Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Big Bassippotamus

Let me set the stage for you:

Imagine that it's cold and rainy and 5:10AM. You have driven 90 miles to get in a single-file line of 155 pickup trucks full of grumpy, hairy, unkempt men; all waiting impatiently to park for approximately 45 seconds in a slot the size of a parking space. There exists not 155 slots, but two. Two slots.

Now add a 25’ long trailer to each truck and take the guy who owns the truck out of the equation and put some other guy behind the wheel. This guy is your fishing partner - randomly-assigned by the tournament director. Have that guy panic and select someone else (a passer-by) completely at random to drive your truck while you sit in your boat on the trailer thinking cheerful thoughts and wondering what is going on.

Also, the "slot" is a "boat ramp" which is full of “water”.  Also, you have forgotten to fill the truck up with gas. So, maybe the truck will run out of fuel while you are in line and the entire process will grind to a miserably embarrassing halt. Also, it is 51 degrees and pouring down rain. You don't know this yet, but it's going to rain all day.

Just to be clear, the scenario I have described is: me, sitting in my boat on dry land, on a trailer, behind my truck, in a huge line of trucks, in the pouring rain, in the dark. Someone I don't know is behind the wheel and another guy I don't know, who was originally behind the wheel, has abdicated his seat and we may or may not be about to run out of fuel.  

Interesting, eh?

Comedy abounds. Then, fury. Then, words are shouted. Later, everyone tacitly forgets what happened at the boat ramp and the comedy and fury are replaced with camaraderie….Until two of the same boats want to get to the same cove and catch the same fish. Then its mostly fury again. Then, tacit amnesia when it’s all over.

I stood in line to weigh my fish right next to a guy who nearly ran me over trying to beat me to a fishing spot not 4 hours previously.

I took the high road and fished elsewhere.

Do you know what the "high road" is paved with? Unkind thoughts. I had many very unkind thoughts while on the high road. One of them involves me leaning over the rude man's deathbed in 60 years pointing my bony, decrepit finger at him and shouting SEE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO RUDE PEOPLE. THEY DIE BEFORE I DO. Ahhaaaahaaaa!!! 

A savvy psychiatrist could set a sofa out on the marina dock and make a living charging $20 an hour to returning fishermen. I, for one, would have paid it because, for possibly the first time in my life, I have some feelings I'd like to talk through.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Have Some Questions

1. Do babies drink water at all? If so - how much? If not - how does he live without water?? And don't say "breast milk". I am 100% sure if all I had to drink for 8 months was milk - I'd shrivel up and die.

2. Does an automotive laser heat sensing thermometer for $11.99 work the same as a baby forehead laser thermometer for $129.99? Methinks it do.

3. What shape has my wife turned into under all that baby?

4. How long before a baby could theoretically ride on a Saint Bernard in a leather saddle that was theoretically homemade by someone theoretical?

5. Can a baby wear a suit and a tie? Because a suit and tie on a baby sounds hilarious.

6. Can you leave a baby asleep in a crib while you run down the street to your Dad's house to borrow a tool and also maybe take some special firewood that you are not allowed to take?

7. Can you freeze breast milk? What things might one do with frozen breast milk?

8. Once upon a time I had a girlfriend who would aggravate me terribly on long car rides - completely unprovoked. Eventually, I would tire of her barrage, pull over, and use the ignition key to turn off her airbag.

This made her very angry.

Apparently, the government says you must turn off the airbag in your truck for the baby to ride up front. That is not the case for girlfriends.

A. Why does the government hate babies?
B. How about if you just turn it down real' low?
C. How about if the carseat is strapped to the floorboard up front? What then?

9. For how long can a baby swim unattended? Obviously, you don't want your baby to get waterlogged.

10. Do they make a stroller that's also a unicycle? Because I want one of those.

11. Could you or could you not remove the blade from your self-powered lawnmower and turn it into a self-powered stroller? Why or why not?

12. If my wife has been losing no hair during pregnancy will she then lose a ton of hair after pregnancy? Because that sounds terrible.

13. What is the best room for your wife to sleep in until the baby can talk - a guest room or the baby's room?

14. Could you make a kind of baby "nest" in the center console of your truck so the baby is more accessible during long road trips?

15. Do most babies share my love of loud noises and new smells?

16. Can a breast pump be modified to plug into a cigarette lighter? How powerful is a breast pump? Could it, for instance, power a livewell in a pinch?

17. Do they make hearing protection for babies? Earmuffs? Earplugs? If so - who makes it? If not - how is your baby expected to tolerate gunfire?

18. If you take your baby with you to commit a crime such as a B&E (breaking and entering) or even a simple burglary wherein no one is injured and very little of value is taken, except for perhaps some firewood; does that make the baby an accessory to said crime?

19. What do you do with a criminal B&E baby? Is there a place in jail for criminal babies? Because it seems to me that after being confined for 100% of their lives up to this point - jail wouldn't be much of a punishment.

20. How do babies and convertibles mix? "Well", I hope?

21. How old before your baby can "hold the wheel" while you take off your jacket? Because when that happened to me I was 3 and Dad ended up with both arms pinned behind his back by a Members Only jacket shouting at me through a mouthful of steering wheel. At least, that's what it sounded like - I had both hands over my eyes so I couldn't see exactly how he got us back on the road.

I feel like if I had been asked to perform that task at a more appropriate stage (perhaps younger?) I would have been better prepared.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tube Socks

I have been concerned lately that I've had nothing funny to write about. Or I am not funny. Or I was never funny, and now I am finding out. I don't feel any different, but maybe something has changed? Do crazy people know they're crazy? Because I feel fine.

All the uncertainty is beginning to weigh on me.

Am I getting normal? Is this what normal feels like - kind of dull and regular? Is this part of becoming a Dad? What's next? TUBE SOCKS??? Because that is the circle of life: you start off in tube socks, graduate to big boy socks in different colors like gray, blue, and tan. Then, at some point, you end up 82 years old in your front yard pushing a lawn mower wearing blue velcro shoes and tube socks pulled up over your white knobby knees. GO INSIDE OLD MAN - NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THOSE TUBE SOCKS!!!

Egh. Maybe I am depressed. Am I falling apart? All I can think about is insulating the attic and if I have the right kind of screws for 7/16" plywood decking.

I was riding around thinking these and many other thoughts, when it occurred to me: I'm probably fine. I may not be funny, but at least nothing has changed.

That cheered me up a bit and I chuckled. Then I looked around and realized: I'm not driving anymore - I'm standing in the "wrenches" aisle at Home Depot brandishing a huge crescent wrench and giggling at nobody in particular. 

I bought the wrench.