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.

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.

 

The Prophet in the Pit; A New, Non-Threatening Cult for the Cultist in All of Us.

I’ve been thinking of starting a cult.

I know what you may be thinking. If you follow my blog it’s “Holy crow, why am I following this blog?” If you’re simply reading this post it’s “Whaaaaatt!!!??!!! I’m not going to read this! Cults aren’t good at all!”

Before you judge me, though, allow me, as a potential cult leader, to draw you in. I’ll start by assuring you that my cult is completely safe. The word “cult” is built right into the name. “The Cult of the Prophet in the Pit.” This should comfort you greatly.

The idea is simple. A man (most likely me) sits in a pit. Surrounding the pit is a gothic stone wall. I imagine it will look like a castle or manor house. There will be a heavy portcullis. Outside the portcullis will stand an acolyte who will instruct you, upon your approach, to hold your offering in your outstretched hand. He will then await a command from the usher. Upon hearing the command, simply the word “Next!”, the Outer Acolyte will raise the portcullis. The faithful will then be bid enter and the usher will accompany the parishioner to the pit, insuring that, in these dark times, he or she places not his or her hands into his or her pockets. Upon reaching the pit, the parishioner will toss his/her offering in and the reward reaped will be a prophecy from the depths of the pit.

Most likely the prophecy will be nothing more than what you’d expect from a fortune cookie. In some cases it will simply be my patented raptor noise. A scribe will sit in an ornate chair outside the pit and record the prophecy for posterity.

Should the prophecy so move you, you will be offered (but not pressured into) the chance to by a book of all the prophecies given so far or a verbal recording of your own personal prophecy. The Scribe will mildly suggest that you post your prophecy on Facebook and encourage your friends to pay a visit to the pitted prophet.

Your personal information will not be collected. The only collection is your offering and it doesn’t even have to be monetary. Books, DVD’s (or as my daughter says “Diva D’s) and candy are all acceptable to The Prophet in the Pit. You will never be pressured to be faithful or to return at the next appointed time because there is no appointed time. I’ll post my pit times on social media and you simply show up if you’d like.

Finally!  A safe, non-threatening cult for those of us who yearn for a cult lifestyle but want to continue living as a normal person! I can also assure you that my cult will not contradict any religious beliefs you may have. You can count yourself among my followers without betraying whichever God you happen to worship. No religion I’m aware of forbids you from paying for a small bit of entertainment. All proceeds collected will be promptly donated to the “Fill My Wallet Fund”. And if you don’t believe in a Deity of any sort, you’ll certainly have no qualms about visiting The Prophet in the Pit.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…comment if you’d like to see this become a reality. I can certainly offer franchise opportunities in your area.

A don’t…take it too seriously. It’s a joke, even if I truly would like to see it become a reality.

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!

Wallets or Billfolds: Is There a Life Lesson in Considering Them?

I want to share some food for thought. It might not be very tasty to some, however, if we stretch our minds way way way out, we might be able to somehow find some philosophy in it.

The thought, or more correctly, the query is: Are billfolds called billfolds because they fold bills as they close or are they called billfolds because the billfold itself folds while containing bills? It doesn’t seem like it would be worthy of consideration but, as I said be, we might be able to pull some meaning out of it.

First, let’s consider the question without scratching the surface. If they are called billfolds because they fold bills then only the ones that fold in half or in thirds would rightly be called billfolds but could also be referred to as wallets. The longer ones that either clasp and sit in a purse or stick way up out of, most commonly, a cowboy’s or farmer’s pocket could only be called wallets. This creates a situation in which all billfolds are wallets but not all wallets are billfolds. Hooray.

If they are called billfolds because the fold while containing bills they are all wallets and/or billfolds depending upon your preference. Unless someone has invented a rigid item with a slot into which you slide bills without folding the bill or the item. We won’t go into that, however, because then we would have to determine whether, if the item were made of a single piece of material, would it mean that it was simply permanently pre-folded and therefore a billfold? Also, if it were made of multiple pieces, therefore undeniably not folded, with a hinged piece that opens for bill retrieval would manipulating the hinge count as folding? Getting into that, though, would be a nightmare of technical babbling that would render us all confused and angry so I shall avoid this at all costs and stick with the original question which, probably, is confusing and angering anyone reading this more than they’re enjoying anyway.

With that all behind us, let’s look at what, if any, lesson we may draw from the distinctions between wallets and billfolds. This seems weak to me, but it’s the best I’ve got: No matter what they’re called, and whether or not anyone is offended by one term or the other, wallets and billfolds by either name perform their functions impervious to our meanderings. Both are designed for a certain purpose and, though the designs may differ, they do what they are designed to do. Perhaps if we, as people of all different titles and statuses and colors and countless other distinctions, perform our functions impervious to the tags that others may pin upon us, we will be a stronger people more capable of higher thought because our minds are free of the stresses of worrying about what other people think we are or are designed to do.

And so you see, even the most ridiculous of thoughts can be used to edify if we try hard enough.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…be a wallet if you’re a wallet, even if others think you’re a billfold. We are all in this together and have basically the same purpose despite our physical differences.

A don’t…think I profess it to be easy. A wallet is an inanimate object and does what it does due to our manipulation. I understand that we, as thinking, feeling beings, will have a harder time with this. This was all simply my attempt to draw meaning from a random thought I had. I hope it made some sense to you.