Somewhere.

Somewhere in this house is the place where I put things so that I don’t lose them. I don’t know where that place is. Wherever this place is, it must be full of things.

 Somewhere in another dimension, next to a pile of unmatched socks that I have lost, there is a huge pile of delicious food that I never got to eat because I left it sitting on a restaurant table in a styrofoam leftover container.

 Next to the pile of food is a single socket. It’s the one that is missing from my socket set.

 Somewhere in my brain is a box where I put important things that I want to remember. The lid to that box is locked to keep the memories safe.

 Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten what I put in the box of important things that I want to remember. And the chances of me getting to open the box to remember what I put in there are slim because the key to the lock is in a place where I put things so I don’t lose them . . . . and I don’t know where that place is.

 

 

I Can’t Do This!

As I slowly inched closer and closer to the speaker box, at which I would place my order, I felt a drip of nervous perspiration roll off my forehead.

“Do you know what you want?” I asked my wife.
“I can’t see the menu,,” was the reply.

I could have told you that this was going to be the answer. It is always the answer. And as usual, I began thinking to myself, “How can she not know what’s on the McDonalds menu by now? Every American can quote the McDonalds menu by heart even if you don’t even eat there, some can even quote prices as well. The McDonalds menu is as old as time, penned by our forefathers shortly after the completion of The Declaration of Independence.”

But I keep these thoughts to myself, because I have learned that to verbalize them only creates an episode and prolongs the decision making process. I instead turn to my darling children and ask the same question. The answer came at me from two mouths simultaneously, making it impossible to determine who said what, but it sounded like this:

“I want a cheeseburger Happy Meal, I want a chicken nugget big kid meal, and the purple toy, with mustard sauce, no wait make it a blue toy, and root beer, but I don’t want the same toy as her, I think I want nuggets instead, and ketchup, but I already have that toy, can we go to the taco place?”

As I try to comprehend the rat’s nest of words that had just come from the back seat, I pull the car forward. It is now my turn at the speaker. My palms are sweating and I’m having trouble breathing, for I know what is about to happen.

“I’ll have the Quarter Pounder with cheese meal with a Coke and . . .”

I always say ‘and’ in a prolonged and exaggerated way, as an attempt to cue my wife to jump in with her order, but I am met only with silence as she studies the menu. I divert back to the kids, noticing that the little old lady behind me is beginning to look a little impatient.

“I also need two Happy Meals, one cheeseburger and one chicken nugget, with blue and purple toys.”
“NO, I want a red toy.”
“What to drink with those, sir?”
“Lemonades and make it a red toy.”
“I want a cheeseburger instead”
“I’m sorry, sir, we are all out of red toys.”
“Mustard sauce, dad, and I don’t like lemonade.”
“Make the nugget a cheeseburger and change the lemonade to a Coke and the red toy to a green toy.”
“I want curly fries, dad.”
“They don’t have curly fries here, Natalie.”
“I’m Hannah.”
“What was that, sir?”
“I was just telling my kid that you don’t have curly fries here.”
.” . . . We don’t have curly fries here, sir.”
“I know that, you idiot!”
.” . . Your total comes to . . .”
“WAIT! I’m not done,,” I say, turning to my wife. The little old lady behind me is now honking every ten seconds or so and my right eye has begun to twitch a bit.
“Well? . . . . .” I ask, as my voice raises a notch in intensity.
“What did I get last time?” she asked in a tone that would suggest that she was in no hurry.
“I don’t know; does it matter?”
“Can I get the Garden salad with chicken on it?”
“Can she get the Garden salad with chicken on it?”
“Yes, but we will have to charge you more,,” answered the voice on the speaker.
“Ask if I can trade the tomato for the chicken?”
“Can we trade the tomato for the chicken?”
“We’ll still have to charge extra.”
“Well then I don’t want the garden salad, tell her I need another minute.”

The little old lady behind me has gotten the whole drive through line honking and has begun throwing what appears to be Rolaids at the back of my car as, two more minutes of menu studying pass.

“Just get me a Big Mack meal and a diet.”
“Uh, I guess we’ll have the Big Mack meal with a diet and that’s it.”

Silence is coming from the speaker.

More silence is coming from the speaker.

“I’m sorry sir, but can you repeat your order?”
WHAT? REPEAT MY ORDER? I don’t think that’s possible! Sobbing, I look up to the heavens and plead, “Lord! Spare me this shame and take me now!”

I looked at my family. Their mouths were moving as they attempted to repeat their orders to me, but I couldn’t hear any words, just the sound of my labored breathing and my heart beating like a drum. The little old lady behind me was getting out of her car and walking towards me. What if she has a gun in her purse?

The speaker box was getting louder and louder, “SIR? DID YOU HEAR ME? COULD YOU REPEAT YOUR ORDER? . . . SIR? . . . SIR?”

I turned to my wife and pitifully stated, “I . . . I can’t do this.”

With smoke rolling off of the tires, I peeled out of the drive through line, bounced over the curb, across the lawn and back onto the street.

Once home I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for all despite the wailing protests and an unrelenting dirty looks from my wife. A new rule was also proclaimed as we all enjoyed our sandwiches, and that is that NO fast food trips will be made until ALL car occupants have decided and written down their orders.

The Danger of Pancakes.

I love pancakes. My kids love pancakes. Sometimes I make them shaped like animals because my girls think it’s the greatest thing in the world. Sometimes I make pancakes for dinner.

The only problem with pancakes is the fact that pancakes involve maple syrup. And maple syrup involves stickiness.

Even as an adult, I cannot seem to manage to get through a pancake meal with out being plagued by stickiness. I try hard to contain the syrup and its stickiness properties to the end of my fork, but without fail, it will work its way up to my fingers. From my fingers, it will then travel to forearms, face, shirt, the table top, and even the dogs head.

My young girls fare even worse. By the time they have finished their animal shaped pancakes, their sticky hands and faces have collected pancake crumbs, lint, dog and cat hair, small pieces of napkin, and whatever else happens to be a floating around. They end up looking like a mop just before you rinse all the crud off of it. And heaven forbid the syrup gets stuck in their hair. 

If one is not careful, the stickiness can spread from my daughters to the table, chairs, pets, door knobs, toys, and nearly every other surface in the entire house. 

I’ve often thought that a man could get rich if he invented syrup that wasn’t sticky. But until someone does, a next best remedy might be to make young children eat pancakes naked in the bathtub. That way as soon as they are finished, you can just turn on the shower and wash all the stickiness away.

There is no room in this world for people who can’t handle change . . . and I’m one.

At least once a month, if not more, I bring up my email on the computer, or open some app on my phone only to find that the creators of said email or app have deemed it in my best interest to completely re-arrange the layout and change how you perform different functions. Google, Windows, Itunes, Facebook, even WordPress . . . . . all guilty.

I suppose for the very forward thinking tech lovers, this might be akin to opening a present at Christmas. Or maybe it has the feel of rearranging the living room furniture into a new and exciting configuration.

But to me, a computer and smart phone dullard, this is no different than taking me in my sleep, transporting me to an unfamiliar house in a small town in Albania, and having people whose language I can’t speak act as if they are my wife and kids when I wake up. No different.

It is rare that I that I have even mastered the previous versions of apps and emails before they decide to change them.

Not too long ago, it was Gmail that decided I had become way too accustomed to how it operates. I woke up one morning, and all my emails had been sorted into categories like “important” or “work” and then the plain old “in box”. Once again, I found myself in the Gmail version of Albania.

Worse yet, I could not for the life of me figure out how Google determined which emails went to which folder. In all honesty I felt violated. Not just violated, but embarrassed as well, because shortly after the new sorting of my emails began, the ones with the subject “Penis Enlargement” began to appear in my “important” box.

HOW DOES GOOGLE KNOW IF PENIS ENLARGEMENT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO ME????

Could Google see me getting into the shower through my phone? Had my wife secretly been communicating with Google concerning this issue?

The older I get, the harder these little email and app adjustments become. The only thing worse, is getting a new phone or TV or something like that. A new phone or a new “smart TV” causes me great anxiety and can take me months to learn.

Luckily, I have two daughters who grew up in this digital age. They seem to know how to work all these apps, programs, phones, TV’s and every other manner of gadget. It’s as if they were born with the instinct I just use my daughters like little voice operated remotes until I am able to learn the technology myself.

“Make the TV record all the Simpsons” or “find out when Axe Men is on.”

……

I will see you all on Monday, I’m taking a weekend off from blogging 🙂

I got 99 followers, and I just need one.

99 followers . . . . Somebody . . . . Please. 

You could be the one who allows me to say that my followers “number in the hundreds”. 

Do it. Just hit follow. I’ll follow your blog in return. Even if it’s a blog dedicated collecting vintage sporks, or even a blog about Kleenex sculptures. 

I would even follow a blog dedicated to Justin Bieber . . . . That’s how desperate I am for 100 . . . . 

So just do it.

Touch that Bacon, Lose some Fingers.

Go ahead, present your case. Tell me why that last piece of bacon sitting on the grease soaked paper towel should be yours. Tell me how you managed to get mom and your sister to agree that you could have it. Try to bribe me for it. 

Lust all you want, but I worked for the money that bought it, I cooked it, and I’m bigger than you.

Fairness matters not when bacon is involved.

That last piece is mine.

Sharing Fail

When my daughter called me from home to tell me that there was no food in the house and that she would probably starve to death, I told her that she could have half of my Antipasto salad that was in the fridge. 

I didn’t mean the top half.

Could this be my final post?

I finished the bowl of alphabet soup and set the empty dish on the coffee table. But as I watched the rest of my television show, I realized that I hadn’t quite reached the point where I was painfully stuffed. My stomach wasn’t packed full enough to be creaking under the strain of its contents like the hold of a wooden ship in rough seas.

In my world, this meant that I was still hungry.

I reached over and took one of the saltine crackers from the package sitting next to my empty soup bowl and ate it. It was good. Not great, but good.

A minute later, I reached over and took another cracker. This one tasted slightly better than the first.

When I finished the second cracker, I reached for another, only this time I took two crackers instead of one . . . . Just to save on having to lean forward to get a cracker again so soon.

By the time the show I was watching had ended, I was grabbing five, six, even seven crackers at a time. I had finished the package that had originally accompanied my bowl of alphabet soup, and was more than half way through a second package. I couldn’t stop eating crackers.

When I had finished the entire box of saltine crackers, I thought it was finally over. I couldn’t eat any more crackers if there were no more crackers left. . . . .

Fifteen minutes later, I was licking my lips, which were burning from the salt on the saltines I had eaten, and pulling into the parking lot of the store where I planned on buying more crackers. My cracker compulsion was out of control.

Was this how it would end? Death by crackers? I remembered hearing about a guy who died from drinking too much water too fast. If too much water could kill you, I was surely doomed. Water was most certainly more benign than saltine crackers, yet it had the power to kill. By the time I returned home from the store, I was halfway through one of the boxes of crackers I had purchased.

I was fairly certain now that I was going to die from my cracker eating. Would a cracker death be painful? I sat on the couch stuffing cracker after cracker into my mouth and tearfully writing a final goodbye letter to my wife and daughters . . . . . with cracker crumbs cascading onto the stationary causing the pen to work sporadically. How would my family get along without me? Would the blogosphere feel a void in my passing?

“He was such a promising blogger, a star that burned too brightly to last”, I imagined my own epitaph.

So I sit and write this, possibly my final post. I will miss you all if it indeed is the end. I leave you with this final word of advice . . . . If you suspect that you or a loved one is capable of a cracker binge, don’t wait until it’s too late to act. Crackers kill.