A Spider, A Bag of Oranges, Two Strange Kids; Fighting Nature With Nature and The Birth of A Champion for Mother Earth: A Super Hero Origin Story

My son hurt nature. My daughter said so.

We had an unseasonably warm afternoon a few days ago and let the kids out to burn off some “winter wiggles” while they had the chance. My wife and I watched from the window as we cleaned the kitchen and prepared lunch. After a while, the kids moved past the portion of yard we could see from the window (our yard is fairly large and fully fenced. Also, our Mastiff stays close to them and could easily pin a grown man. As long as we can hear them, we don’t worry too much about their safety, but we do poke our heads out the back door every few minutes if we aren’t out with them for some reason. Rest assured, they are not neglected or ignored.) and we suddenly heard the seven year old girl scream “YOU’RE HURTING NAAAAAAAATUUUUUUUUURRRE!”

As she was screaming she was running toward the house. We met her at the back door and, red-faced and out of breath she reiterated “Brother hurt nature!”

After we finished giggling and trying not to look like we were laughing at a little girl, we got the full story. My son, who is five, had somehow come into possession of a bag of oranges. I didn’t know we owned a bag of oranges. My son is basically a hairless squirrel so it is likely the oranges had been under his bed or in his closet long enough that I’d forgotten we’d even bought any.

He used said bag of oranges to beat a small spider to death. It is highly likely the spider came out of the bag of oranges. Still, if you ask me he was simply fighting nature with nature. However you define it, his dispatching of the potential threat with a potential food source severely traumatized his sister. She is a tree hugger. I used to think she was only literally a tree hugger. She wanders around the yard by herself, dancing, singing, talking to invisible entities and hugging trees. She actually wraps her arms around them and squeezes them. I now know that she is also figuratively a hugger of trees. She’ll grow up to delight in cleaning the ocean, sweeping rocks and searching knot holes in trees for fairies. She’s basically a fairy herself. Freckles across the nose and she’s lucky if she weighs 15 pounds.

Look out nature hurters. There’s a new super hero in town.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…encourage your children whatever their interests. Unless they take their bag of oranges after innocent creatures that couldn’t hurt anybody anyway.

A don’t…Step on their sensibilities. They are who they are. Guide them, teach them, let their true selves develop.

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An Offensive Gift, A False Scripture and a Moose; A Christmas at Work Worth Forgetting

Merry Christmas.

With holiday sentiments safely out of the way, let me tell you about a Christmas present I got at work. Rather, let me be vague about it and assure you that it was offensive. It was good naturedly offensive and I took no real offense at it. But I wanted to convey that I had been off put. Since I’m not saying much about the gift itself, I’ll go on at length about my response to the gift.

My response involved the fabrication of scripture. I understand that some may find this blasphemous (although I mean no disrespect to true scripture), and some may be offended merely by the mention of scriptures, religion or Jesus. If you are offended by such things, consider yourself forewarned that you may disregard this post as you see fit and hold me blameless.

Having performed my due diligence, and assuming you are still reading, I present below the full text of my response to the offensive gift:

Dear Sekrit Santuh (this is how the attached card was signed),

Thank you so much for the gift! I found it to be rather offensive. As I assume this was your intent, I applaud you on a job well done.

It wasn’t offensive in the way you might imagine, however. You see, I do not believe in Santuh. Neither do I celebrate the holiday he is associated with. I celebrate the holiday that inspired Christmas, which was originally called the Festival of Christ’s Moose.

This special day was set aside to commemorate the year that Jesus, upon his birthday, took leave of the Holy Lands and rode a moose to Anchorage. As he rode, a multitude of Inuits and Eskimos began following him saying, “Savior, teach us and lead us to salvation.” And Jesus, having pity on them, dismounted his moose and began to preach to them saying, “Blessed are the cold in heart, for they shall find warmth.”  And as he was preaching, the multitude began to grumble against him saying, “We hunger.”

And as they were grumbling, a thunderous noise was heard in the East and from behind a sparse copse of evergreen trees emerged a large, white man-like creature that walkethed upon two legs. And as the multitude hungered and cowered, the creature roared and it did beat upon its chest and did fall upon them with violent intent. And as the creature came forth to devour them, the multitude cried out to Jesus saying, “Savior, save us!”

And Jesus, having pity on them, stopped preaching and he said to his moose, “Go!” And his moose went and it plunged its antlers into the creature and killed it. And Jesus, remembering their grumbling, blessed the creature and tore it asunder and filled many baskets with the pieces and fed the multitude. And they who were once cold were filled with a warmth and it was not a physical warmth, yea, it was a warmth of the heart.

This is why most Christmas celebrations include Christmas Dinner, however, it should rightly be called Christ’s Moose’s Dinner and the main course should include Yeti steaks. Since these are very hard to come by, modern day celebrants have seen fit to do away with the truths behind the holiday and celebrate Jesus’ birth by eating turkey, a known non-cryptid.

Thanks again and may you all have a hairy Christ’s Moose.

Signature omitted

And thusly were those who offensively gifted me regaled. Much to my wife’s dismay, I also attempted to regale the children with a similar tale. They disregarded it out of hand. Smart kids.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…know that I understand the severity of creating one’s own scripture. It was a joke meant to shame my co-workers. I’ll not attempt to build a church around it or encourage others to adhere to my false tenets.

A don’t…read any truth into what I’ve concocted. The most that you can take away from it is that moose exist and it is cold in Anchorage. I’ve seen no real evidence to suggest Jesus ever even saw a moose in his Earthly incarnation.

Fromage du Boo Hoo Wah Wah; A Fringe Food I Hope Will Never Catch On

I’ve done a lot of Christmas themed writing lately. In addition to the holiday posts I’ve published here, I’ve also written my yearly Christmas poem for work. I’m getting Christmased out and I haven’t thrown a yule log on the fire or roasted chestnuts or opened a present yet. It’s too soon to be fed up with the fa la la la la, so forthwith I present an exploration of a possible culinary nightmare.

Many years ago I watched some dude on some show do some thing amazing yet disturbing and mildly horrible.

He squirted milk from his tear ducts.

Maybe you’ve seen something similar. If you have, please accept my condolences. Also please remember how he got the milk into his tear ducts to begin with. I’m drawing a complete blank when it comes to that detail.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter how he got it in there. What does matter is what would happen if he didn’t sufficiently clean his ducts?

Infection, of course, seems highly likely. In fact, it could go without even being said. But it didn’t, so there it is.

Another perhaps unforeseen side effect of failing to sanitize after such an act is the possible production of some sort of cheese within the duct. This seems extremely likely. After all, sanitization of such a duct as that which produces human tears is quite a challenge. You can’t exactly squirt bleach through there and come out of the ordeal OK. I’m sure the guy used some sort of saline solution afterward. Still, milk is renowned for its coating properties. Is saline enough to break down whatever it is that binds milk to such things as stomachs and, undoubtedly, tear ducts?

Doubtful.

If he did use a saline solution afterward all he likely did was to over salt the remaining milk (soon to be cheese) particles. They’re being produced within a salt water pipeline, after all.

Now, let’s say that all this is plausible. Let’s also ignore the fact that tear ducts lack the enzyme rennet, an essential part of cheese making. Considering that we’re ignoring this fact, let’s just assume that it is cottage cheese that is being made. Upon sewing up that plot hole, let’s move on to other matters.

Discomfort. Obviously.

Extraction. Complicated and likely to require surgery. It is the curds that present the problem here. Whey should flow readily assuming that no curds completely clog the emotion expressway.

This all sounds quite disgusting, and it is, but think of the implications. Such a cheese would be quite an exclusive dish. The production and extraction hazards, combined with limited supply and the uniqueness of the dish, practically guarantees it gaining delicacy status.

It would go over quite well in the horrible restaurant I want to open. I’ll call it Fromage du Boo Hoo Wah Wah. It’ll pair quite nicely with wine made from fermented shrimp paste. It would be a great appetizer before the first course, Eggs Benedict Arnold. These are like Eggs Benedict only using eggs that have turned. Top this all off with a dessert of Rhesus Pieces, which are chunks of Rhesus monkey covered in chocolate, and you’ve got a meal fit for a rather demented and bizarre King.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…experiment with food. If people will pay good money for coffee beans a marmoset pooped out, they’ll pay for cheese produced in a human tear duct as well. Take advantage of the strange way in which horrendous things become trendy.

A don’t…try to produce tear duct cheese at home. You’ll likely go quite blind and I really can’t afford to be sued over some ridiculous joke I told at length on the internet.

What Happens to Mrs. Claus?

I find Christmas tolerable. I enjoy the aspects of family togetherness and excited children. We try to teach the kids that they need to be thankful even if what they get isn’t exactly what they wanted and that getting presents isn’t the most important thing. Isn’t it strange, though, that we teach this lesson by having them give? Selflessness is certainly important, but if someone is giving, someone else must be receiving, thereby somewhat negating the message. Of course, in most cases the receiver is in a state of less fortunate-ness, but I don’t know if my kids think about it deeply enough to realize that, although we try to instill helping those in need as well. Hopefully they won’t even look at it deeply enough to realize that when they give, someone is doing something we are trying to teach them isn’t so important, which is the getting. But we try to give to getters who need to get. It’s really a mess. A paradox I can’t quite fathom or throw sufficient philosophy towards at this point in time.

Since my aforementioned state of lacking sufficient (insert your favorite philosopher’s name)-ness is apparent, I’ll move on to the actual question I hope to answer.

What happens to Mrs. Claus?

My wife and I recently watched the Santa Clause movies, as is our custom this time of year. We’ve both been watching them since they began to exist and, for some reason, it wasn’t until this year that either one of us noticed the most glaring question the first two movies pose. My wife inquired thusly:

“What happens to Mrs. Claus?”

In the first movie Santa (spoiler alert) dies and is replaced by another man. In the second, in order to remain Santa, the new Santa must abide by the Mrs. clause and find a Mrs. Claus.

Fine and dandy. That will, and did, make a movie of the Christmas type.

But neither movie ever mentions, that I noticed anyway, what happens to the other Santa’s Mrs. Claus. She had to exist for the premise of the second movie to be believable. So, what happens to her?

Did she die long ago? Did they get divorced? Is there some clause we aren’t privy to that states that a once-married Santa remains Santa after the termination, by death or divorce, of his marriage? That is possible, but seems a stretch even for a movie.

Did she die with her Santa? When Santa died in the first film, he somehow evaporated. Did his wife do the same upon his death?  My wife’s scenario purported that she was baking cookies at the time of Santa’s death and suddenly seized, falling stiff and lifeless to the floor. Then she, as her husband before her, simply became one with the atmosphere. I suppose I could live with that.

This idea, though, suggests some sort of bond that seems less than symbiotic. It reminded me of E.T.’s flower. It lives as he does, dies as he does, but does neither party any discernible good. In the Santa Clause scenario, Mr. Claus retains his status by forming the bond, but what benefit is there to the secondary relationship holder? How would that clause read?

It is necessary that the party primary to this agreement commit a matrimony upon you to retain his status as Santa. You, being less than primary yet no less necessary, at least for now, gain no benefit from this one-sided symbiosis. (I know a one-sided symbiosis is not a thing.) If the primary party should meet some sort of demise, you also are doomed. If you should die before the primary party, said primary party suffers no ill effect other than, perhaps, a bout of grief. The primary party will stifle this grief, however, by losing himself in his work and causing so much joy that he could not possibly thereafter be unhappy. Please sign below to indicate that you are certifiably insane.

The movies are good. They are light-hearted and cause me to experience laughter and a basic joyousness. But for crying out loud, what happens to Mrs. Claus.

This post is dedicated to my wife, without whose insight I’d have spent the evening conversing with her or something.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider the dark recesses of the happiest of holidays. It’s a little fun.

A don’t…marry Santa. What a one-sided mess of a marriage you’ll doubtless endure.

I Believe in Bigfoot, But Does He Believe in Me? A Question That Doesn’t Really Need to be Answered

As may or may not be evident by the photo accompanying this post, I believe in Bigfoot. I won’t say that I believe completely in his existence; instead, I believe in the idea of Bigfoot and his plausibility as a living creature.

But is the reverse true for Bigfoot, if he exists? Does Bigfoot believe in me? As far as I’m aware, Bigfoot has never seen me. I’ve certainly never seen him. If he believes in the few representatives of Humankind he may have seen, he at least believes in me by proxy and this brings me some sort of comfort.

I like to think, though, that there are fringe Bigfoots (Bigfeet? Thank you Tolkien for your Proudfoots/Proudfeet exploration. It intrigues us still today.) out there that, being more adventurous than their contemporaries, have sought out the strange sounds blasting through the woods and laid eyes upon a Human or group of humans. Perhaps these “outsider” Sasquatches lope home and grunt excitedly to their families and peers about the small, hairless, bi-pedal Sasquatchoid creatures they have seen.

Perhaps Bigfoot, too, knows the sting of being thought crazy by the majority of his society.

Maybe there are even Bigfoot Human watching groups. Perhaps it is called something like the H.uman B.eing R.esearch O.rganization or the Bigfoot grunting/howling equivalent of that. Perhaps they try to imitate the sounds of shotgun blasts or are hard at work producing the fluorescent orange colors they’ve seen during deer season. Maybe there’s some enterprising young Bigfoot developing scents he associates with people. I don’t know what they would be. Something unique that we probably can’t smell since woodsmen and hunters generally avoid scented aftershaves and colognes and such while searching for creatures to eat or study. Perhaps to Bigfoot we smell as bad as I’ve heard Bigfoot smells to people. Skunk Ape indeed. How crude and completely uncalled for.

And what if, just what if, the responses people claim to hear when they are call blasting into the night aren’t actual Bigfoot responses at all. What if these recordings people play to attract Bigfoot are something else altogether and Bigfoot, hearing these strange sounds and sometimes then seeing people, thinks these are the noises people make and is simply regurgitating what he hears in an attempt to attract us?

What if somewhere there is a Bigfoot attempting to imitate human speech and some Bigfoot researcher or frightened camper will one day hear from back in the tree line a tentative and gravelly “Hello?”

Just some food for thought. Bigfoot, whether real, imagined, hoaxed or misidentified, is a veritable buffet of such mental edibles.

And maybe he even believes in, or doubts the existence of, us.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…try to see both sides of all arguments. Some arguments, however, have two different sides from two or more distinct sub-groups. These 4 or more dimensional arguments are worth looking into from every angle.

A don’t…get caught up in the Bigfoots/Bigfeet plurality conundrum. It just isn’t really worth it. After all, rather than aruging semantics, you could be busy looking for a group of Big…well, you get where I’m going, I’m sure.

Rude Dolph the Red-Nosed Drunken Mall Santa; A Holiday Classic Realistically Reimagined

Rude Dolph the red nosed drunken mall Santa;

Had some very noxious breath.

Most kids who sat on his lap;

Begged him (please) for their own death.

All of the other mall Santas;

Thought that he had sullied their names,

So every time they saw him;

They brushed their fingers at him in shame.

Then one busy Christmas Eve;

The mall manager came to say,

“Rude Dolph with your breath so rank;

Won’t you eat these mints I got at the bank?”

Then how the children flocked to him;

And they shouted out with glee (yippee),

“Rude Dolph the red nosed drunken mall Santa;

Now you only smell like pee!”

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…accept my apologies.

A don’t…forget to brush your teeth, especially if your mouth is going to be close to people and you’re required to speak to them.

Some Restaurant Whose Name I Dare Not Remember; A Disaster in Mexican-American Fusion

Greetings!,

I wish to regale you with a tale. It isn’t a tale of hope. It isn’t even a pleasurable tale. It is instead a tale of a horrible mistake. A mistake made by a young man and his father. It may be pleasurable to you. Being detached from the actual experience, you may find it quite humorous. Read on that you may be enlightened as to your reaction.

Before I begin, I firstly disclaim that, although I tell a tale of woe, I do not seek to discredit anyone whatsoever. It is perhaps a benefit that I do not remember the name of the terrible Mexican restaurant my father and I visited. Nor do I remember the town that it was in, although the state was Oklahoma. Go figure. Ridiculous Turnpike tolls and horrible Mexican restaurants. The only good thing to come out of Oklahoma for me is my beautiful and amazing wife. Well, her and that one Toby Keith song.

My father and I once traveled to a town fairly foreign to us to tow home one of our family’s cars that had broken down on the cursed Turnpike. After hooking up the car to my pickup truck, we decided that we were hungry. We pulled, connected and carefully, into a small town gas station and inquired as to the availability of “good food” in the area. The attendant for some reason suggested the Mexican place. Perhaps it was the only restaurant in the tiny town. If so, I’m sure the inhabitants rue their future for it is one bereft of culinary class and diversity.

We traversed the tiny roads, happy for the low population and empty streets, until the route we had been given terminated in the Mexican “restaurant” whose praises had been sung (sang? No, it’s sung.) at the gas station. In retrospect we should’ve considered the source. I’m not saying that gas station attendants have no taste. All I’m saying is that the edibles offered by gas station attendants generally inspire diarrhea.

We entered the place and were shown to a table by some people who were by no means Mexican. This should have been our first clue. My father and I are, however, quite dumb. We sat down and perused the menu. After ordering drinks my father proclaimed a need to evacuate either his liquid or solid waste repositories. I can’t remember which, and it probably is irrelevant and disgusting to try and remember anyway. He requested that, should the waitress approach before his return, I order him the buffet.

As it turned out, I placed our order, two buffets, as he was still preoccupied with his evacuations. I approached the wanting self-serve bar and filled a plate. There wasn’t much to choose from. The buffet was perhaps three feet long. There was some ground beef that had dried out on the top, a pan with taco shells that had cracked down the middle and some wilted lettuce.

Attempting to avoid diarrhea, I loaded my plate with the only other thing on offer that day, jalapeno poppers. Or so I thought. I returned to the table and, before my father returned, I had time to bite into a popper and be disappointed and confused.

When dad got back to the table, the waitress was there refilling my drink. Dad requested the house made salsa and went to fill a plate. When he returned, he found on the table a bowl of ketchup with jalapenos sliced into it and cilantro sprinkled on top.

As he sat he said with a grin, “You must experience the bathroom!”. After having eaten a few “jalapeno poppers” I was only to quick to agree. Before making my exit, however, I lifted a “popper” in salute and watched as he also bit into one. His face creased, as mine had, in disappointment and confusion.

They were not, in fact, jalapeno poppers. They weren’t, in any respect, Mexican food at all. They were pigs in a blanket.

As dad sat regretting our choice, I visited the men’s room, another choice to be regretted. The toilet sat upon a raised rostrum not even large enough to support the entire base of the toilet. Sitting upon this was an experience I’ll not explain in detail. Who needs to read about that? Suffice it to say, it was scary. The sink, if sink it could be called, was so shallow that I couldn’t fit both hands under the stream of water at once.

After washing each hand individually, I returned to our table for the most horribly non-mundane culinary experience I’ve ever had.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…take risks when you eat out. Many times you’ll find a “diamond in the rough”.

A don’t…eat at a Mexican restaurant staffed by white people. Or, if you must, tread very carefully. They may take too many liberties and present you with unexpected and horrible Mexican-American fusion disasters.