use their imaginations so much. It's just not healthy.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Dirt on Earth Day

The Good Earth...
I took Mr. Z to MSU's Baby Animal Day today on campus. It was quite the barnyard bonanza: piglets, goats, calves, emus and an anaconda -- yeah, I guess I missed the "Old McDonald had an anaconda" verse. It was a day chock full of wholesomeness and a shitload of Purell.

The highlight for Mr. Z was either when the Draft horse peed right next to us for about 8 minutes (quite the healthy stream, I might add), or when the boy got to hold the baby chicks, ducks and turkeys. My test for whether something is truly cute or not is, if I really want to put it in my mouth, it's cute. Well, I was ready to stuff those little furballs in my pie-hole by the fistful:

We had a blast.

Earth: The Asshole
We've got this fucking Magnolia tree in front of our house that has to be the biggest fuckwad plant I've ever experienced. For like two days it's the most beautiful thing on the planet:

Then, on day three it just shits itself all over the lawn and makes our yard look as if a goddamn paper shredder blew up all over it:

That tree's a fucking dick! What could possibly be the point of such a tree? For two days, the neighbors are saying, "Oh my goodness! Your tree is so beautiful! It's simply breathtaking!" And then blam, it's like, "Hey asshole, get your tree diarrhea off my driveway, will ya?! Fucking prick!"

I'm one step away from going Mr. T on it's ass and turning that thing into firewood.

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 21, 2006

What a Vidiot

Back in the earlier years at work, we used to unwind after particularly heinous days with a little networked, first-person shoot-em-up battle in the form of a game called "Red Faction." It was always a nice feeling to decompress at the end of the day by killing all of your coworkers, if only virtually.

Well, the current gang at work has started up "the Faction" once again, and up until recently, I've been watching impotently from my telecommuting, TV prison. That is, until they sent me the CDs in the mail. Now... IT'S ON, ONCE AGAIN! (Though I basically still suck -- I just jump around and shoot shit until someone plasters my penetralia against the wall.)

So, I was embroiled in a game today, getting kill-ted a lot, when the kids got home from school. They usually come down to the basement to say "hi" on the days I'm not hanging with them, and today was no different. I figured that, since the basement door faces the back of my monitors, I could greet them while still fragging my co-workers.

Of course, Miss O bopped on over to my desk and came around to my side of the screens before I could quit out of the game. I was standing there, rail-gun in hand, with the gang blowing each other up around me. She said, "Hi, Daddy! What are you doing?"

I said, "I'm having a meeting."

She was silent for a moment and then said, "Why do you have a gun?"

Good question. At this point, Mr. Z had joined us and chimed in with a, "WHOA! COOL! What's that, Dad?!"

I had absolutely no response that could possibly explain anything, so I threw out the blanket, "Okay, guys. Go on upstairs and I'll be up in a little bit. Daddy's gotta finish his work. Okay, bye now." They trotted back upstairs but by then, frankly, my taste for blood had diminshed considerably. Nothing like kids to put a damper on mass killing.

The part that makes me feel like an asshole is that the old lady and I have made a HUGE stink about never buying or renting any video games for Mr. Z that have any violence in them whatsoever. And he's pretty cool with it, especially since we got him the greatest video game EVER, called "Animal Crossing."

I could probably start an entire blog devoted solely to "Animal Crossing," it's that incredible. It's basically a sim game, but it's really fucking cute. You have a character and you move into this little town and then you basically do... whatever. You can buy crap at the store to furnish your house, or you can go fishing, or you can dig shit up. It's endless and it's addictive as hell. I'm not going to explain it anymore -- it's just one of those games that's so cute you just want to fucking eat it.

Wait, what was I talking about? How the fuck did I get to "Animal Crossing" from "Red Faction"? Oh, uh, we don't allow violent games in the house. Right. And I felt bad that I was shooting people in front of my children. Check.

Basically, after I put the kids down tonight, I fired up "Animal Crossing" and did a little fishing to chill out. It's surprisingly more satisfying than getting killed multiple times by my co-workers. I caught a couple Red Snappers, a Knifejaw and some Cherry Salmon. Then Mr. Z came down to complain about his curtains blowing around, and busted me playing his game. Nailed again.

I look at it this way: at least when my kids bust me doing something all by my lonesome, I've got a video game controller in my hand. I'll bet a lot of dads get busted with a different kind of joystick in their hands, and that one you can't really explain away with "I'm having a meeting."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Comedy is Elementary

I think I've found my perfect audience. Third graders. I KILL when I'm talking to third graders. If I could open up like a Branson, Missouri theater that catered solely to third graders, I'd be the Wayne Fucking Newton of people who... perform only to third graders. Whatever. The point is, third graders think I'm funny, okay?

Miss O and I went to pick up Mr. Z at school today and we started walking back with Mr. Z and one of his classmates, Bernice. I know: greatest. name. ever. BERNICE! She was walking with her very cute younger brothers Marvell and William.

I had brought some graham crackers shaped like bugs for the boy, and Bernice and her brothers asked if they could try some. Mr. Z shared (nice boy!) and I said something stupid like, "Hey, Bernice. That ladybug cracker actually has crushed ladybugs in it." She was all, "No way!" and I was all, "Way!" Well, that cracked their asses up. I thought to myself, "What the fuck?! They're laughing this hard at that?!

Then, Marvell tried to swipe the Tootsie Roll William was eating out of his hand and it fell to the ground. William was pissed and when he picked the Tootsie nubbin' up, it was all covered in little pebbles. To defuse the pending brotherly bloodshed, I jumped in with "Hey look, William. Now it's rock candy!"

Well, they stopped just short of shitting themselves, they were laughing so hard. I was killing! I could do no wrong! As we approached Bernice's turnoff, I closed my set with some dumbass joke about picture day (which is tomorrow) and bid them adieu. I'd say it was a solid five minutes of top-notch material.

As we continued walking, Mr. Z said, "You know dad, on my 'Top Two Funny Guys' list, you're definitely number two."

Number Two?! What the shit?!

I held it together and asked, "So, who's number one?"

He replied, "Mr. Coryell. He's really funny."

The teacher! Of course! The Punster! I can't compete with PUNS! They're like heroin to a seven-year-old! But you know what? I'm totally cool with playing second fiddle to him. The dude's an incredible teacher and he loves Mr. Z, so I'm quite comfortable in the passenger seat.

Later, while Mr. Z was taking a bath, he said, "Dad, you know Mr. Coryell has a giant joke book on his desk where I think he gets most of his jokes."

I'm not sure, but I think he was trying to soften the blow of the just-shy-of-number-one-status he awarded me earlier, which is pretty fucking sweet. I said, "Well, he might get some of his jokes from there, but he's definitely a funny guy."

Mr. Z agreed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Has It Been a Year Already?

When we moved to Michigan almost two years ago, it was a big move for the kiddies. Moreso for Mr. Z, as he was starting a new school and had to leave all his friends behind. So, when the school year began, I started writing a little note each day on a Post-It and sticking it in his snack (they have a mid-morning snack each day) just to make him more comfy at school. Fucking sweet, isn't it? Unfortunately, he enjoyed the notes so much, I was forced (by my own guilt, and a bit of his whining) to continue cranking out these goddamn notes every fucking day of the school year. I started in the Fall of 2004 and I have continued, non-stop, since then.

Mr. Z has saved every one and they are now stuffed inside this plastic "Bug Bottle" that he keeps on a shelf in his room. I decided to go through them tonight just to see what two years of crappy notes actually looks like and I made a fascinating discovery. Here are the notes I made for St. Patrick's Day 2005 and St. Patrick's Day 2006 [click to enlarge]:

Well, it's sure nice to know that my creativity just blossoms over the course of 365 days. What the fuck?! They're almost exactly the same. I mean, I know I'm getting predictable in my old age, but this is ridiculous! Oh sure, the 2006 leprechaun is kicking his legs to his right while ol' 2005 is kicking to the left. And 2005 has a pipe and a shilelagh while 2006 seems to simply be whacked out on some crank. But crap, they even both start out with "Aye, Zeke!" Fucking leprechauns don't even say "Aye," do they? And "I hope ye be havin'..."?! Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure I think leprechauns are pirates.

I don't know, it just seems kinda depressing to me. A whole year passes and I'm like some post-it-writin' zombie droning out the same old crap day after day after day. "Have a great day... have a great day... eat your snack... brush your teeth... don't sass your mother... wipe your ass properly... beep-boop-beep-boop." I should just make one note that says, "Mr. Z, your dad is a fraud and he hasn't had an original idea in over two years. Enjoy your snack. Love, Dad." Then I'll laminate it and he can just carry it in his pocket every day. [That's not a bad idea, actually.]

I did, however, find a couple of notes that I am somewhat proud of. After exposing myself for the fraud I am, I should at least be able to highlight a couple of the better ones, no? Hey, it's my fucking blog, so lay off! Here you go...

I dunno. I thought they were funny. But that's just me... Mr. Original!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So Long, Suckers!

See that? That, my friends is a big ol', fat royalty check! Yep, this guy's on E-Z street, from now on! Go ahead, click on it and see the kind of money someone like myself pulls in on a quarterly basis. You can call me SugarCrabbyDaddy from now on. Dot com.

Okay, for those of you who didn't catch on, I was being ironic there. I was doing a little acting for you. See, I was in this band, back in the day, and we were... well, we... we were not good. No, I'm too hard on the "we" from back then. We were a "Smiths-by-way-of-REM-meets-Something-gay-in-the-late-80s" band in a "Los-Angeles-Heroin-Hair-Band-Circa-1988-1993" kinda world. We ate a lot of Ramen, okay?

But we did manage to get a couple of our songs into movies, somehow. The first movie we (well, our songs) were in was a soft-porn, straight to Spanktravision release (!) called "Bikini Island." I don't know how the whole thing happened, but our song played while some naked lady was frolicking, slo-mo-style, on a beach. I don't remember getting paid much for that one. I think we got something like 50 bucks and a double-donger.

Next, we finagled a song into the "hit" Jeremy Piven vehicle, "PCU." I've watched the movie probably 10 times and I have yet to hear our song in there, but regardless, I receive a check, like the one above, about four times a year. Straight to the kiddies' college fund with those babies!

We also had a song in the movie "Kingpin," and my checks are usually a lot bigger when that movie is doing the cable TV rounds. I usually pull in around $3.47 a quarter for that one... which is NICE!

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, when you hear a musician or an actor say what a difficult job they have and how people just don't understand all the work that goes into it and that they really do work hard for all that money... well, don't believe the hype, people. I've got songs in three major motion pictures and, based on the coinage I'm pulling in from royalties, I'll be quitting the old rat race and retiring down to Cabo Wabo in about 40,000 years.

Save me a cold one, Hagar!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Daddy, I Think That Guy's Guitarded

I went to pick up Miss O today at "the Montessori," and when I entered the room, all the kidlets were sitting in a semicircle around some dude holding a guitar. He seemed fairly hip (black Converse high tops and sideburns, the slacker-dude-with-a-guitar-in-Montessori uniform) and for a moment I thought to myself, "Hey, that guy seems kinda cool. Maybe he'll be my friend some day."

Then he started playing. NO FRIEND! NO FRIEND! Shit, the dude blew. Not only was his singing horrendous, his fucking guitar sounded like carp. Miss O could have tuned the thing better than him. Better than he? It was a nylon string guitar and was tuned so low, it was like he was playing cooked spaghetti noodles... with his ass.

And he had those poor kids singing along with him. Some dumbass Arbor Day song, devoid of any sort of recognizable melody or rhythm. It made no sense at all, and he kept calling out for them to sing along. They had no idea what he was talking about. It was torture, bordering on child abuse! I felt like grabbing that guitar and smashing it over his sideburn-wearing head. How dare he sully the hipster sideburn! I'll bet those things were clip-ons!

The song was idiotic. Something like:

"Oh the trees they do stand so tall and strong,
And the leaves they flutter and the branches sway,
And I'm making this shit up as I go along,
And I'm probably a rhythm guitarist in a 'Nickelback' cover band,

I rushed in, got all of Miss O's crap together and got her out of there, pronto. I tried to get some information out of her about who that clown was and what he was trying to pull.

I said, "So, who was that man in there playing the guitar?"


I tried again, "Was that someone's daddy playing the guitar?"


Then I asked Miss O why she wasn't answering any of my queries. She simply responsed, "Daddy, I don't feel like talking right now."

Of course, I couldn't blame her. She was just a witness to a horrible accident, like a train derailment or a multi-car pileup on a highway. She needed time to compartmentalize the horror she had just experienced. I gave her that time.

So, I turned on the radio, amazingly found Cheap Trick's "Surrender" on a classic rock station, and tuned it in. Then I heard Miss O proclaim from the back seat, "Turn it up, Daddy. I want to hear this song!"

She was going to be all right.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What the Shit Just Happened?!

Here was today, in a sugar-coated nutshell:

"Good morning kids, it's easter! Pay no attention to that basket full of candy on the table and the brightly colored eggs filled with more candy hidden in plain view throughout the house. You must first sit down and have a healthy breakfast. That's right, have some cereal, milk, maybe a piece of fruit. Okay, go nuts! Find all the candy. Ha-ha, isn't this great? Okay, you can have a piece or two. But not too much! It's almost lunchtime! Okay, lunch is over. Sure, you can have more candy! No, eight malted milk balls are too many. You can have... seven. Uh-oh, it's almost dinner time. Stop eating candy now. Wow, you ate a good dinner! Have some of that chocolate Pooh Bear filled with jellybeans! I'll bet it's yummy. Okay, that's enough. I know you're excited. Must have been all that candy, ha ha. Sure, you can have more tomorrow. Now go to sleep."

What the fuck kind of holiday is this?! I swear, I am as confused as they are on this one. "So wait, Dad... we don't believe in God but we do believe in a magic bunny that leaves us candy and books? Okay, that makes perfect sense to me. Can I have another Cadbury Caramel Filled Egg that's the size of my fist? Thanks!"

I literally can't even focus on what I'm typing here because I am completely blitzed out on Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. My gums are actually hurting. That can't be good.

We colored some eggs today, I vaguely remember that:

The old lady also got these bizarre egg masks that Miss O decided to place on the heads of her 'Calico Critters' figures instead of the eggs. For some reason it reminds me of a really adorable version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre":

I swear, when I wake them up tomorrow morning I know I'm going to find them trapped inside some sort of spun-sugar chrysalis.

I'll end here abrubtly (because I have to go run around the block or something to stop mind from shaking) with a few quotes I overheard from Mr. Z's new bathtub-drama, "Aussies," starring a dingo, platypus, koala, kangaroo and a great-horned lizard:

KOALA: "Crikey, it's a beautiful koala woman! I want to marry it, mates!"

LIZARD: "Will you stop saying mates?!"

KOALA: "I like saying 'mates,' mates!"


LIZARD: "OW! My lizard anus!"

[still later... calling to me]

MR. Z: "Dad? So, like, while I'm in the bathroom, can I fart as much as I want?"

ME: Go nuts.

: "I'll be up there in 30 seconds and you both better be brushing your teeth!"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boring Entry Alert -- Whoop! Whoop!

Just booked my flight to Bozeman. I'm such an asshole, I didn't book it last night and the tickets shot up like $400. So now I have to leave on Saturday instead of Friday to get the cheaper price. Fucking moron.

Nothing really exciting happened today. It was a beautiful day. Mr. Z and I washed the car, we all had a picnic on the front lawn and I was even able to swim today. Fucking apple pie and hot dogs here in Okemos today.

Mr. Z and I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and got him some new Teva's. I thought about buying a new bathing suit. They had these lycra bike-short kinda suits there, but I feel like I just can't do that to my fellow swimmers at the Y. It's just not polite, outlining my delicates like that for everyone. I'll stick with the trunks.

When we passed the Speedo's, I told Mr. Z that we used to call them "ball-kinis" when we were kids. I thought he was going to shit his pants, he was laughing so hard. Then I had to get him to stop repeating it long enough for me to buy the sandals from the female teenage cashier. Ball-kinis. At Dick's. Heh-heh.

Other than that, I've got nada for you.

Oh, I watched "The Sting" on AMC tonight. Great movie. There you go. And I hid a bunch of plastic eggs filled with jellybeans and malted milk eggs all over the house. And I ate about eight pounds of jellybeans and malted milk eggs.

I'm sure I'll be crabbier tomorrow.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Relax or You're Fired

Apparently my crabbitude has extended beyond the walls of my basement fortress, as I am being forced by the "higher ups" to take a minimum of three consecutive days off from work sometime in the next 3 weeks. Forcing me to "take time off" and "take a well-earned break." How dare they?! If I lose my crabby edge, there will be hell to pay. DO YOU HEAR ME?! HELL! TOUPEE!

Actually, when I think about it, I haven't taken time off work since the old lady and I dumped the kids with Gramma & Grampa and flew to Portland for a week. That was in August. No wonder I'm cranky.

So, I was trying to figure out where to go. The old lady and the kiddies can't come, because they have their dumb old "school." So I'll have to go it alone. At first, I was thinking, perhaps, a trip to New York might be fun. Do some shopping, eat some good food, spend what little savings I have, freak out from all the fucking people everywhere, get lost, get pushed in front of a subway car, die.

That could be fun.

Or, I could go someplace where I could kick back, relax, breathe in some crisp, fresh air, live off the fat of the land, do some hiking, stumble into a small-town bar, have a Miller Hi-Life, get the shit kicked out of me for being a "jew-boy."

That's right -- I'm going to Bozeman, Montana.

I have a friend who moved out there a few years back who is just the greatest guy ever. Funny, smart, mellow, musical, and he's out there with his old lady and their daughter. In fact, I'm just remembering that I know another guy who recently moved out there with his family from California who is just like the guy I'll be staying with. Salt of the earth fellows, I must say.

I'm pert with excitement. I've gotta get me some hiking boots and, I don't know, a canteen and some pemmican. What is pemmican? I think you eat it. I'm gonna get me some pemmican. Sounds like a cop on some 70s TV show. "Hello, ma'am. I'm Pemmican. Frank Pemmican."

Yeah, I need a fucking break.

Oh, one quick Mr. Z nugget. We took the kidlets to "Twisty's," for ice cream after dinner tonight. I don't think it's really called "Twisty's" but it's something like that. "Coney's"? "Ice Creamy's"? No. What the fuck?! It doesn't matter.

So, Mr. Z got a slushie (after taking about a 1/2 hour to decide). We sat outside and ate for awhile and then piled back in the car. Both the old lady and I warned Mr. Z not to spill his Slushie if he was going to take it in the car. Why? Because we knew he was going to fucking spill it.

And he did. He didn't really freak out too much, though. He just said something like, "Oh no! I just spilled my Slushie!"

The old lady and I replied, at the exact same time, "There's a surprise." [Harsh, I know, but I need a vacation. I don't know what the old lady's excuse is.]

But the greatest part is that Mr. Z shot back, completely deadpan, I might add, "I love sarcasm."

The kid kills me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scanner?! I Just Bought a Scanner... her.

My new scanner came today! Wheee! I've decided to test it out with a new book that Mr. Z wrote at school today. It's called "Martin of Mux" and it is billed as "A Prequel to Ree," a series he has just started penning. Personally, I think it's great shit, but then again, I'm thrilled when he makes a solid BM. So here it is -- Volume #1 of "Martin of Mux." [click on the pics to make them magically grow!]

[the cover]

[the characters]

[the setting]

[chapter 1]

[chapter 2]

[chapter 3]

[chapter 4]

[back cover]

There it is. I have book #2 as well, but I'm not that cruel. I won't post that for at least another week.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Return of... "The Chef!"

A while ago, back when my will to live had yet to be completely sucked dry by work, I invented a character who would show up occasionally at dinner time with the kids named "The Chef." The Chef was me, but with a cartoon-y Italian accent and a purple pipe-cleaner, Rollie Fingers moustache.

I would get the kids started with dinner and then duck out of the room, slap on the moustache, pop out the front door and ring the doorbell. They'd run to the door, open it and I would burst in with a little, "Hey-a Kids! It's-a me, the Chef-ah! Can I-ah come Een?" They would be strangely thrilled and invite me in to sit with them during the meal, regaling them with stories from the homeland. It was bizarre.

The really odd thing is, though, that I think they actually like the chef more than they like me. I mean, Mr. Z knows it's just me in a pipe-cleaner (though I deny it heartily) and I'm pretty sure Miss O ain't buyin' what I'm sellin', but for some reason they suspend disbelief and embrace the Chef with a gusto I myself have never quite experienced. They want the Chef to carry them and hug them and they'll eat absolutely anything he puts on the plate. It's fucking nutso!

I haven't "invited" the Chef over in a while and, probably because I am majorly sleep-deprived, I decided to have him stop by tonight. Well let me tell you, their heads nearly exploded. Mr. Z hugged the Chef in some sort of death-vice-clamp and wouldn't let go for about 4 minutes. They were practically fighting each other to see who could engage the Chef first. Neither of them even tried to rip off the Chef's moustache. The Chef was on fire -- he could do no wrong!

I think I've tapped into Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth-Fairy land here with this guy. They know it's a load of crap but they're digging the horse-and-pony act so much, they're willing to just throw all logic out the window.

I maintain, however, that the Chef is an even more powerful icon than those other loser hacks because he doesn't even have to bring presents to get them to dig his shit. No red suit, no plastic eggs, no goddamn money under the pillow (how obvious can you get, Tooth-Fairy?!). All the Chef needs is a fucking pipe-cleaner and he's got the kiddies eating out of his hand. Literally!

I don't know how I feel about the Chef. The kids love him and it's a great way to get them to eat. But I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of the guy. I don't know what it is about him. The purple moustache? The accent? The mystery?

Perhaps he's the man I'll never be.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Slippery Dick, Part Deux

How do you not laugh when your son talks about his penis? I don't want to encourage the boy because penis talk already comprises about 92% of his daily material, but I really don't think I'm helping matters when I laugh hysterically at every one of his penile ponderings.

He was in the shower tonight and I was sitting just outside the door, trying desperately to use that precious spare 6 1/2 minutes to make a dent in the NY Times crossword puzzle. This is a smattering of what I was hearing from behind the shower curtain:

"Hey Dad, my penis looks like an opera singer with no eyes or nose. La-la-laaaaaa!"

"Ride 'em, cowboy!"

"Dad, why is my penis so cute?"

"Dad, which is better, 'balls' or 'nuts'?"

It went on and on and on. Of course, when I came in to help him wash his hair, I was practically crying, I had been laughing so hard. He said, "What's so funny?" and I lamely replied, "Oh, I just read a funny story in the paper."

There is no way I'm going to be able to explain where babies come from to that kid. No fucking way. Hell, he already uses the internet. He'll figure it out.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hoo... Hoo... BOO!

No 'peckers this morning. Although I pretty much woke up at 5:30 anyway to see if there were any. THOSE BASTARDS ARE PLAYING MIND GAMES WITH ME! DAMN YOU, MY AVIAN ADVERSARIES!

I am so fried, I can't even tell you how fried I am... because I'm so fried. My brain is pudding. Pudding, I say. Hey, have you ever tried to say "pudding" while pudding is in your mouth? It sounds like this:


I can't form a coherent thought.

Here's a confession. When I started to feel like my memory was starting to fade (oh, say 15 years ago) I decided that I would think of a phrase, a somewhat challenging phrase, that I could use to test my memory. If I could recall the phrase, then my synaptic pathways were still flowing properly and all would be well. But if I couldn't recall the phrase, well, then that would be trouble.

I know, I'm a complete moron but this is the way I think. So the phrase I chose was from my advanced neuropsych days in college. I used to do brain surgery on rats and we'd stabilize their nasty yellowed heads in this draconian device called the "stereotaxic instrument." You would hook the rat's teeth over this loop, stick a couple of bars into its ears and, voila, you could bounce a basketball on its head. But we chose, instead, to shave its head, drill holes in its skull and insert electrodes.

Ahh, good times.

Anyweigh, I forget the point to this story. Oh, "stereotaxic instrument." Yeah, that's it, I guess. I still remember the phrase, so I guess the old gray matters still a-chugglin' along. Whew.

Wait, what was I talking about?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Uh-oh, Pecker Trouble!

I am embroiled in a deathmatch with some asshole woodpeckers who are slowly turning the side of our house into swiss fucking cheese. It's such an embarrassingly suburban thing on which to fixate, but I think I'm just channeling my work frustration into idiotic 'dilemmas' like this.

I wouldn't be so obsessed with it if these avian dickwads weren't pecking DIRECTLY behind the headboard of the old lady's and my bed. The pecking starts at around 5 AM (I'm talking about the birds, you pervs) and it lets up right when they realize I'm too alert to fall back to sleep. They're crafty little bastards. CRAFTAY!

I have been filling in their holes with that sprayable insulation shit. (The holes they make in the house, not their assholes. Thought that's not a bad idea.) I climb up the old extention ladder and shoot some of that crap in there and voila, seals it right up. The problem is, I always spray in too much of the stuff and it balloons out of the holes and then hardens, like some giant yellow house boil.

Today, however, I upped the ante a bit. I bought a couple of owls (one inflatable, one 'rigid') and hung them on the side of the house. Apparently, this is supposed to scare the birds silly and cause them to instantly burst into flames. I'm not buying it either, but I'm desperate here. Here's a shot of the battlefield, post inflatable owl-installation:

Who knew they made inflatable owls? Actually, there's probably members of some nasty usenet group (alt.binaries.erotica.owls.inflatable) out there who know inflatable owls intimately. Although the owl I bought is devoid of any love canals. Guess you've gotta pay extra for the lubed up pellet pathway. (Wow, I think I even grossed myself out with that thought.)

I know the owls aren't going to do shit and those little peckers will be rat-a-tat-tatting me awake in about five and a half hours. But what else can I do? If I give up, they win.

I can see how my dad has gotten to the point in his life where he now stalks bird-seed robbing squirrels in his backyard with a B.B. gun. Five bucks says he started out battling woodpeckers.

Wonder how much a B.B. gun runs, nowadays?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

They're Baaaaaack!

Picked up the spawn today in Coloma, Michigan -- a depressing little town that apparently used to be called Dickerville. Dickerville?! I hardly know 'er... ville.

The kids seemed genuinely happy to see me, which is bonus. They were sad to say goodbye to Gramma and Grampa but I think they realized that if they spent even one more day with my folks, they'd end up in some sort of refined-sugar-overload diabetic coma. My mom sent along a tupperware container with about 40 M&M cookies in it that is basically empty now, thanks to the old lady and myself. I swear, my BM tomorrow is gonna look like an M&M studded roll of cookie dough gone horribly wrong. Except that it will be floating in the toilet and it will stink really bad.

I just ordered a new scanner tonight so I can scan in the unbelievable book that Mr. Z made chronicling his trip to Chicago. It is truly awesome. It even has an illustration of the water park they visited. Here's a shitty photo of the cover:

and here's the back cover:

Like I said... it's awesome.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Party's Over, Who Needs a Ride Home?

Well, the kidlets are coming back tomorrow. I'm picking them up in a random parking lot of a random McDonalds, somewhere in western Michigan. Right around here:

I'd like to say it has been fabulous not having them around for a few days, but aside from the fact that I had one or two good meals and I didn't have to drop anyone off at school, it really hasn't been all that relaxing. I didn't get to sleep in, I'm losing my mind with this asinine project at work (aw yeah, I said it!) -- frankly, it'll be nice to hang with the little rapscallions again to put all this other carp back into perspective.

I talked to Mr. Z and Miss O briefly today to see how things were going with Gramma and Grampa. They had just gotten back from seeing a musical version of "Alice in Wonderland." I'm tellin' ya, it's all-stimulation-all-the-time out there! Mr. Z was thrilled that the Cheshire Cat was played by Elvis. The boy loves his Elvis. We've taught him well, mommah.

Apparently, on the train, the other day, they had quite the meal. Here's the menu, according to Mr. Z:

MR. Z: I had a "Take 5" bar, a Sprite and muffin!

ME: Hey, that's quite a meal there! What did Miss O have?

MR. Z: Um... she had Animal Crackers, juice and a muffin.

ME: Yummm....

MR. Z: Oh yeah, and she had 30 grapes.

ME: Thirty! That's a lot.

MR. Z: Okay, see ya!

So at least they're eating well.

And here I wasn't allowed to have sugar cereal when they raised me. Go figure.


Ahhhhhhhh....I have a full and happy colon. (Though not for very much longer.)

Yes, it's official: There is actually ONE good restaurant in Michigan!

The old lady and I met our friends R & M at a new boite in Lansing called, oddly, "Majority." Methinks the name has something to do with the fact that it's across the street from the state capital and they're doing a little political/voting name kinda thing. At least I hope so. I hope it's not secretly owned by the KKK or something, 'cuz that would put a serious damper on the enjoyment of my meal. Yeah, it's gotta be the capital thing. I hope.

Anyway, I don't want to get into a long description of my meal. I'm not a good food critic*, I just know what I like. And this food -- me likee. Here's what is packing my distended poop chute (and it's only distended from the big meal -- don't be gettin' any ideas):

Appetizer -- That goat cheese in a tomato sauce thing, with the crusty little breads. Simple, yet perfect for starters. Kinda like laying down a little mortar for the impending brickage.

Salad -- The "chopped caesar." Perfect. Crisp lettuce, not too much dressing (the extra was in a little cup-ette). One anchovy, hangin' like a stray eyebrow off the side of the plate. Didn't want it -- R ate it. Bleh.

Entree -- A seared ahi, sushi grade no less, that was a-speecy, spicy, a-spoocee! They rubbed it in some peppery hotness rub... stuff. It had these caramelized onions and some squash-y/mashy/potato-y thing going on, and apples and shit. Man, it rocked. I inhaled it.

Washed the whole wad down with a glass of Italian Valpolicella and then a spicy little Shiraz. Dumped in a little pumpkin/chocolate cake and cafe for the caboose and there you have it -- the nummy food train was well on its way through twisty Intestine Pass toward its last stop in Toilettown. Toot-toot! Splash!

If this is the only good restaurant in the state, I'm still happy. I'll go back again and again. Even the chef came out and chatted us up a bit. Nice tubby little bald fellow. Schooled in Los Angeles, no less. Fancy.

Hell, it's no Chicago but I guess I'm gonna be here awhile and I've gotta start accepting it. Now all I need is a good breakfast joint and maybe a friend and I might actually be almost, dare I say, mildly contented.

*By the way, if you're looking for a real food blog that'll crack your ass up, go here.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Good Thing They Weren't Watching "Free Willy"

I'll do another post later but I just wanted to get something down now. The old lady and I are about to go out to dinner for the first time in about a... in about forever. And I'm very pert with anticipation.

We did have a quick phone check-in call with the kiddies to see how the water park extravaganza went. More on that later. But Mr. Z did have this to tell me about his dinner last night:

MR. Z: Dad, guess what? In the hotel room they had movies that you can order and watch while you're eating dinner!

ME: Cool! Did you watch one?

MR. Z: Yeah! We watched "Chicken Little"!

ME: Awesome! What did you have for dinner?

MR. Z: Chicken fingers!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Talking Poli-chicks

I swam this morning before work and it went pretty well. Didn't ingest any phoreign phlegm, didn't drown, no one showed me their balls in the shower.

While I was getting dressed, however, I was privvy to a conversation between, you guessed it, a couple of elderly gents. (Now I know I seem to be fixating on the elderly gent thing in my Y posts, but it's basically me and a bunch of elderly gents at this particular YMCA. I'm not being age-ist, it's just the way things happen to break down, age-ily).

Here's what I heard:

ELDGENT1: Last night the daughter-in-law made me a cake for my birthday. I had three slices of the thing and a big bowl of vanilla ice cream [accent on the "cream"].

ELDGENT2: Oh, yah? I don't eat the ice cream anymore. I have the frozen yogurt. There's a Dean's brand that tastes pretty good. It's called "Dean's Healthy Choice" and it tastes a lot like ice cream but without all that fat. Though it has the sugar but I guess that's not as bad as the fat.

[Complete silence for about 3 minutes]

ELDGENT2: You know those Dixie Chicks just don't get it!"

Wha? That's some transition. The guy went on to talk about how it's fine for "them girls" to think what they want and all but, as performers, they had a responsibility to be loyal to the president and to be patriotic, for cry-eye. Especially, he emphasized, when performing on foreign soil.

I came very close to launching over the lockers a little, "Oh yeah? So how do you feel about that dunderhead Toby Keith and his fucking "Taliban Song," old man? Is that being a responsible performer? Is that the crap you listen to at home while you're downing a spoonful of your fake ice cream?"

But instead I got dressed, checked in the mirror for post-swimming snot and left.

It's Official: They're Never Coming Home

Okay, here's how cool my parents are.

Not only do they volunteer to take the kidlets for a few days this week. Not only do they drive halfway into Michigan, from suburban Chicago, to meet us for the dropoff. Not only are they planning on taking the kids on a train to Milwaukee to some new, nightmarish hotel/waterpark for a couple days...

They also decide, on their way back home from Michigan yesterday, to stop off at the Shedd Aquarium and treat the spawnlets to a little fish-watchin' party. Who does that?! Who has the patience, let alone the energy, to say, after 5 hours in the car, "Hey kids! You wanna go see the beluga whales?" Fucking gung-ho grandparents on the loose, that's who. Whom? No... who.

I talked to Mr. Z last night on the phone and he was seriously jacked out of his gourd. You have to understand that this is a kid who, quite literally, memorized the names (both scientific and common) of every fish, sea creature and crustacean that has ever lived or even thought of living in a body of water, by the age of three. He was like:

MR. Z: Dad! Gramma and Grampa took us to the Shedd Aquarium. I saw two Garibaldis [his all-time favorite fish], a leopard shark, spider crabs, Look-downs, a Paku, a Lungfish, wolf eels, Cownose rays, Silver Arawanas, sand eels...

It went on for about five minutes. Needless to say, the boy was stoked. Of course, the first thing I said was,

ME: That's great, dude! I'll bet you thanked Gramma and Grampa tons, right?


Then, turns from the phone and yells, "Thanks, Gramma and Grampa!" Classic.

All I know is that I hope there's some magical moment in life where you suddenly stop being so fucking tired you can barely breathe and you start having 'SUPER-DYNO-ENERGY' that allows you to go to the symphony one night, to a play the next, to some art gallery opening the next night, and then still have the ability to take a five hour road trip that culminates in a visit to a goddamn fish zoo.

If there isn't a magical moment like that, then I'm pretty sure my parents are on 'the crank.'

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Do You Hear That? Yeah, Me Neither.

Well, the kiddies are gone. No, I didn't finally kill them. Geez, I'm not that crabby. No, they've been shipped off to my folks' house for a couple days for Spring Break. Which normally would make me breathe a big sigh of relief but I have this backlog of writing for work that is not only ripping me a new one, it's taking my 'old one,' which has been ripped beyond repair, re-ripping it, and shoving it waaaaay up my 'new one.' And then sewing the 'new one' shut.

But I'm not here to complain. Wait... yes I am.

Anywhom, Mr. Z left me with a final thought before his departure that has basically gotten me through this day. Our exchange:

MR. Z: Dad, remember how Grover Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms?

ME: Um... oh... yeah. Right.

MR. Z: [laughing] ... and how Benjamin Harrison was sandwiched between him like a Peanut Butter and Grover Cleveland sandwich?

ME: Great one!

Is it weird that I miss those guys already?

Monday, April 03, 2006

All Right, Who Snorkeled in the Pool?!

I finally got to swim again yesterday. It had been a week. I think the lack of consistency only enhances my crabbitude. I've got to try to get there more often.

So, I start my laps and it's going pretty well. But by about lap 20, I pause at the wall for a short breather because, well, basically I'm having a mild infarction or two. I glance over at the lane next to mine and I see an elderly gentleman resting with his head against the wall. Seems like a nice enough fellow, but there's a small problem.

He's got an undulating, bright green boogersnot dangling from his nose, threatening to unload into the drink. I look away instantly and do a stealth internal dry heave. I'm thinking, "Damn, Gramps. You've got a major loogenoid hanging from your schnoz there and, from the looks of it, you might also have a serious sinus infection going on, to boot."

Of course, I can't help myself. I glance back and he's still there, chillin' and grillin'. But now, his snot moustachio is gone! Disappeared! Vanished!

Which means just one thing -- it's now floating around somewhere in the pool, only one lane away! And I've still got like 20 laps to go. FLECCHHH -- it's giving me the willies again just thinking about it.

That's the major drawback of swimming. Sure, it's relaxing, womb-like, great cardio, easy on the old skeletal system. The only problem is, you're basically floating around in warm pee-booger-assy-effluvia stew. It's like swimming in a toilet bowl. No, worse. It's like swimming in Ernest Borgnine's toilet bowl. On chimichanga night.

I used to bum out because the chlorine always dried out my skin and made me all itchy. But after this episode, I hope it's all chlorine. Fuck the water. I want it to burn when I dip my toe in there. I want it so chlorine-y that when a booger hits the surface, it vaporizes and turns into a green, wispy vapor. If some kid lays a turd in there, I want it to start bubbling like a jacuzzi until that bolus turn into a fart. I don't want to have to wend my way through underwater forests of snot seaweed. I want to look out of my goggles at crystal-clear nothingness.

I've gotta get me one of those endless pools they advertise in the back of the NY Times magazine. That would be awesome. Then I could swim whenever I want. In my own filth.

But until that day, I'll be swimming at the Y in this:

Apparently, Spring Break Stinks

The kidlets have officially started their Spring break, so I've got to hang out and entertain them today. I wouldn't mind so much, but the weekend was hellish (they're both flipping their collective lid of late) and the word on the street is it's supposed to snow today. SNOW! Fucking Michigan.

I did overhear Mr. Z and Miss O having this conversation this morning, though:

MISS O: Do you want to smell my foot?

MR. Z: No.

MISS O: Do you want to smell my other--

MR. Z: NO!!

MISS O: Smell my hand. It doesn't even smell bad at all.


MISS O: Okay.

Wow. A whole day of that is going to be excellent.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Um... You're Doing It Wrong

Do you ever wonder if you're 'wiping' right?

Seriously, think about it. When was the last time anyone actually taught you how to do it? You were like, what, four? I mean, I don't remember much from when I was four, but I can pretty much guarantee that 'attentive listener' and 'stickler for detail' weren't phrases that were used to describe me during that period.

So, basically, I learned everything I needed to about fanny sanitization in 1969. From that point on, I've been on my own. Super. Yeah, I'm sure I'm doing it right.

And then, I go and have kids and I'm supposed to teach them how to do it. Sure, I'm still showing Miss O the ropes, but Mr. Z is on his own. That's it. He's learned all there is to know from his restroom Mr. Miyagi. He'll be waxing on and waxing off wrong for the rest of his life. Poor kid.

It's like some sick game of 'Operator,' but the stakes are so much higher. Instead of "No, I said 'Zip-a-dee-doo-dah' not 'Plippety-Poobah," it's more like, "No, I said 'wipe the paper across your bum,' not 'stick the empty cardboard tube up your anus.'"

No wonder the stalls in public bathrooms are like Fort Knox. Everyone's wiping themselves like a bunch of wild orangutans -- toilet paper flying around, people splashing bowl water up their cracks. It's mayhem in there.

You know, maybe if they made the walls of the stalls out of glass, we could actually learn a thing or two from our more evolved neighbors. It would be like, "Hey, buddy. Where'd you learn that fancy move? You don't mind if I use that myself, do you? No? Hey, thanks for the tip!"

But no, we're left to go it alone, armed only with instructions that were given to us back when we were still getting the crusts cut off of our sandwiches.

What kind of a sick species are we?