Saturday, June 30, 2007

Theft by Taking

I headed up JW Dobbs this morning and slipped through the first yellow light in the nick of time. That put me at the next red light just quick enough to witness the following scene:

Homeless man, reclined on low-lying concrete wall.
Gently snoring.
Arms widespread - knuckles dragging ground on either side.
Legs splayed with ankles crossed.
Small black plastic grocery bag (full) at his feet; a look of utter contentment and peace lighting his face in stark contrast to his decrepit condition.

Just as I pass our erstwhile VanWinkle; another indigent ambling shiftily down the street sees our sleeping friend and slows to a sneaky, catlike, walk. His steps become ever-stealthier as he approaches the sleeper. He appears to tiptoe. At handshake-distance our ambulating homeless stops and begins a clandestine examination of his surroundings; looking about in all directions as if fearful of being watched. His stealth is comical as it is rush hour and the street is bumper-to-bumper with cars, but he satisfies himself (erroneously) that his actions can't be espied; leans gently forward (as if tying a shoe), straightens up, and begins walking steadily across the parking lot. He looks neither right, nor left.

The only difference?....The other man's grocery bag is gone, yet he snores on. It was a case of theft by taking in a homeless-on-homeless crime.

I'd love to see that police report.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Healthy Fear

If you come from an extremely large family known for being generally "not quite right" as I do; you'll understand what I mean when I say you tend to cultivate a lifestyle of mute acceptance of the weird and unusual.

I was headed North on 400 the other day and as I idly noticed that I had just blown by my exit, I started thinking - I wonder if any of the run-of-the-mill pet peeves our family shares are actually mild phobias? By the time I'd gotten off, and back ON, the interstate headed South I had come to a conclusion. In a word: YES.

For starters, now I'm afraid of missing exits. I've done it so often in the last year or so that I have begun trying to trick myself into exiting on time by always choosing the "exit only" lane as early as humanly possible. If you see that "exit only" sign you better get out of the way. I'm 6,800lbs of unwashed steel hurtling your way like a four-wheel-drive comet and I do my own brake work.

I dredged up a list of typical phobias the other day and started mulling them over, so lets play a fun game: here are a few of my favorite phobias - read them and see which apply to you. My responses are in bold.

Amychophobia- Fear of scratches or being scratched. Nothing worse than that burning scratch feeling. Especially being scratched on an exposed screw. I found that out last night when the door fell on me.

Ankylophobia- Fear of immobility of a joint. I jammed my finger once and I thought it wasn't ever going to fix. Of course, now I can make it "pop" anytime I want, which is a huge bonus and even a potential interviewing skill if you play it right. But really, who wants a finger stuck straight up? Its probably an advantage if you're the idiot in the stretch Tahoe in front of me at 10th and Piedmont, other than that: not good.

Apeirophobia- Fear of infinity. Yes. Absolutely. Lets not talk about it.

Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. I actually have this recurring thought that it would be really miserable if you got that bell-clapper thing at the back of your throat somehow stuck in peanut butter. Eh? See, it bothers you too.

Atomosophobia- Fear of atomic explosions. Hiroshima? I haven't forgotten about that one. How could I? My grandmother mentioned it every time I saw her for 20 years.

Aulophobia- Fear of flutes. Actually more a fear of flutists really, but sure, all those silvery buttons and that weird reed you slobber all over? Count me out.

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying. 650mph in something the size of 6 school buses supposedly floating along on "wings" 10 miles above the earth? Well, I ain't seen 'em flap yet, and buddy - don't lets forget it was built by the lowest bidder.

Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks. I don't know, but they always seem to be really upset. And they also seem to want to carry pitchforks quite alot. Emotionally unstable + pitchfork = X. Solve for X.

Bogyphobia- Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman. I wasn't afraid of them until somebody actually put this down, which makes me wonder if there are other people worried about bogeymen - they must exist. So, now I'm worried.

Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women. Ah, yes. They occasionally breathe fire - I've seen it.

Chemophobia- Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals. Nah, but I SHOULD be.

Cholerophobia- Fear of anger or the fear of cholera. I mean - I don't want to find a nice bag of cholera in my stocking at Christmas, you know?

Chorophobia- Fear of dancing. Yeah, ok. Sometimes.

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Who isn't? The bogeyman (who is apparently real now) lives in clowns.

Cyberphobia- Fear of computers or working on a computer. Tell me about it.

Cyclophobia- Fear of bicycles. Ever wipe out at the bottom of that big hill? Want to do it again? Me neither.

Cypridophobia or Cypriphobia or Cyprianophobia or Cyprinophobia - Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease. Yes, and yes. I have sort of a "life rule" about this one.

Defecaloesiophobia- Fear of painful bowel movements. Talk to my buddy Josh Youssef about his last plane flight from London to Nice.

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists. "Hey! Yeah! Cram a rubber bite block into the back of my mouth and start drilling into a live nerve while I'm still awake. That sounds good. Let me pay you. No, really - I want to. Take hundreds of dollars of my money, then when I come back next week, drop a $1,500 gold crown down my throat and tell me to come back when I 'find it.'"

Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch. Yeah, I don't know. People who live in houses with round roofs on top of big dams? You know what else lives in round-topped houses on dams? Beavers. Sorry Little Drummer Boy, but I'm not super keen on 40lb rodents either.

I hear the Dutch are like water rodents - muskrat people or something. I'm not certain that I'm not afraid of muskrats too.

And wooden shoes? Seriously? Thats what you came up with in 2,000 years? Wooden shoes? Alright, well - you can strap those bad boys on and clog right on back home.

Dysmorphophobia- Fear of deformity. My right ear is significantly lower than my left. I have to keep an eye on the haircutter lady or she'll line me up on the lobes, then when you look me dead in the eye my face seems to be melting. So, yes.

Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church. 6 years in a baptist church choir will do that to you. I'm sorry, but those choir "robes?" - call it what you want Dr. Condra, but thats a dress.

Electrophobia- Fear of electricity. Ever tried to strip a live wire with your teeth? All my breakers are clearly marked now.

Eleutherophobia- Fear of freedom. What would I do if I didn't have to come here everyday?

Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers. 4yrs of youth leadership. Orthodontia and outdoor urination - thats what I remember.

Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds. Ever happen to you when you're trying to give a speech to a crowd? No? How do you feel about nosebleeds now that you're worried about it?

Equinophobia- Fear of horses. I have a friend who says he's afraid of anything that produces feces bigger than his head. Puts it in perspective, eh?

Francophobia- Fear of France or French culture. (Gallophobia, Galiophobia). Yes, fortunately I speak French so I at least know what they're saying about Americans in Paris. You wouldn't like it.

Gamophobia- Fear of marriage. That big white dress reminds me an awful lot of a ghost....the ghost of your FREEDOM.

Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia- Fear of crossing bridges. Did you see "A Bridge Too Far?" The Germans blew up tons of bridges. You never know when some German might want to blow up the one you're on. See below.

Germanophobia- Fear of Germany or German culture. Why do they hate bridges so much?

Gerascophobia- Fear of growing old. Yes, but I don't need to put my ear to the tracks to hear that train coming. Its headed my way and picking up speed.

Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity. I saw Kathy Bates naked in "About Schmidt" and I think that about did me in on naked people.

Gynephobia or Gynophobia- Fear of women. I'm afraid of anything that beats me every time.

Hadephobia- Fear of hell. Yeah. Sure. It bothers me. I'm bothered by hell.

Hellenologophobia- Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology. Normally if somebody is telling you complex scientific terminology they're explaining something you didn't want to know about part of your body you didn't realize you had.

Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms. Yup.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words. The irony that this is probably the longest word in the english language is not lost on me.

Hygrophobia- Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture. See my basement blog.

Hylephobia- Fear of materialism or the fear of epilepsy. I'm not sure how materialism and epilepsy manage to get encapsulated into the same word, but that sounds terrible.

Isopterophobia- Fear of termites, insects that eat wood. Again, the curse of homeownership is that you lie awake at night listening carefully for the sound of a tiny meal going on somewhere in your house.

Leprophobia or Lepraphobia- Fear of leprosy. I will readily admit to fear of any disease that makes parts fall off you.

Lockiophobia- Fear of childbirth. Ah. Yes.

Luiphobia- Fear of lues, syphillis. Absolutely. Although I have no idea what "lues" are I know that it must be something nearly as bad as syphilis, so I'm definitely afraid of it.

Lutraphobia- Fear of otters. The problem with otters is they're not really cat-like, nor are they dog-like. They're "other" and thats a problem because I imagine when confronted with an otter - you're not quite sure what to do. Do I look it in the eye? Whistle? Throw a stick and holler? Back slowly away and throw all your foodstuffs into a ravine? Roast a marshmallow? Who knows? Nobody ever sees an otter.

Musophobia or Muriphobia- Fear of mice. Long hairless tail. Need I say more?

Myxophobia- Fear of slime. (Blennophobia). Uh huh.
Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything. Nice of them to wrap it all up in a bow for you, isn't it?
"What do you have??"

Papaphobia- Fear of the Pope. Men in skirts with funny hats are scary. Thats all there is to it.
Pediculophobia- Fear of lice. Uh huh.
Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers. Uh huh.
Russophobia- Fear of Russians. Uh huh.
Taeniophobia or Teniophobia- Fear of tapeworms. Uh huh.

Taurophobia- Fear of bulls. I'm scared of anything that weighs 2,000lbs, has a terrible temper, pointy weapons, and doesn't care if you die.

Testophobia- Fear of taking tests. Uh huh.

Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia- Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned. Uh huh.

Trichinophobia- Fear of trichinosis. Uh huh.

Tyrannophobia- Fear of tyrants. Or choir teachers. Its the same thing.

Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons. Oh man. Theres something out there im supposed to be afraid of and I can't even identify it.

Xanthophobia- Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow. AAAH!

Zemmiphobia- Fear of the great mole rat. This one nearly ruined my life. I have a tiny problem with rats, a serious problem with moles (born BLIND?? how is that normal?), and an overactive imagination. A "GREAT MOLE RAT"??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm certainly not ever going in the basement again.

Looks like I need some professional help. Unfortunately, I'm afraid of psychiatrists; thats latrophobia, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An Effective Retort

Over the weekend I posted (on Facebook) a picture of Daniel Slocumb reclining in a bamboo chair at the beach in a dirty white v-neck shirt. He has his arms crossed and the way the picture was framed up it looks like he's in a trailer park. Naturally, I made a comment on the picture sparking a line of discussion something along these lines:

This is a difficult family photo to explain.

Yes, the fact that it is just so beautimous and, might I add, awesome - has left you dumbfounded and speechless.

This is the sort of picture that will resurface during your trial in 2039.

I am pretty sure you mean YOUR trial...false allegations against an unwitting genius boy whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time will fall back to hurt you - not me…I'd blame the toadfish you caught yesterday if I were you.

That wasn't a toadfish - I already told you: it was an Amazonian warrior woman in disguise. She tried to kill me with a 7ft spear.

Regardless of that, you better start running or hope, and I do mean hope, that the Dude Ranch does finally float away because I can hear the police sirens all the way from Jeffersonville Road. They're coming for YOU.

You're cruising for a smack-bottom.

With you in handcuffs…I doubt it.

The only thing thats going to be handcuffed is your face to my rump. Thats whats going to be handcuffed, DANIEL. Face handcuffs - write that down.

Don't make me set your whole world on fire, Sally.

The cops are monitoring you, you know...they just read your threats and I heard that they were bringing not only a straight jacket, but also a "Hannibal Lecter" mask and a set of grillz so that you cannot speak unless they want you to.

Oh yeah? The cops are monitoring you through a homing beacon crammed into your....Well, you know….….Shoe.

What they dont know is that I kicked you so hard I lost my shoe in your...toolbox…..and yes I am walking around with only one shoe on….quite uncomfortable.

You're going to have a hard time talking around my size 11. Thats all I know.

Seeing as how one of my size tens is incommunicado, I will have to resort to the only thing that is more powerful: Toby, our Teacup Poodle….Watch your ankles.

Nuh unh!!!!

Which just goes to show you: "Nuh Unhhh!!" is the most effective retort ever devised by man.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nothing Says "I Love You" Like a Pork Rind

I was enjoying a bag of tasty, flavorful pork rinds this afternoon during a quick break when it occurred to me that I should share some of that tasty pork goodness with my friends. Accordingly, I wandered down the hall to see if my good friend and associate, Betty, was interested in sharing my bag of deep fried pork fat.

I was rebuffed with great prejudice, but at one point during her rude commentary on the evils of swine - she let slip a crucial piece of information: Courtney G. (Gertrude) Swaim, HR Manager, loves pork rinds. I know my good friend Courtney to be blonde, thin, and under 30; so I can only assume that ALL thin, blonde, women under 30 love pork rinds.

Now, I know what you're wondering: "How can I get my lovely paramour to join me in the brotherhood of the pork cracklin' snack?" After a great deal of research I found a website ( dedicated to the pork rind which suggests some helpful tips on how you can get the blonde, thin, under 30 object of your affection to appreciate pork rinds as much as you do, see below:

What can I do to create the perfect Pork Rind experience for the girl I love?

The first thing that you have to do is prepare ahead of time so that you are not fumbling around when she is ready to experience the joy and beauty of Pork Rinds. I recommend cutting open a bag of Microwaveable Pork Rinds before hand, and pouring the unburst contents into a champagne glass. Have a microwave that you can watch the contents through, and put a single pork rind in it. With her at your side you should turn the microwave on for about a minute and a half, and watch together. The Pork Rind will grow before your eyes. Remove it from the microwave when it has grown to its fullest extent, and give it to her to eat while it is still hot and rubbery. After that take several more Pre-Pork Rinds and make a heart out of them. Put them in the microwave for a longer period of time (this will depend on your microwave), and you can watch the heart grow, and writhe as your love for each other also does. If this girl is truly special you may want to put a ring on an unexpanded Pork Rind, and cook it before hand so that you can honor her with a truly special and memorable Pork Rind Experience.

Naturally some people are embarassed of their pork rind habit - afraid to snack on fried pig offal in front of their respected friends and coworkers. Ridiculous, I know. However, pork rinds are not nearly as unhealthy as they seem. In fact the website mentioned above dealt with this question as succinctly as anyone might wish:

Aren't Pork Rinds unhealthy?

This is a great lie spread by the same people who try to make you believe that UFOs aren't stealing all of the Earth's butter. But we know the truth. Pork Rinds are perfectly healthy, and a great number of people die of heart attacks when they are thirty. However, among the eaters of Microwaveable Pork Rinds which have sixty percent less fat than fried pork rinds (it says so right on the bag) the chances of heart attack are greatly reduced. The majority of these people do not die of a heart attack until they are 32, or as late as 35.

Fortunately each bag of pork rinds comes with a brief Last Will and Testament in blank for your use. You have only to sign your ready-made will and snack away - your earthly possessions will rest easy in the capable hands of Rinds, Inc. in the event of your untimely demise.

So snack on! And enjoy your pork rinds in good health.

An Aggressive Brushing

The Sandy Springs Reporter's "Police Blotter" column recently reported the following:

"A man called the police and said that he was in fear of his life, of his wife, because she 'aggressively brushed up to him.' He said as the day went on, things progressively got worse to the point that she was "snatching things away from him." The officer recorded the complaint and then gave the man a brochure for 'Man Camp'."


If I had to stop and call the police everytime a woman snatched something away from me I wouldn't ever get all the way from HBO to the Outdoors Channel. Anyway, I can't help but think how nice it would be to have a wife who wants to "aggressively brush up" to me. I mean - don't throw me in the briar patch, you know?

It’s a sad commentary on our time when a man can't stand up to some good, old-fashioned, "aggressive brushing." Has postmodern man devolved into a pudgy weakling strapped to a luxurious armchair of defeat and complacency; whining because the expensive Sub-Zero refridgerator keeps his cheap American beer too cold for his sugar-weakend teeth and delicate stomach?

Our harried combatant has sat out a few rounds too many and needs to get his head back in the game. He doesn't need "Man Camp"; he needs a mouth guard and a sparring helmet.

So, cinch up that chin strap and brace yourself for an aggressive brushing, Bob - you can do it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You Guinea Pig

Based on my earlier comments about Splenda I decided to do a little further research and find out just exactly what sort of long-term impact I could expect this little molecule of chlorinated goodness to have on my body. I'll give you a hint: its not good news.

I managed to locate a solid article on the internet by Dr. Marcelle Pick that didn't give me a comfortable, happy sort of feeling about my artifical sweetener of choice. See below:

So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents. But in this case, the FDA decided that because these studies weren’t based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. Of course, there are countless examples of foods and drugs that have proved dangerous to humans that were first found to be dangerous to laboratory rats, and then again, countless others that have not. So the reality is that we are the guinea pigs for Splenda.

Observational evidence shows that there are side effects of Splenda, including skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up at one end of the spectrum — in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us.

Maybe instead of "Splenda" they should call it "Instant Rash" "Colonic Implosion", or "Liver No More."

Apparently Splenda consumption has the same sort of symptoms you might expect from garden-variety STDs. "Bladder issues" sounds a bit ominous; sort of like "pumping blood", "complications from surgery", "or the doctors aren't sure...." I don't know what a "bladder issue" is exactly, but I bet if you've had one you know it.

So, my bladder and I have decided hold off on Splenda - just for awhile - to see if any of you guys die first.

Manna Combo with Fries

I had a dream last night which, in itself, is surprising because I rarely ever have dreams - or at least I rarely ever remember them. Last night was different; most likely due to an unfortunate combination of grapefruit juice and pepperoni pizza coupled with a Breyer's Carbsmart icecream bar loaded with Splenda - a substance that, if exposed to sunlight, has the potential to unmake the world.

It wasn't exactly a nightmare, but it wasn't fluffy clouds and harp strumming either. It was something in-between: it was Chick-fil-a.

For some reason I went to sleep, woke up dressed in Chick-fil-a attire, and headed out the door for my first day of work. I felt very worried because I didn't know how I would make my mortgage payment at $6 an hour, but it seemed reasonable that I would be headed there for work. Now, the connection between Christians and Chick-fil-a notwithstanding; I love some tasty Chick-fil-a - I won't lie to you. My non-Christian friends often refer to it as "Jesus Chicken", but they know all that biscuity goodness surrounding a hockey puck of superheated chicken meat is just what one needs at 4AM on a wintry Saturday morning.

I won't make the obvious reference to "the desert", "Manna" and "Quail" from God, but I will point out that if you want to get a brief taste of life as an Isrealite: go stand in your sandbox at noon on July 4th and eat a chicken biscuit. That's all I'm saying.

So, in my dream I was looking forward to kicking off Monday with some quarter-sized potato shreds and a nice deep-fried biscuit.

When I got there the manager turned out to be my long-time compatriot, mentor, sometime turkey poacher, and friend, Mark Stephens, apparently fresh off another career change at 55. I absentmindedly thought that Chick-fil-a Managership was an odd choice for a licensed home inspector, but knowing Mark it seemed plausible enough, so I took it in stride.

My job was to take bags of Chick-fil-a to patrons after they had placed their orders. During the lunch rush Mark's method of handling the bags was to write a customer name on each one; which would have been fine if he had written their actual names down; but he didn't did he? Nope. Instead he made up "funny" names based on the physical characteristics of the customers and I had to go shout them out in the crowded restaurant.

Hollering "Great Big Fatty!!!" out across a fast food restaurant at 12:05PM does not win you friends.

Needless to say: Mark blamed the entire thing on me when Truett Cathy showed up which, of course, he did.

All that to tell you this: last night I got fired from my dream job at Chick-fil-a.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Special Challenges

You want to hear something funny? I noticed this comment on the "Homeschooling Alumni" website:

"I have finally embraced my identity as a home school graduate, along with all of the special challenges and opportunities that background has created. I was encouraged just to know that I have a community of fellow alumni..."

That’s not the funny part.

The funny part is this: it wasn't until just now that I realized I had special challenges.

Once the terrible truth sunk in I immediately began to investigate the challenges of dealing with special needs persons such as myself in order to determine how best to advise each of you to treat me from here on out. I found an excellent text on a related topic at, so I took the liberty of editing it for our purposes.

What can be more frustrating than harsh realities are subtle realities for homeschoolers and ex-homeschoolers. Living as an ex-homeschooler is difficult but can sting even more when people encountered are:



Impatient people try to rush ex-homeschoolers through life. A man who was behind me in the grocery line one day tried to unload my cart for me. The gesture would have been welcome if it had been rooted in kindness, but it was obvious I was too homeschooled for him in this fast-paced world we live in.

Inconsiderate people can be found using handicapped bathroom stalls and parking spots, facilities specifically designated for people with disabilities and homeschoolers. Inconsiderate people do not hold doors open, a simple action that can make things much easier for a homeschooler in hoop skirts or petticoats on her way to harpsichord lessons.

Rude and insensitive people are often found staring at homeschoolers during school hours. They seem to not like what they see, or imagine themselves in the role of the little homeschooler. It creates an uncomfortable situation unless you either ignore the person who is staring or scream until they leave.

Demanding people and those who lack understanding about the realities of your homeschooled life can also be provoking. A friend of mine had a surgical procedure which restricted her ability to milk a cow for a period of time. My friend's mother called to tell her she needed to go milk that big 'ol cow before it kicked over a lantern or something, disregarding the restrictions that were given to my friend. She had to tell her mother she couldn't help her. Needless to say: Chicago burned - all because of a homeschooler.

Pessimistic people can annoy and be hurtful. Pessimistic people focus on the negative aspects of homeschooling instead of trying to build up, encourage, and praise the accomplishments of homeschooleys. Pessimistic or negative people don't want to learn about the realities of pretending not to be a homeschooler. They have preconceived ideas and often treat little homeschoolitos as if they are faking or lazy. Even worse, negative people sometimes treat homeschoolers as if they have no abilities at all - even when they demonstrate excellence in life-critical skills such as chess and spelling.

Unhelpful people are yet another category of people who can annoy and frustrate homeschooled people. For able-bodied people, most tasks are effortless. The same task for a homeschooler is perhaps an impossibility. Changing lightbulbs or air conditioner filters, scrubbing showers, getting a large load of groceries - it's just part of daily living. Who does it for the homeschooled person, since they don't have electricity or cars?

What you can control, whether you are able-bodied or homeschooled is: yourself. All humans face challenges, it's just that puny homeschoolers face different challenges. You will not rid the world of impatient, rude, insensitive people, but you can control how you react to them.

Impatient people cause you to be more patient. Insensitive people cause you to be more sensitive. Negative people cause you to react with positivity.

For each negative person you encounter, you have many more positive encounters. Surround yourself with people, things, and experiences which make you feel good and do good. Do you deserve less than that (even as a nerdy homeschooler)?

In summary if you are impatient, rude, insensitive, inconsiderate, pessimistic, or unhelpful to me in any way - you can stop that anytime. Go on and give it up.

After all, I have special challenges.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Greetings from the Beach. Let me give you a brief taste of our normal June vacation week at Pawleys.

Uncle Robert (out of the blue):
Babies learn to crawl in the first minute of life. You shouldn't wrap them all up so tight right away in them what do you call 'em - "swaddling clothes." Never learn to walk right.
After all - Jesus didnt wear swaddling clothes

Uncle William:
Ah. Yes He did. The Bible says so. Read it.

Uncle Robert:
No it didn't. You're reading that Mormon thing.
That mormon thing is all about Joseph Smith. Not Jesus.
He passed Jesus in the desert and waved "heyyy!" And that was it. Everything else was all "Joseph Smith" this-and-that.
Anyway, it didn't matter with Jesus. He could go "POOF" and know how to walk.

Uncle William:

Uncle Robert:
Jesus rode a Harley.

Uncle William:
Jesus did NOT ride a Harley! You've lost your mind.

Uncle Robert:
How do you know? You don't know nothing about what he did from 12 to 33. Maybe not a Harley; but definitely something cool.
Anyway, He threw all them gamblers out of the temple when he was 18. That’s between 12 and 33.

Uncle William:
That was when he was grown.

Uncle Robert:
Well. Babies still learn to crawl in the first minute.

Uncle William:
Most girls don't want tthat nasty dirty baby put on 'em without being cleaned up. That takes more than a minute.

Uncle Robert:
Well. Maybe it was 15 minutes. They have 15 minutes to crawl to the bosom.

Who said "bosom?" I heard "bosom." We don't say "bosom."

Well. What about Uncle John? He's a "female doctor" you know.

He can say "bosom."

Uncle Robert:
Well, babies born in water know how to swim.

Collective groan....

Screening the Sun

The interesting thing about sunscreen is that its not exactly a "screen" for the sun, you know? I mean: lots of it still gets through the screen so it ain't much of a screen. If I sold a bug screen that worked this bad I'd be out of business in 2 days.

The fun part starts when sunscreen fails and everybody near enough to see the rosy glow beaming off your scalded hide immediately wants to help:

Oh well - you should have reapplied.
Did you get in the water? I bet you got in the water.
You know if you get in the water you have to reapply.
What number did you use? 6?
6 isn't enough to keep you from getting burned. You should know that. You're 27 years old.
And then to make it worse you got in the water, didn't you?
I can tell you did. Your hair is all wet. You got in the water.
You know its not really 'waterproof'. Its your fault.
You know you shouldn't do that - get burned like that. It'll give you cancer.

Everybody is so quick to defend sunscreen, but c'mon. If you're wearing sunscreen there's a 90% chance you're on the water somewhere. Waterproof should mean "GO ON JUMP IN! YOU'LL BE FINE!", but it doesn't. It means "OH MAN GET OUT OF THE WATER AND SPREAD SOME MORE OF THIS WHITE BUTTER ALL OVER YOU QUICK BEFORE YOU ROAST LIKE A HAIRY PORK LOIN."

And what do the numbers mean? EXACTLY? Eh? If it says "6" that, to me, means you can stay out 6 times as long with this marinade spread all over you than you could otherwise.... Apparently that is not the case.

Which brings me to my point: the back of the sunscreen bottle should do away with all the warnings and ingredients and stuff. Shove those SPF numbers off on somebody who cares. All I want to see is a close-up of a man's back after he's spent 6hrs sitting in the sun with that particular sunscreen on it.

Then I'll know what I'm dealing with.

Vanilla Is the Loneliest Number

There comes a point in every man's life when he has to make an important decision. It could be anything: roll or squeeze the tube? Chocolate or vanilla? 10w-30 or -40? High test or low? Mid-grade? Cream cheese icing? Pound cake or yellow? Convertible or hardtop?

You never can tell what'll come of it. The tiniest of decisions may have huge ramifications. You could miss meeting your mate over something as simple as choosing the wrong icing. Think about it. There you are; both picking your way to the cake through a crowd of wedding-goers. Your future mate approaches from the North, you - from the South. You circle once and sidestep - passing just out of range of several conversation grenades lobbed in your direction by crazy aunt Mattie. "Heyyyy Aunt Mattie can I get you some cake?" Brilliant - she'll grow gray waiting on that delivery.

As you near the table Rich Uncle John leans over to tie his shoe and over his back you see it: gritty white icing with that nasty red rasberry jelly stuff between layers. Bleechhh. If I wanted jelly I'd make some toast.

But who is that lovely brunette reaching for a slice?

Who cares.

You peel off and head for the bar and she marries your cousin based on the strength of his "I can dislocate my shoulder" party trick.

You die lonely.

Don't say I didn't warn you.