Sweet and Then Sour; A Five Year Old Imitates a Popular Gummy Candy Although the Order is Reversed

I habitually call home as I leave work. I do this because I love my family and I can spend a few extra minutes interacting with their minds, even though we aren’t physically together.

A couple of days ago my wife was busy straightening up our board game cabinet. (We are huge board game people. Our Christmas tradition is to buy a game for the family. This year is going to be Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and I couldn’t be more excited.) She was a little stressed so she handed the phone off to the five year old boy we love so much.  I asked him how his day went and shortly after this conversation petered out he said “You’re my favorite sweet-pea.”

I responded with similarly sappy drivel and said “Thank you, buddy! You’re my favorite sweet-pea too!”

I drove on for a few seconds reveling in the pure love my son had just expressed. My son was silent also and I could hear muted conversations in the background over my son as he breathed right into the phone.

I was nearly startled off the road when he snarled “I’m going to fight you.” It sounded as if a demon had stolen the phone and spoken to me from the depths of the appalling Inferno envisioned by Dante. I was understandably taken aback and remained silent for a moment before uttering a tentative “What?”

“I’m going to fight you!”

“You’re going to bite me?”

He wasn’t speaking clearly and my brain was busy composing a “The power of Christ compels you!” type of speech.

“No. I’m going to fight you!”

“But…wh…wh…wh…wh…why?” I stammered, confused.

And then, in a sweet, nearly sing-song voice he said “Because you’re my favorite sweet-pea!”

“Why would you fight your favorite sweet-pea, buddy?”

“Because,” he said, “you’re my favorite sweet-pea!”

I’m still pondering whether or not to contact some Catholic authority.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy your family despite their occasional demonic quirks.

A don’t…forget the look up the Pope’s address. You know. Just in case.

P.S. Here’s a demonic quote from my seven year old daughter, just so you understand my concern: “I’m thankful for the dead people because they died.”

Sweet dreams fellow bloggers and blog readers. I hope your family is much less demented than mine apparently is.

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The Turnpike Conspiracy; I’m Probably Way Off

There’s a toll road that my wife and I must travel should we ever wish to visit her parents. For some, this would be a sufficient deterrent to skip a trip to the in-laws’. I am blessed with in-laws that are a pleasure to visit and be fed by. We often take to the Turnpike and suffer the inconveniences of pulling over for every brightly lit toll plaza between here and there for the sake of family togetherness.

I’ve had many a choice word to share with my wife about the Turnpike as we drive it. I’ve pointed out every skid mark, rough spot and guardrail dent I can find. If they’re demanding I pay to drive on their road, shouldn’t the road be perfectly kept? Maybe they could get a crew out to mow if they didn’t have to pay the electric bills on those ridiculous plazas. Who knows how much they spend to employ the toll collectors and maintain the toll-taking infrastructure? I’m sure someone does and I’m sure that someone is highly paid to know it.

Despite the fact that they take money meant for road maintenance and spend it on better money-taking, I’ve come to love the Turnpike because I’ve realized what they really are. I know where the thousands of dollars they take in daily is really going, and I fully support it.

I only realized what they’re really up to yesterday morning at the toll plaza. The guy in the little booth had a nametag on and I had never bothered to notice before that they bother to wear those. But they do. The guy who stole my money yesterday was, according to his tag “Gary” (name changed to avoid litigation). And “Gary” was also apparently #1032 (number changed to avoid litigation). I thought benignly about this as we drove on and this was the first time I had ever had a benign thought about the Turnpike. I emotionlessly considered whether or not “Gary” was employee #1032 or whether he was actually “Gary #1032”. I think, for my own well-being, he must’ve been “Gary #1032”, which means that the reason the Turnpike takes so much money yet fails to keep the road in perfect condition is because they are perfecting techniques to clone employees.

Why is this a good thing for me to believe? It comes down to peace of mind. I become inordinately angry when I think about paying to drive on an imperfect road. It drives me bonkers to see that most of the money taken in goes into maintaining the ability to keep taking money rather than maintenance on the road itself. If I can convince myself that the Turnpike is involved in cloning, I can further dream that one day the entire Turnpike system will be maintained by mindless peons who demand no pay or days off because they’ve been programmed by the dude at Turnpike headquarters who makes a lot of money to know where Turnpike money goes to love and cherish and nurture the Turnpike and to serve said Turnpike with their lives.

They may never totally do away with the tolls. After all, they still need to feed, clothe and house their clones. Probably they have to pay some royalty to the original DNA owner. But the tolls should decrease. Even if they don’t, though, it is enough for me to know that I’ll be paying to drive on a road that is meticulously maintained and that my money is going to feed a scientific miracle.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider some sort of medication if you agree with any aspect of this post. I become so irritated by the most mundane inconveniences that I sit in front of a computer for long stretches of time crafting ludicrous posts.

A don’t…enslave clones. Or anyone else. Ever. Even if you did clone them and they could help lower the tolls on the Turnpike, no one deserves to be “owned” by another.

Prescription Windshields; Exploring an Entertaining Idea for a Very Poor Business

It seems to me that perhaps prescription windshields could be a viable business idea. The positive aspects are many. Firstly, and quite obviously, for example, you won’t have to worry if you forget your glasses or lose a contact lens. Actually, you’ll probably want to remove any ocular assistance device before sitting down behind a prescription windshield. I haven’t studied the effects of being “redundantly-glassesed”, however I suspect the only effects would be ill effects. Secondly, your vehicle would be less likely to be stolen. If it was, and this is the fact that holds the distinction of being the third positive aspect of prescription windshields, recovering your vehicle should be fairly simple. If the thief doesn’t share the need for the exact same eyeglass prescription as you, they’ll either be stopped for suspected commission of the crime of DUI or they’ll develop a severe headache and crash into some ditch or tree in your immediate vicinity. Should the thief be equally ocularly under-developed, the police can simple scour optometrist records and contact everyone in your area that shares your corrective lens needs until they find they culprit.

The negative aspects of prescription windshields are also many. To break the monotony of paragraph style blog reading, I’ll present these factoids in bullet point fashion below:

  • Prescription windshields would be cost prohibitive.
  • Prescription windshields would also indicate the need for prescription mirrors and side windows incurring even more cost.
  • Any passenger in a prescription glassed vehicle would suffer greatly if they didn’t share the driver’s prescription eyeglass needs.
  • Probably no one else in your family would be able to drive your vehicle. This aspect could also be considered positive, dependent upon circumstances.
  • Those who require bi- or tri-focals would, in addition to incurring even further expense, be forced to operate their motor vehicle with their necks alternating between the natural straight up orientation and various absurdly odd orientations depending, of course, upon whether or not they are attempting to read road signs, check for oncoming traffic or simply drive down a well known road.

I recently discussed this idea with my co-workers and one of them pointed out a hard and fast reason why prescription windshields and side windows would be a wonderful thing. He suggested that car doors could be designed to be easily removed so that, in the event the driver forgot/lost/broke their much more plausibly designed portable prescription eyewear, he or she could simply remove their car door and carry it in front of them, peering at whatever requires their peering through their prescription side window.

I originally loved the prescription windshield idea because I found it comical in its base form. My co-worker’s addition of the hilarious visual of someone using a car door as glasses has become my new favorite reason for supporting the prescription car glass proposal.  Hats off to this man, who shall remain nameless unless he reads this and demands credit, who took my already funny (to me, anyway) idea and improved it in such a wonderful way.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to invest in this idea if you have extra money laying around that you never care to see again. This idea will go precisely nowhere, but I’m not opposed to accepting free money if someone is willing to offer it.

A don’t…forget that many a business plan has been laughed at before becoming a huge success. Keep it in mind. Just a thought.

Waffle Safety; A Tale of Warning for Those Who Prefer to Eat Breakfast at Home

Were you aware that a waffle iron can make a sound that is reminiscent of a combination old-timey tea-kettle/pressure cooker?

I wasn’t until just last Saturday.

My wife and I, enjoying the extremely elusive and rarely-seen-in-the-wild-Sasquatchesque Saturday-morning-without-work-or-kiddos, decided to make a huge breakfast. I started making waffle batter from scratch. As I whipped the egg whites into their very strange, overly-aerated state of near solidity my wife cooked that strangest and most delicious of all sausages; Chorizo. As it sizzled in the pan and we laughed at its suspiciously turd-like appearance, I filled the waffle iron and flipped it, as per manufacturer instructions. The first waffle came out perfect. I tonged it absentmindedly onto a plate as the smell of Mexican sausage began to pervade the kitchen. I was salivating fiercely as I filled the waffle iron a second time.

Disclaimer: I, not knowing the limitations of common household waffle irons, overfilled the waffle iron. I just wanted a thicker, chewier waffle. The box said it was capable of making those. So sue me. Or, perhaps I’ll sue them. I won’t though. I’ve never been a fan of the waffling lawyers do in front a judge as they dance the complicated dance of waffle litigation.

I thought nothing of having put extra batter into the iron. I closed it, waited a moment for the batter to firm up, then flipped it and went to cracking eggs into the skillet with the Chorizo. My wife and I were held in some sort of stasis over the stove, enjoying the smells and anticipating the tastes when the waffle iron dispelled our enchantment by registering, mildly at first but growing rapidly in urgency, its discomfort.

I, upon first hearing the noise, merely reminisced. It sounded like an antique tea-kettle whistling on Grandma’s stove, only muted, as if heard through a thick early morning fog. My wife looked unconcerned. The whistling grew increasingly shrill and was soon accompanied by a rattling sound that reminded me of Mom boiling potatoes for mashing in her old pressure pot with the circular weight on top that would dance and gyrate atop the vent it straddled when the desired pressure had been reached.

At this point I became concerned. I still wasn’t sure what it was, but I noticed that the factory installed green “waffle is ready” light had illuminated. I approached the iron, still curious about the noises and gradually noticing that the noises we’d been hearing grew louder as I got closer to the kitchen gadget. I noticed, then, that our waffle iron was rattling within its frame…

Just as I reached for the handle, as if on some sort of cue, there was a noise that would’ve been horrendous had it been produced on a larger scale and the iron flipped about fifteen degrees sideways. I grabbed the handle and, despite its recent apparent ease of movement, I couldn’t flip the iron over the rest of the way so that I could open it. It moved easily in the clockwise direction, but try as I might I simply couldn’t wrest it counterclockwise past the approximately fifteen degree angle it had earlier set for itself. I became both agitated and alarmed as the rattling grew from merely annoying to all out fanatical. I grasped the handle with both hands and gave one firm and final twist…

…a loud POP! sounded as I defeated the building pressure, the top of the waffle iron bounced a few fractions of an inch and the waffle within rose with it, settling back to nearly its original position as the kitchen fell suddenly silent.

My wife and I shared a look then went back to cooking our blessedly unhurried breakfast, unworried by the extent to which things could’ve possibly escalated.

Crisis averted, but now I’m curious. What would’ve happened had I simply done nothing? Don’t tell my wife, but I sincerely plan to soon find out.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…heed this public service announcement and practice waffle safety. It’s somewhat similar to living above your means. The more you fill out your budget with luxuries, such as thick waffles, the more dangerous pressure you build.

A don’t…settle for mediocre waffles. If your home iron won’t suffice, consult any local, trustworthy purveyor of waffles.

The Highlander Conundrum; Life’s Little Paradoxes

It seems that another family of the same name has intruded upon the school my children attend. My last name (which is different from the last name I write under) is fairly uncommon. I won’t reveal it here, simply because what I’m about to say may offend this other family of the same name and they have done nothing at all to deserve what I’m about to say but, every time I show up to get my kids and hear a strange first name called along with my last name I imagine my self drawing a huge sword on some craggy peak in Scotland and battling away at the other dad as lightning flashes and we both scream, ala Highlander, “There can be only one!”

Rest assured I have no real desire to attack anyone. I will not sword battle some innocent man simply because we wear identical nametags at work. Assuming, of course, he is employed in a place, as I am, that puts your last name on your shirt instead of your first. He probably doesn’t even own a sword anyway so, even if I did, the battle would be unfair and one sided. And anyway, I don’t own a sword either. All I’m trying to say is that this is all in my imagination. I’m not going to attack anyone. No need to alert any sort of authority.

I’ve simply become accustomed to being the only man of my surname in my area and it feels as if this other family has somehow intruded. Ridiculous, yes, but it feels like fate that we would both live within the same school district.

All of these thoughts about fate and sword battles have sparked a few thoughts about the actual show “Highlander”. I tried and tried to be a fan when I was young. It had Sean Connery, so it couldn’t be less than amazing right?

Wrong.

It was way less than amazing. I could’ve overlooked the poor acting and terrible special effects if it hadn’t been for the awful premise.

Think about all the paradoxes.

Paradox 1: “Immortals” hunt each other down and kill one another. How immortal are you if you can be killed? Not immortal at all. It doesn’t count as immortality if another, even if it’s only if he is also “immortal”, can kill you. Have you ever heard the phrase “mortal wound”? If you are immortal, then by definition mortal wounds don’t exist for you.

Paradox 2: “There can be only one.” If there could be only one, there would be only one. If there can be only one fish in a particular tank because the size of said tank is sufficient only to support one fish, then another fish simply cannot exist within that particular microcosm. And so another fish doesn’t. If another was introduced one fish or the other would waste away, without interference from the healthy fish, and perish naturally due to lack of sustenance and other resources. The same is true for the Highlanders. If the Earth can support only one, why hunt one another. Save your strength. Let the other hunt you, waste his limited energy and wither away in a fashion most uncharacteristic of an immortal. There can obviously be more than one. There are several. And they constantly hunt and kill one another. They should instead scream “There should be only one!”

They need to stop lying to themselves. They are neither immortal nor solely entitled to exist upon the planet. They are selfish, healthy enough to survive anything other than a wound from another “immortal”, idiots.

Thank you for allowing me to rant and rave once again. I hope you can relate.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…adopt “There should be only one!” as your battle cry. Forget “There can be only one!”

A don’t…lie to yourself about the realities of existence. If you happen to be a selfish idiot, don’t bother to try to disguise it. Embrace it. Or, perhaps, change.

 

Do-nuts and Don’t-nuts; Cake VS. Yeast: A Meandering Mind Tackles a Problem of No Great Concern

Let’s start with the etymology. Donut. Pronounced dough; spelled do. Some may spell it doughnut, but for the most part we lazily use donut. That’s ok.

How did they come to be called doughnut before being abbreviated to donut? The first part is simple. They’re made of dough. The only thing I can figure for the nut part is that they were either originally covered in nuts, shaped like nuts or invented by a mechanic or maintenance person to whom they resembled the nuts that screw onto bolts. Perhaps they are intended to have nutty fillings or flavorings. I fear, however, that the true origins are lost to time.

At the very least they are lost to someone like me who hasn’t the gumption to research and find out.

We’ve addressed the laziness of the word itself and how it has devolved from doughnut to donut. Now let’s address the laziness with which they are produced. A true donut (or doughnut; if you’re a self-motivated go-getter) is a ring made from a yeast risen dough (or do; if you’re lazy or simply don’t care one way or the other) and either smeared with a sweet glaze, topped with a sweet topping, or both. That is a doughnut, plain and simple. It meets the requirements of being made of dough (or do.  My goodness, how long is he going to drag this out? How much can you reasonably milk a single joke? Speaking of milk, it goes quite well with do-nuts. And also with don’t-nuts, I must admit. It’s really the nomenclature that chaps my hide.) and at least roughly resembling the nuts that screw onto bolts if it isn’t nut topped, filled, or flavored.

But cake donuts? (Or doughnuts or, more aptly put, don’t-nuts.) Cake is made from batter, not dough! Therefore, despite being shaped like a donut, glazed like a donut, sold as a donut, it isn’t a donut. It’s a farce. It is at best a cakenut (read cakenut as don’t-nut).

Now, I have nothing at all against cake. Cake is glorious. Have you tried Angel Food? Here is a food that is aptly named. Light. Fluffy. Amazingly chewy, as I imagine a true Heavenly Angel must be. Devil’s Food is an equally aptly named cake. It is sweet, decadent and delicious. As the devil is. He is a trickster, tempting with sweetness, rewarding with obesity and heart disease if you over-indulge. Cake is perfectly, wonderfully fine.

But cake is cake. It isn’t a donut (doughnut…ugh…enough already, guy…geez…). I’ve never once associated a desire for a donut with a desire to eat a ring shaped cake. When I want a donut I want a light, airy treat that dissolves on the tongue and upper palate the moment it contacts saliva. I want to have it resist slightly as my teeth tear into it and then have it slide down my throat, smearing melted sugar as it glides, condensed on itself yet light as feather, to my stomach. It shouldn’t crumble. Cake crumbles. Cake leaves crumbs because it is made from batter, not dough. It isn’t quite as cohesive. It quite simply is not a donut. If it is sold as a donut, it is nothing more than a donut shaped cake. It is a lazy donut. Instead of waiting for dough to rise you simply whip up a batter. It is, without question, a don’t-nut.

In closing, I don’t believe in cake donuts. I reiterate what I so recently typed, cake donuts aren’t donuts, they’re donut shaped cakes and should be sold as such. There are do-nuts and don’t-nuts and the latter are made of batter. They are re-branded cake. Go America! Go False Advertising, Capitalism and Consumerism! End of post!

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…get a true donut or doughnut (it is truly up to you) when you have that craving.

A don’t…get a don’t-nut. Boycott them. Cake is cake and dough is dough. Sock it to The Man until doughnut cases are no longer diluted with simple, easy, lazy cakenuts. Do or do not eat a glorious, made with love, leavened with yeast, true and honest DOUGHnut!

Mothman: Another Misunderstood Monster

As far as I can tell from all the Mothman stories I’ve read and that one movie I watched, Mothman, although menacing in appearance, was after nothing so substantial as our very souls.

I’ll explain. I read no accounts of disemboweled animals. No eviscerated owls or exsanguinated cattle were ever found that I know of. Simply humans. Frightened horrified humans. And what is one thing that all humans, especially suburbanites in the 50’s, have in common?

They have clothes on. Right? No one that I read about was out for a nude stroll when Mothman confronted them. They were out with their families having completely G-rated (and in the case of the teens that saw him/her/it no more than PG, it was 50’s conservative suburbia, for crying out loud). They were wearing clothes!

Moths eat clothes. Men wear clothes. Mothman was either hungry or ashamed of his nudity. He didn’t want to horrify folks. He wanted to eat their Sunday best. He didn’t want to scare them. He couldn’t help that, by nature, he was scary. He wanted to either eat or wear their clothes and he hesitated. He never killed anyone because he just couldn’t decide which clothes looked tasty and which looked fashionable and I think, deep down, he didn’t want to kill anyone anyway. Otherwise, he would’ve.

Now, about that bridge collapse and the idea that Mothman prophesied it. Perhaps he truly did. But I think, in his innocent monster way, he didn’t show up to warn people about it. I don’t think he truly realized that people were dying. I think he simply thought “CLOTHES BUFFET!” And all the carnage was lost on him because it all had this decadent stagnant water sauce on it and he didn’t even stop to think about the terror that had been wrought on the small community he’d been terrorizing. He was, after all, a monster. A hungry, naked, confused monster.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…wear clothes, even though it might attract mothman.

A don’t…stroll nude to repel him. The police are much more prevalent than mothmen and much more likely to complicate your life should they find you unclothed in public.