Sunday, October 24, 2010

Feeeeeeelllinngggssssss, Oh So Wond'rous FEEEEELLLINGGGSSSS!!

We had an ongoing pre-wedding disagreement about Tyler’s wedding-day performance. She feared she would suffer from giant wracking sobs while walking the plank, err – aisle; and embarrass herself.

Based on her performance during “The Time Traveler’s Wife” a few weeks ago I, on the other hand, was supremely confident she would do just that. That was the disagreement. She was not sure she would lose it, but she was concerned about it. I was 100% positive she was going to flip out.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen someone wail so steadily and consistently through a film before. I may have shed a tear during Braveheart and Forest Gump, but never have I ever been subjected to a steady stream of flowing tears and miserable sobbing such as this; and over something we PAID for.

Ruined it.

I couldn't even make fun of the story line without getting a taste of The Elbow of Silence. A guy randomly travels in-and-out of time and Rachel McAdams is all he has to look forward to? Blech. If it were me - at the very least I'd have been shooting evil dictators, or sneaking onto the space shuttle, or something interesting.

I got her back though. Ernee The Attornee and I took her to see "Let Me In" - a newly-released vampire movie. She's already terrified of the dark, horror movies, parking garages, and being home alone so she generally refuses to see anything involving violence, darkness or "creatures."

To get her in there we told her it was a comedy; then when it was over I had to peel her rigid catatonic limbs off the arm rests.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Live Short and Prosper

A brief follow-up word on The New Regime under which I have been duped and enslaved:

Operating autonomously as an adult these many years now, I had grown subconsciously accustomed to certain niceties of singlehood. Certain “freedoms” if you will. I’ve recently discovered that certain of those certain freedoms have certainly departed to parts unknown.

Such as:
1. The freedom to not have someone’s packing-plant-cold-feet pressed against my warm buns all night.
2. The freedom to arise after 7AM without someone poking me repeatedly in the chest, arms, and back and pressing that someone’s (freezing) nose against my face while repeating over and over “Um. Hallo. Hallo? Are you Awake? Wakey, wakey, eggs & Bake-ey” every minute, on the minute, from 6AM onward.
3. The freedom to taste food without lipstick on it.
4. The freedom to not carry a woman’s credit card, lip gloss, and drivers license in my pocket to every party I attend.

Those freedoms have been stripped from me entirely; not unlike the bedsheets which are stripped from me at approximately 6:12AM daily and replaced by a pair of running socks tossed callously at my chest. The old life was good. The new life is apparently “healthy.”

The new life will “help me live longer.”

The question is: do I want to?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Post: Salman "Strib" Stribling, Esq.

I generally only allow guest posts under extreme duress. However, I believe the following email received from my good friend Salman "Strib" Stribling, Esq. is entirely worth your attention.

For the past 36 hours, we have had a clogged toilet. Not that big of a deal. When my lovely wife (henceforth referred to as MLW) begins by asking if we should "call a plumber," my wounded ego politely declined.

Heck no, we don't need a plumber. I can handle a clogged toilet!

I could not unclog it. I plunged and rooted and splashed until I had blisters on my hands - all for naught. Whatever unholy thing was lurking under that murky water had become firmly entrenched behind bulwarks of murky destruction.

Being a man of finer tastes as I'm sure you're aware; I did not want to risk putting my hands into a liquid smell of this magnitude; especially with no clear understanding of what may await my timid grasp.

It was bad enough to be in such close proximity to utter foulness; but the thought of actually immersing part of my body in sheol was entirely too taxing for my refined constitution. I tried to convince MLW that we needed her more delicate and sensitive hands to reach in and pull out whatever was in there. With four children I've seen her handle substances that would green the gills of the Roto Rooter man, but surprisingly, she preferred to call a plumber.

I, again, in my great wisdom and powerful man-knowledge of all things home-related, refused.

I stood poised over the bowl for what felt like hours as I slowly worked up the courage to do what must be done. Finally, I tore apart my own inner will and with a gasp and a plunge - reached into the depths. Much to my distress, I found nothing.

I decided to hold off and wait it out a little while because - you never know, sometimes these things fix themselves. My car has done that on numerous occasions. So, I left.

Imagine my consternation upon my return to find the toilet in the same sad state of disrepair. It had not magically fixed itself. I, a full-grown educated man with four children, actually believed that the clogged toilet would "be better" when I got home. I forgot that there is no such thing as magic.

As the matter had grown somewhat more serious, I made a quick trip to the Home Depot in search of a tool. Buying a tool is a sheer-intimidation-offfense move. Sometimes just the act of buying the tool fixes things.

Returning with what I thought was going to be the final solution in my hands, I knew the end was in sight. I am sure it has a technical name.

I simply called it the $8 toilet unclogger.

I jammed this puppy in there and started twisting and tugging and shoving and pulling. Nothing. I plunged some more. Nothing. Finally, I had MLW go out to the garage to retrieve some vice grips so that I could take the toilet off its moorings and really get to the root of the issue, but before I could do that, I had to empty the bowl.

It was awful. I mean it was like something out of Trainspotting.

I am still trying to block out certain scarring images.

MLW had to go to the sand box in the back and bring back a couple of buckets so that I could begin scooping the mess out, filling said buckets, and dumping them in what must now be a toxic swamp on the other side of the fence. The plan was simple - I would fill a bucket and either hand it to her or bring it outside myself.

The plan was working smoothly. I handed the first bucket to MLW who, complaining bitterly, hauled it out. The second bucket was far larger, probably holding about 4 gallons of sand in its heyday. I filled it with at least 3 gallons of toxic childsludge. I then gingerly picked it up by the sides, gently laughing to myself, "Wouldn't it be funny if I dropped this?"

Want to know what is even funnier? When the bucket you are holding with 3 gallons of stuff that you did not know your children could generate, breaks. The rim to which I had attached my ninja death grip snapped off with a loud CRAAACK like the snapping of an angel's wing. The bucket hit the floor from a height of about 3 feet and cracked right in the middle.

Imagine if you will - me, standing there with two pieces of plastic bucket in my hands, mouth open wide, eyes the size of dinner plates and the sense of impending doom.

When I say it was terrible, I am doing it a disservice. It hit the floor with a loud splash and before I knew it, had successfully sheeted everything in a light brown liquid wash of filth. It was on the walls, cabinets, filled my shoes - everything. Before I even had time to cuss good I watched a slow-motion tsunami of sewage go out the door, into the hallway, and quickly work its way into the playroom which, incidentally, was filled lots of lovely things Little Win likes to shove in his mouth. I was powerless to stop it.

I heard the unmistakable sound of ultimate human suffering emanate from MLW's mouth as she nimbly blazed through the room picking things up before they could get wet - including the hallway carpeting. I just stood there. I earned it.

This woman is quick. If I am ever in a fire I want her to come and get me out.

Finally, after cleaning up the hazmat tidal wave, I was able to take the toilet off its moorings, run the $8 toilet unclogger in reverse, and pull out a child's building block that my wonderful 4th child shoved in, probably at the urging of the devil. He gets that attribute from MLW's side of the family.

I then burned my clothes, showered in the hottest water I could stand, and have not returned to the scene of the crime. I don't need to - the memories of that wave of sewage will haunt me forever.

In the future, when MLW asks if we should call the plumber, I will humbly, and with a shiver, say "Yes".

Editor's Note: Perhaps this fact has escaped your attention, but as I myself am schooled in the ways of Toilet Scuba, it hasn't escaped mine: Strib, in his total ingorance and obvious innner turmoil - dove in bareback. Skin-on-toiletwater. That is totally unnecessary. Friends: two hefty sacks double-bagging that arm will save you much of young Strib's turmoil and distress.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Regime Change

"Welcome to your new life" said my new wife, grinning, totally unfazed by the last 2 miles of my sweaty flailing and constant grumbling.

"We'll start running again at the next telephone pole."

I stood slumped over the slate-shingled mailbox of one of Buckhead's wealthier denizens, grasping both sides of the brick box and breathing rapidly into the open slot in lieu of a paper bag.

"You go on. I'll catch up" I wheezed.

"Please let go of the mailbox, you're embarassing me. Stretch your calves. That will help. Then get moving."

I helplessly watched her go; trotting merrily down the street, wandering in-and-out of traffic at will - leaving me psychologically deflated and podiatrically ruined on my favorite curb.

As if the sight of my massive frame lumbering along behind a skinny 6-foot blonde wasn't enough to emotionally wreck me, she proceeded to run halfway down the block then, to my horror, turn and progress back in my direction; merrily bopping along to an inaudible melody. When she reached me, shambling along the curb at an embarassing crawl she began, literally, jogging in circles around me shouting forms of encouragement like "just to the next mailbox" "you can do it" and "If you start running again now, you can have toast at home." At one point she ran behind me prodding me along like a water buffalo in the traces.

"It would be much easier if you would just cooperate" she chirped, prodding me one last time before zooming past in an undernourished blur of pink running gear.

She was right. It was easier to just keep running. At least that way the kids passing by on the school bus don't point and laugh.

I hate kids.

Week three of marriage: Blow Ye Violent Winds of Change.

Friday, October 08, 2010


I hear that certain Asian cultures believe the raw oyster is nature's most powerful aphrodisiac.

Me? I'm an American, so I can't be certain.

I cannot attest to their powers on a standalone basis, but I'll tell you that spending 5:00AM - 5:20AM on a Thursday night screaming raw-oyster-flavored bubbles into the toilet will get you a shoe thrown in your general direction, but not much more.

In "sickness and in health" couldn't have prepared her for this.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sometimes You Just Know

When I was little Mom told me that on a lovely spring day years before; she was seated in the garden outside her college sorority house when Mom felt Dad, who was standing behind her, lean gently in as if to whisper in her ear. She thought to herself "what lovely thing will he say to me next?"

Dad said: "Jenny, I think you've got a bald spot."

Mom, horrified, turned to him and said "Have you lost your mind?"

I guess with such forebears it is no great surprise that I managed to marry someone who interrupts my work day to relate such as the following:

Tyler: My friend asked me this afternoon how I knew you were the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

I told her you had a flat-screen TV with DVR and that was it! I knew you were the one.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Guess What We've Been Up To Lately?

Let's hear it for honeymoon activities, eh? How'boutcha? Eh?

In the event it has escaped your notice that I've been mysteriously absent for the last week immediately following my nuptials - that is what's been up. We were not in a monastary contemplating eternity. We were honeymooning.

It's an ugly truth, but it's true. Why fight it?

I love it that the freshly-honeymooned, when asked "how was the honeymoon?!?" so often burst into a vivid litany of their various sporting and outdoor pursuits. It's another of society's many transparent falsehoods that I desire to debunk.

Contrary to popular belief we have, in short, not been kayaking. Nor have we been parasailing, snorkeling, or sunbathing. We didn't watch Manatees or swim with Dolphins. Why would I? I hate animals with blowholes. They're very off-putting.

We didn't scuba.

I never surfed.

We just didn't. I cannot tell a lie and at this point - I lack the energy to put forth the normal farcical responses.

For those of you who've either given us terrible advice (Mark Stephens) or been kind enough to make completely inappropriate suggestions (Uncle Robert) let me just say that Mark's signature "move" The Vertical Souffle - which allegedly involves a luggage rack, two gallons of coconut oil and a fair amount of dexterity - does not sound that great to me. To my Uncle Robert: thanks, but what in the world am I going to do with a fan made of ostrich feathers and a leapoard skin suit?

My Dad asked the ubiquitous "How was the Honeymoon?" question yesterday and I said "I think I threw out my back." He paused, then tactfully rejoined with "Well, how was Florida?" and I said "We were in Florida? All I saw were curtains and a ceiling. Could've been Ohio. I never could tell."

I knew I had struck a chord when I heard George howling in the background and realized: the whole family is on speakerphone.

So, to all you honeymooning parasailers out there let me just say this: You're Retarded.

While its true that candy can be dandy and liquor certainly is quicker: at least sex won't rot your teeth.