Overdose.

I can’t figure out if my wife is trying to kill me, or if my near death incidents due to drug overdoses are simply accidents. I don’t have a large life insurance policy, so I can’t figure out why she would want me dead, but there have been incidents that would make a person wonder.

One such incident occurred when I had developed an extremely agonizing kidney stone. After a flying trip to the hospital, I was given a powerful pain medication and sent on my way. My wife, who is a nurse, took charge of my pill bottle. Upon arriving home, she handed me my first dose to take before the morphine that I had been given at the hospital had a chance to wear off.

Since there was nothing for me to do other than take the pain medication and wait for the kidney stone to run its course, we decided not to cancel the dinner plans we had made with another couple earlier that week.

By the time we had arrived at the restaurant where our dinner engagement was to take place, the pain medication had begun to take effect. I not only was pain-free, but I felt good. I felt REALLY good. We greeted our friends in the parking lot and went inside.

The hostess who looked remarkably like a female version of the Joker from Batman, showed us to our table where a waiter who looked remarkably like the Penguin brought us menus and drinks.

It was at this time that I suddenly realized what a funny guy I was. I made myself laugh just thinking about it. Everyone else was remarkably funny as well, so I laughed even harder. My wife gave me a frown, a very funny frown.

I could hear the voice of our friend, only it sounded like his head was in a steel barrel submerged somewhere in the sea.

“Is he alright?” the voice said.

“He’s fine,” said the walrus that was now seated between me and my wife.

Removing my shirt, I wrapped it tightly around my head and ears to block out the ringing and the obnoxious sound of the Christmas carol singing unicorns. The last thing I remember was biting the waiter’s leg from under the table.

 

As I slowly opened my eyes, they focused on one of our friends leaning over me and fanning my face with her small handbag. I could tell that I was in the passenger seat of our car in the parking lot of the restaurant.

“His eyes are opening!”

I turned to see my wife looking intently at my bottle of pain pills and talking to the husband of the woman fanning my face.

“He’s lucky to be alive! He’s only supposed to be taking two pills every four hours,” I heard my friend say emphatically to my wife.

“I thought it said four pills every two hours!” answered my wife’s voice.

As I recalled later that day, I remembered thinking it was odd that a prescription required me to take four pills all at once. I don’t ever remember taking more than two of any medication at a time.

My wife had nearly killed me.

Now if this had been the only time that medication handed out by my wife had almost killed me, it would be easier to assume that it was a simple mistake. But a very similar incident occurred just a few months later.

My wife and I had always dreamed of taking an Alaskan cruise and this was the year that we were finally able to afford to do it. So along with a few other friends of ours, we booked our trip. To begin the cruise meant taking a flight from Detroit to Seattle. This presented a problem, as I do not like flying at all.

As the day of our flight grew closer, I became more and more panicked. My wife decided to talk to my doctor about my phobia, and he prescribed a rather powerful anti-anxiety medication to make the trip less stressful for both me and my wife who would be sitting next to me.

On the morning we were due to fly out to Seattle, we arrived at the airport and found our places in the luggage check-in line. My nervousness was beginning to make me sweat and act in a fashion that was described by my wife as “flakey.” While we stood waiting, my wife handed me one of the pills which I quickly swallowed.

The pill had definitely calmed my anxiety. I experienced the entire flight in slow motion, or at least the parts of the flight that I was not unconscious. The drug seemed like a bit of over kill, but they did get me to Seattle without a complete nervous breakdown.

After an amazing week-long vacation that went by entirely too fast, we found ourselves once again waiting in an amazingly long line at the airport. And once again, I began to feel nervous and flakey.

“Do you want a whole one?” my wife asked me referring to the medication.

“Yes!” I replied hoping it would take the edge off.

I quickly took the pill and continued our hour long wait in the security screening line.

I was surprised at how much faster the tranquilizer took effect compared to the morning of our flight out to Seattle. I soon found it difficult to stand in line without swaying.

“Wow, I must be tired. It seems like the pill is hitting me a little harder than last time,” I said to my wife in a voice that sounded like a record being played at too slow of a speed.

“Well yeah, you only took a half of one last time.”

I suddenly became aware of my wife using the word “whole” when she asked me if I wanted a “whole” pill . . . as opposed to the half pill I took a week ago. The half pill had bordered on too much. Now I had taken a whole pill and I still had to stand in line for at least an hour before we could board the plane.

I turned towards my wife with heavy eyes and informed her that I may be in trouble. The now familiar sound of Christmas carols began to fill the air as the unicorns floated down from the ceiling and formed a circle around me. I tried sitting on one our larger suitcases when the line wasn’t moving, but I kept fading out, only to return when the large man behind me would smack me in the head for leaning and drooling on him. The unicorns were joined by Richard Nixon who was wearing a beautiful sun dress and together they kept me entertained with their festive music.

By the time we neared the security check point, one of our friends who had accompanied us on the cruise had found an airport wheelchair to push me in as we moved up the line because it was easier than dragging me. I sat and happily sang Silent Night with the unicorns and faded in and out of consciousness.

Finally reaching the security screening check point, the man checking passengers’ identification looked down at me and asked, “Is he ok? Do I need to call the medics?”

“Oh I’m wonderful,” I heard myself say, “I’m on drugs and my wife is trying to kill me.”

Fortunately, I faded away at this point, and slept blissfully through the additional two hours of questioning that my statement had caused us.

Now I suppose I could just assume that another dosage miscalculation had taken place, but two, in the same year? Until I can determine whether my wife is out to get me or not, I am assuming full and complete control of all my medication.

If she doesn’t actually want me dead, she must certainly be gaining some sort of amusement by sending me to sing with the unicorns.

Video can be a Horrible Shock to your Self Esteem . . .

My girls were watching a video from a family get-together that we had at our house last summer and laughing hysterically.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, as I walked into the living room.

Both girls stopped laughing and acted as if they hadn’t heard my question.

“What’s so funny?”

There was still no response, so I turned my attention to the video. The camera that was recording the video had obviously been set on a table or chair and left to record the goings-on, the center of which was a volleyball game that had gone on for most of the day.

As I stood and watched for a few minutes, it became obvious that the girls had been laughing at one of the players in the volleyball game. His lack of coordination and overdramatic reactions to his pathetic attempts at diving for the ball made him a comical center of attention. Other players on the volleyball court chuckled behind his back on the video.

“Who’s the bald idiot?” I asked, still laughing at the poor player’s lack of skill.

Both girls looked at each other for a silent moment.

“Ummm, that’s you, Dad,” my daughter Hannah finally answered.

“Ha-ha, very funny,” I replied, but neither girl was laughing.

I narrowed my gaze at the video playing on the television. I recognized the Star Trek T-shirt that the “bald idiot” was wearing as my own.

“Hey, why is that guy wearing one of my…”

My face suddenly got hot with embarrassment, as I realized that the spectacle, the train wreck, the elephant on the court…was me.

I stood in shock. I knew my hairline had receded a bit, and the back of my head was getting a little thin, but I had no idea it had become bare; bare like the grassless spot on my lawn that commemorates the great hornet/gasoline battle of ’04.

My posture was slouched like a man who had been beaten down by years of climbing trees for a living and accented by a potbelly that was much larger than the one I see when I look down.

My playing skills were terrible…terrible to the point of being amazingly terrible. I had never been a volleyball wizard, but I could, at the very least, hold my own in a game when I was younger. But time after time, I watched myself on the video hit the ball out of bounds, into the net, off my face, or miss it altogether. Worse yet, with each failed bump, set, or spike, I would fall to the ground in an overly dramatic fashion that would best any cowboy movie showdown death. Then I would lie there, flailing like a turtle stuck on its back, until someone finally came over and gave me a hand getting up, followed by two or three minutes of “walking off” my injuries, while I made loud “walking off” my injuries noises.

The video was much too painful to watch. I could still hear myself encouraging other players to “COME ON, GET IN THE GAME!” And my exaggerated grunts and bemoanings coming from the TV as I walked out of the living room. The girls resumed their laughing at me when they thought I was out of earshot.

The video had been a rude awakening to my current state of degradation and lack of coordination. Ever since watching it, I have begun to see myself in an unflattering new light.

More recently, a video of myself dancing at a wedding reception enlightened me to my dreadful loss of rhythm and fashion sense. Mothers in the video are seen rushing to shield their children from my thrashing, dancing appendages. A young couple sitting a table near the dance floor are pointing and laughing at my twenty-year-old dress shoes that I occasionally revitalize with a fresh coat of black magic marker.

My dancing very closely resembled someone who was making fun of someone dancing…in his grandpa’s shoes. Once again, I was mortified to my core.

I now avoid being in a video at all costs. And in the event I end up getting caught on camera, I steadfastly refuse to watch the footage. The volleyball and wedding reception incidents have damaged my self-esteem so horribly that I don’t think I would survive another video episode.

Single Family Asylum Paperback World Premiere!

Thousands of anxious readers lined up outside book stores all across the globe in order to be one of the first to get their hands on the long awaited book release of Single Family Asylum. Police in several cities tried desperately to calm the frenzied book buyers by spraying them down with fire hoses and passing out Starbucks gift cards, but the crowds were relentless in their fervor for the new best-seller. . .

Well, maybe it didn’t happen quite like . . . . Ok, that didn’t happen at all. But don’t let that dissuade you from checking out this collection of ridiculous, funny, family-oriented stories for yourself. You are even free to start rioting in front of a book store if you are so inclined. If you would simply like to check out my new paper back online, here is the magical Amazon book link.

Single Family Asylum

Single Family Asylum is a collection of short, humorous stories about the imperfections of family members and family life that have appeared right here on this blog.

Buy the book! Buy 10 books! Tell your friends! Tell them you won’t ever talk to them again unless they buy the book.

This is Big. . .Really Big.

I have taken the best of my ridiculous short stories from this blog and two previously published books and thrown them into a greatest hits of sorts. The result is probably one of the greatest books for sitting in the magazine rack next to the toilet that was ever created.

The Kindle version is available on Amazon as we speak. . . or as you read. The paperback will be available in a week or so.

Magical Book Link

For those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, most of these stories have already appeared on this blog. . . . so I will forgive you (eventually) if you don’t purchase it. The rest of you will have to buy the book to read all of the stories that have been featured on this fine blog.

“Well why would I buy the book when I can just go into your archives and read the stories for free?” you might ask.

I will tell you why. Because most of the stories in the book that once appeared on this blog were later removed to be held for ransom. Buy the book or you will never see those stories again. It’s marketing at it’s finest.

Many sincere thanks my dozen or so dedicated readers!

 

That’s not funny.

It seems to me, that when entering the world of having children, we are expected to leave our sense of humor by the door. Joking is permitted in nearly all aspects of our lives, with the exception of infants and children.

Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, Hannah, my mother-in-law arrived at our house and asked where the new baby was. I simply answered, “I put her in the clothes dryer to take a nap.”

She did not find it to be the least bit funny, and in fact, you would have thought that I had just committed a murder right in front of her. At this point, I probably should have simply explained that I was just only joking, but then my razor sharp wit took over and I added, “I tried putting her in the dishwasher but I could still hear her crying.”

This sent her into a rage, “YOU DON’T EVEN JOKE ABOUT SUCH THINGS!”

It would seem to me, that when it comes to joking about sticking infants into appliances, the general consensus is that if I joke about it, then I have to actually do it.

I have an entire list of things that Mom’s and Mother-in-laws don’t find humorous when it comes to children:

Painting their faces to look like Alice Cooper (but if you decide to do this anyway, MAKE SURE it is not a permanent marker you are using for face paint).

Fake snakes in the diaper.

Setting them on the porch with “For Sale” signs pinned to their clothing.

And it’s not just my wife that doesn’t find any humor in my antics. One time when I was left alone with my two daughters and four of their cousins while all the mothers went shopping, a young niece started singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round.”

Before long, all of the other kids had joined in, and after ten minutes of the same phrase being repeatedly sung by six loud children, my sanity began to wear thin. To make the concert more bearable, I decided to compose a second verse to the song, and have them perform it when all the mothers arrived home from shopping.

The second verse went like this, “The cheeks on my butt make lots of sound, lots of sound.”

The six of them performing this new verse in front of their mothers did not go over any better than the daughter in the dryer joke. You would have thought I had taught them all to swear like sailors. In fact, one of my sister-in-laws still won’t let me watch her children alone to this day.

Perhaps my brand of humor is a bit much when talking about something as precious as our little children. But I think everybody could lighten up a little bit too . . . because if you don’t, I will come to your house, and glue your children’s feet to the ceiling and wrap them in Christmas tree lights . . .

That is a joke, I would never glue their feet to the ceiling because the blood rushing to their heads would make them pass out. I would only glue children’s feet to the floor.

Mean People Still Suck.

I just don’t understand people who have a mean nature. It always seemed to me that it takes more energy to be mean than it does to be nice. Yet, still I see meanness everywhere. I see it in people I know. I see it on the news. And I really see meanness all over the internet. In fact, mean people having internet is like picker bushes getting Miracle Grow.

I know that this is heading in the direction of one of those fluffy, naive posts that usually appear under a picture of adorable kittens with smiley faces inserted after each paragraph, but it happens to be the thought of the day so you are stuck with it.

To me, it just seems so much easier to be nice. It’s not only easier, but it has to be more fulfilling than being mean. Being nice doesn’t cost anything. Being nice is . . . . . Nice!

I’m not trying to say I never get angry. I can get extremely angry . . . . Especially at mean people. 

And I’m not saying I’m never mischievous. I love aggravating my wife and daughters for my own amusement, but this usually involves nothing more sinister than a well timed fart, or pretending like I’m going to cook one of my daughters guinea pigs for dinner.

But beyond that, I put forth a fair bit of effort to be a nice person . . . . and I’m very happy and content with being nice.