The Dog and the Floor; The Opposite of Symbiosis

A massive ungainly beast wanders the narrow halls of my home. Her powerful legs, capable of knocking down fences and pushing doors open even when they’re securely closed and locked, do not give her any sense of bravado. Despite her massive jaws and two inch long pointed teeth she is so easily frightened. I’m not just talking about a twitch of her leg muscles or a sudden scrunching of her eyes when she is startled. Anything that alarms her sends her into a frenzy of uncoordinated motion that fails to regard anything or anyone in her path and she tears around with a look in her eyes that says I don’t know where I’m going or even why I’m going there but as long as I’m going somewhere everything is going to be ok.

A couple of nights ago, for example, I was in my bedroom changing into my pajamas when I heard the most unsettling sound. I can’t describe it. It was somewhat comparable to a very localized earthquake capable of going to and fro within a confined space. I naturally jumped to my feet and ran towards the sound, concerned for the well being of my family.

Before I describe the sight that greeted my eyes upon the opening of my bedroom door I must make you aware of a few facts. A much smaller, though no less ungainly or easily startled, beast wanders my narrow halls along with the massive one. The small one is a noble creature, sporting the beard of a schnauzer on the body of a Chihuahua. We have no carpets or rugs. While the doorways are comfortably wide, the furniture is arranged in such a way that the massive beast barely has room maneuver even when she isn’t scared. It should also be noted that the beast is a relatively new addition to our household. She only recently worked up the courage to spend any of her inside time in any other room than the laundry room.

With all of those facts in mind, let us return to the aforementioned sight I beheld. As I opened the door the small noble one was beelining (yes, I just verbed that) for my bedroom. If I hadn’t opened the door I’ve no doubt he would’ve slammed into it. His ears were plastered to the back of his head and his beard was blown flat against his throat with the friction of his speed. His legs moved so fast that the clicking of his nails on the floor was an uninterrupted stream of hypnotic sound. Just behind him and trying with all her might to run was the great lumbering she-beast. Her head was so low to the ground that she nearly swiffered the floor with her muzzle. Her hind end was raised and it looked as if her front half was moving at top speed forcing her rear half to struggle to keep up with it. Each leg seemed to be trying to run in a different direction from all the others. It was obvious she was trying to correct this, however the lack of friction between paws and slick wood flooring stymied her every attempt at looking somewhat dignified as she ran in fear of who knew what. Of course, she didn’t dare stop running from whatever it was that she was running from, so she just made do with what the situation handed her to get away. At the moment of first sight of the debacle it appeared that she was desperately attempting to make dinner of the small noble beast. She finally decided she’d run far enough and just in the nick of time allowed gravity to do what it had been trying to do all along and skidded to a stop on her belly mere inches from where I was standing.

What could’ve scared the great creature so? Apparently she was laying on the kitchen floor when my wife scooted a kitchen chair. It made a noise and that was enough to cause the chaos that then ensued. I’m told she was only about halfway to her feet when she decided to go ahead and try to run.

I had such high hopes for her. I imagined she would keep the children safe and run off any potential break and enterers. I suppose my best hope now is that her mere size will be enough to deter any threats my family may face in the future.

I bid you adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…love your clumsy dogs. They can’t help their skittishness and proclivity for extreme panic.

A don’t…forget that if you have large indoor dogs and wood floors, throw rugs with those stay-in-place friction pads are a must.

An Environmental Fallacy

I’ve had an epiphany about ranting and raving. It’s a hobby of mine and one that I feel I’ve very nearly perfected. I used to worry that my rants were nonsensical and usually they are. I went through a period of trying to rationalize my rants but today I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. The whole purpose of ranting and raving is to relieve stress and it doesn’t make a bit of difference whether or not the thoughts you’re having make sense or even if they are fair. It’s all about going on at length, making illogical and ludicrous arguments against whatever has upset or enraged you until you feel better. Now let’s get to it before I suck all the magic out of this wondrous pastime.

Before I begin, allow me to set the mood. I’d like you to picture something for me and I’ll give you two options. Option one is to imagine me in a clear dome on top of my house wandering aimlessly while I shake my fist at the heavens and mutter incoherently. If you don’t understand the reference or would prefer not to imagine that, you may instead envision a man in front of a computer with streamers of slobber slung haphazardly from the corners of his mouth. His lips are frothy with a rabid foam and he snarls randomly as he types, occasionally hitting a key much harder than is really necessary.

If you don’t care for either of those, please stop reading now. Those are the only two images I authorize you to imagine while reading this. Anything else is a violation of blogger – blogee trust and while this cannot be prosecuted criminally, if I ever learn of anyone offending this boundary it may well prompt another rant. So basically what I’m saying is that the entire paragraph preceding this sentence is supremely pointless and I needn’t have wasted my time writing it. But I did.

On to the ranting and raving. The topic for this rant is reclaimed wood wall art. It may not seem like anything that could ever upset anyone to the point that they’d need to express anything to anyone on the subject. In time I hope you’ll come to understand my frustration.

Before we get to the issues underlying the folly of reclaimed wood wall art, allow me to define reclaimed wood wall art as I understand it. Essentially is it scrap wood that has been painted on and hung on a wall. There’s nothing wrong with that that I can see. Certainly there is nothing there to cause any sort of angst or strong negative feelings in a human being. The problem I see is in the way that reclaimed wood wall art is sold. I saw some in a catalog and the caption said, and I paraphrase, buy this and save the environment. Ok. Surely I am not the only one that sees the fallacy of that advertising technique. It should be obvious to all but the most air-headed of environmentalists that such a transaction does nothing for the environment and may even do Mother Earth a slight deal of harm. Let’s break this down.

First of all wood is a natural organic substance. It is part of nature. If it is abandoned in nature, nature will take care of its disposal. Nature has all kinds of means with which to do this. Bugs eat it and that’s a big one. If you really love nature you’ll leave the wood where it is. By painting it and hanging it on your wall you’re robbing bugs of food and that is just cruel. Also, why on earth would you want bug food hanging on your wall? Rotting wood is also a nursery. Grubs and termites and many other species of pest raise their young in beautiful chunks of tree that have been softened by a mixture of water, sun and the bacteria found in healthy soil. If you aren’t concerned that you’re starving bugs, maybe the thought that you are depriving little bug babies of a comfortable home in which they may grow into strong, irritating pest as nature intended,will tug at your heartstrings a little.

Perhaps you’re a pragmatist. Perhaps there is no room in your heart for the plight of the pests. Perhaps the preceding arguments haven’t persuaded you. If you see yourself in the preceding sentences, the following points may benefit you. I’ll start by pragmatically pointing out that wood is renewable. Or how about the fact that as the wood breaks down, it returns to the soil the nutrients young trees need to thrive and grow and become the next generation of wood that may one day be reclaimed to be used as wall art. So we see that not only does reclaiming the wood harm the bug community, it also harms the wood community in that for every piece of reclaimed wood art on someone’s wall, there’s one less piece of nutrition for the trees that still live. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but trees can’t walk. They can’t drive down to their favorite garden center for a nice steaming bag of fertilizer. THE LIVING TREES RELY ON SCRAP WOOD AND OTHER SUCH ORGANIC MATERIALS IN ORDER TO BE HEALTHY! QUIT ROBBING THEM OF LIFE BY HANGING THEIR GROCERIES ON YOUR WALL! AND IF YOU FEEL YOU MUST HANG RECLAIMED WOOD WALL ART ON YOUR WALL AT LEAST DON’T DELUDE YOURSELF BY THINKING YOU’RE DOING ANYONE OR ANYTHING ANY GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE GUY WHO SOLD IT TO YOU! Ok. I’m calm. I know that some of the reclaimed wood may perhaps have been destined for a landfill. Some may argue that reclaiming it for art saves space in the landfills. To this I say PURE BALDERDASH! Yes, it does save space. However, perhaps it is a fact that no place needs organic components more than a landfill. If we are worried about the amounts of waste in our landfills, perhaps we should focus on the manmade junk that is constantly replacing natural materials and simply won’t break down. As I’ve mentioned before, wood will rot. As it does it will encourage the rotting of other organic materials. Scrap wood in our landfills reduces the amount of detritus in our neighborhood dumps! Reclaimed wood wall art is the antithesis of environmental responsibility!

I hereby bid you Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…buy reclaimed wood wall art if you find a piece that speaks to you. There is no shame in enjoying art.

A don’t…allow yourself to be drawn into the corporate money making scheme that would like you to believe that it is something other than detrimental to the environment to purchase reclaimed wood wall art. It is one succubus of a scam that steals the lives of trees and bugs and denies landfills the material they need to promote space saving rot. Save Mother Earth! Let reclaimed wood wall art remain unreclaimed!

Mean Yogurt

I think I can finally express the thought I’ve been talking about. It’s about Mean Yogurt.

DISCLAIMER: Due to the existence of the possibility that Mean Yogurt may read this, I wish to assure him this is shared in a light-hearted manner and is not intended to ridicule or belittle.

You may be curious about Mean Yogurt. You might be asking yourself Who or what is Mean Yogurt? Or, Am I really about to read this to find out? For my sake I hope the answer is yes! The tale is best told in the form you will see below.

There lives a man who fancies himself wise. He’s dubbed himself, however accidentally, Mean Yogurt. He doesn’t enjoy or even remember the title he gave himself. He pronounced it in a fit of anger. He sometimes did things that weren’t what most people would consider pleasant or civilized. His wife once tattled on him to those he considered friends and then, for some reason, tattled on herself for tattling. His face reddened, his arms flew up to hover about in the air above his head. A vein in his forehead threatened aneurysm. He screamed “Now they think I’m a meeeaaannn YOGURT!”

I use his pseudonym to protect his identity. He’s not actually a mean yogurt, but he has entertained many ideas that others may find strange. His ideas ranged from businesses to child rearing philosophies to the validity of conspiracy theories and unique housing ideas. This post will focus on the businesses. If you wish you may look forward to future posts which shall address the other aspects of his thought processes.

The first business I recall him proposing was an expired sandwich meat auctioning venture. I owned a small pickup. It was my first vehicle and I love it to this day, though it has long since been crushed into a cubeish shape. Mean Yogurt asked if I would be opposed to putting a deep freeze in the bed of the truck and wiring it to run off the battery. I expressed misgivings and hesitancy. He continued. “We’ll drive four hours to a warehouse where expired sandwich meat is stored. We have to invest enough money to purchase as much meat as will fit in the freezer. Then we’ll drive back and separate it into boxes and sell it at auction.” I made him aware that I wasn’t fond of the idea of taxing my truck’s battery so. I also postulated that, if anyone bid on our sandwich meat at all, they’d perhaps be enraged when they discovered that it was past its expiration date. He maintained that the people who would bid on sandwich meat at auctions wouldn’t care that it was expired. I found myself at a loss to do anything other than concur.

Mean Yogurt decided once that stealing telephone poles was good honest work. His business proposal included cutting the frame of an inner spring mattress in half, welding one half to the cab of his pickup to act as a shock absorber, then following the people that replace the old poles and, along with three young boys, absconding with the monstrously heavy logs. I continued to break hacksaw blades on the mattress frame until the thought passed from his head and another more noble get rich quick method took its place.

He once held a job at a factory of some sort. He didn’t involve me in this one, happily enough, because it would’ve been illegal. He quit because the getting rich wasn’t happening very quickly at all.

Mean Yogurt once attempted to purchase a golf course at a delinquent tax auction. He assigned me the task of ascertaining the cost of building a satellite and launching it into orbit. He also desired that I find a non-operational off shore oil rig. The rig, he very necessarily explained, was to keep ships from sailing through the beam his satellite would emit into the ocean water turning it into steam. He would then – through some as yet unexplained method-pipe the steam from the ocean to his golf course in Arizona, cool it to return it to its liquid state, and harvest the “ocean minerals” to sell to whomever on Earth is in the market for “ocean minerals.” The problems with this one are many, however, Mean Yogurt was oblivious. For one, I doubt ocean minerals, which I believe are mainly salts, are valuable enough to offset the cost of building and launching a satellite. Then there are the problems that arise when one considers one must keep his egregiously long pipe heated to the point that it will keep water in its vapor state from the ocean to Arizona. Perhaps he learned geography from George Strait. I didn’t bother to tell him that, as far as I know, when the water evaporates the minerals do not go with it. By way of evidence I submit the process in which rock candy is made. I do admit I could be wrong about this one, but I know I’m spot on with the other problems I’ve mentioned.

The great thinker also planned to hollow out what he termed a mountain that resided on his golf course. He wished to ranch on his golf course. He surmised that the size of his ranch would necessitate the slaughter of a cow a day just to feed the ranch hands he hired to run the place. In the event of some sort of government oppression, he and his hired men would shelter safely out of view in the hollow mountain.

Mean Yogurt proposed that if the economy collapsed, the rich would need wine. He intended to provide it for them. The fruit of choice for his libation? Banana. Apparently ‘tis a gaseous fruit. As it fermented it overwhelmed the pressure relieving measures he’d taken. Rotten banana dripped from the ceiling for days. I found it pointless to bother telling him that if the economy collapsed money would be worthless and the rich would be rendered poor. Perhaps I should tell him to befriend some farmers for the sake of his future.

I bid you adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…know that I understand how crazy this all sounds.

A don’t…for a minute believe I made up a bit of it. Disturbingly, every word is true.

Of Keychains and Pocket Holes

Once again my plans have met befuddlement. The thought I mentioned two posts ago was slated for this evening’s post, however, I had an experience this morning that bumped that thought yet again. It’s still floating in my brain and provided that the next few days are fairly mundane it will be the topic of my next entry. But on to today’s dilly-o.

My key chain made me late for work. This aggravated a pet peeve. It’s the one where you get angry when things don’t work well for their intended purpose. I’m sure I’m not alone in this one. I don’t get mad about much, but little things like this enrage me.

It’s a small metal piece shaped like the batwing. It has many sharp metal points that neither give nor forgive. Kneeling with it in my pocket is a horrid experience. And when you have a hole in your pocket this keychain acts similarly to a fish hook that’s stuck through your clothes. The thing simply wouldn’t come out. It felt like I was doing one of those weird puzzles you find at the old timey general store type places. Anyway, I only had two minutes or so to get in the car before I’d have to do that driving five miles an hour over the speed limit thing to get there about on time. I don’t like doing that because it means I’ll get to work sooner which means that my drive will be shorter which makes no sense because getting to work sooner is the whole goal of driving five miles an hour over the limit.

So, as my mind wrestled this puzzle my fingers wrestled the puzzle in my pocket. I had my pocket turned out and my keys were just hanging there and I was fiddling back and forth between trying to get my keys without damaging my pants and just yanking the thing through the hole. Both options were fraught with hardship. Or at least my panic stricken brain thought so. If I made the hole bigger maybe my keychain wouldn’t get stuck in it anymore. Maybe it would just hang through and scratch my bare leg with its ridiculous-on-a-thing-that-lives-in-your-pocket sharp pointy edges. But if I took the time to work it out easily I’d have to do the driving thing. Decisions, decisions…

I ended up deciding to avoid making the hole bigger and go ahead and drive the speed limit even though it would mean being a few minutes late. In situations such as that I’ve found honesty is the best policy. When I told my boss that I was late because of my keychain he looked, at best, mildly enraged and horribly appalled. Taking his silence as an invitation to continue speaking I began to relate to him the tale of my early morning hardship. I had only just enough time to finish before he rolled his eyes and walked away. There was another time at another job that I forgot to put my work shirt on. I went to work in my regular, around the house T-shirt. When my boss asked me about it I stated simply “I forgot to put it on.” This entertained a co-worker of mine. He said “At least he’s honest. Most people would say something like it’s in the dryer. This man forgot to get dressed!” I just didn’t feel like an excuse like that would be sufficient. As a manager my response to such a statement would be something along the lines of “Be more responsible with your time.” Or “Why did you leave it in there? You knew you had to work.” How do you argue with someone who forgot to dress for work? I don’t know and apparently my manager didn’t either because she rolled her eyes and went to the office to get me a new work shirt. This worked in my favor because I had to wear it home so I could wash it. I never took it back unless I was wearing it to work, so basically I then had three work shirts which cut down ever so slightly on my laundry bill and the time it took to do laundry. I never did much with those accumulated moments and cents but still, I had them and that’s what counts.

I notice I have seriously digressed. I have run off topic. Mainly the point I’m making is that things should do what they’re designed to do and do it well. This keychain didn’t. My keys are coming off of it and maybe I’ll get a nice squeaking rubber chicken key chain instead. But I doubt it. I don’t like those ludicrous things. Anyway, Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…let me know if you run across a keychain that is stylish and performs well.

A don’t…strain yourself, it isn’t that big a deal.

The Un-Holiday

Halloween is a season in its own right, much different than the “Holiday Season” or “Christmas season” people speak so fondly of. I have nothing against the “happy holidays”. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring thoughts of warm homes and hot ovens. Tables laden with heaping dishes of steaming wonderflality surrounded by people who love each other or can at least pretend they do for an afternoon. Great things all, but what you see is what you get. Warmth, love and togetherness are all right out in the open and they are all that exist during such festivals, except perhaps within the confines of the most dysfunctional of homes. Independence day causes chests to swell with patriotic pride and bellies to swell with the scorched meat of butchered pigs.

But Halloween! Here, my friend, is a holiday that has no equal. It is celebrated in the dark, which sets it apart from all others if you also consider that it suggests a darkness of spirit as well as the darkness of night, and in these darknesses dark creatures conspire with one another to accost bearers of treats with thinly veiled, however generally friendly, demands. On the surface, it would seem that darkness is the theme, evil the palpable strain that lures otherwise good people to partake in devilry for a night.

Unlike the “happy holidays” however, Halloween has layers. For what lures the witches and the living dead from the blackness of the streets? Why, it is light! And what, after spotting the light and reaching its source, is the reward for leaving the darkness? Treats! Sweet morsels that extol the virtue of following the illuminated path. And what do the children express when a few candies are dropped into their bags or buckets or pillowcases? Excitement and gratitude! Smiles shine from painted faces! Masks contort as the masqueraders beneath utter their “Thank You”s and “Happy Halloween”s! Out of the seeming darkness pours happiness and good manners!

For me the mystery is the most amazing part. Halloween wears as its costume a shroud of darkness, yet as it pulls back its cowl, we receive in the place of the skeletal visage we expected, a warm and comforting smile. How bizarre! Even in attempting to celebrate a dark holiday, the inherent goodness of humankind shines through, inextinguishable even as we flirt with a temporary dimming of this internal light.
It is my hope that all your dark days reveal themselves to be miniature Halloweens.

And now I bid you Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…forgive me this brief excursion into sappy territory.

A don’t…drive the darkness completely from your life. It serves to remind us of the sweetness of the light.

Zombies again

I had it in mind to write about something else this evening, but I think I’ll save my other thought for another post, because as I was thinking of writing of the other thought I had the most wonderful thought. It has to do with zombies and serial killers.

Let us imagine a room full of strangers. They all have a few things in common. They’re all scared. They’re all tied to chairs and gagged. Most of them are probably bleeding and/or crying. They may have other things in common too, but these more subtle similarities are known only to the serial killer who now stands menacingly above them. He is smiling. His pupils are dilated and he’s singing. Not because he necessarily wants to but because he’s just broken through some sort of barrier. One just isn’t enough anymore and he’s somehow successfully managed to gather a gaggle of victims for a one night binge and some ballad rolls absentmindedly off his tongue. We won’t get too deep into the hows or whys of it. I’m no serial killer so I couldn’t imagine those. I’m sure it took much planning and self restraint. But let’s not dwell on the killer. My thought has to do with some sort of karmic alignment, if such a thing exists. We will imagine for a moment that it does. And even if it doesn’t, the following scenario could make us believe in it anyway.

The killer indulges himself completely. He takes much pleasure in killing all of his victims one by one, drunk on the screams and sobs of the living as they witness his brutality enacted upon the others. He may even let one live, he thinks. Let one go and hunt him or her down again another night. Double his pleasure, so to speak. But before he knows it all are dead. As quickly as it started, his night of indulgence is over and he begins the arduous task of demolishing the evidence. He enjoys this part also. Its like the cool down lap after a long run. His adrenals begin to slow production as he slices the ropes holding his victims. His heart rate slows as the bodies thump to the floor. He notices that his breath is returning to its normal rate as he arranges the bodies for dissection.

And then, all of a sudden, the zombie apocalypse hits. Its subtle at first. As he hacks an arm off a guy he wonders, did that girl over there just roll her eyes? He shakes it off and gets back to work and soon the now armless corpse in front of him nearly bites his eyeball out. He jerks back, stunned, as all his victims reanimate before his eyes and begin moaning and shuffling their way towards him. He’s unsure how to feel but there is a slight rush of excitement. He gets to re-murder all his murder victims! Only this time they aren’t afraid of him. They aren’t tied up. And there are several of them. He stabs a couple through an eyeball because, hey, even serial killers read graphic novels, and…and…he’s satisfied…sort of…but they aren’t squirming. They’re trying to get him too and one scratches his arm with a fingernail and he doesn’t like that. It isn’t fun anymore. They might get him and that just isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen. He runs, but he stumbles. He’s the horrified one now. They’re almost on top of him and he thinks Oh, man, I’ve gotta re-murder all my murder victims. And then, well, in the spirit of karmic alignment let’s say they murder him.

Only it isn’t really murder because A) they’re just trying to satisfy their instinctual urges like predators on a savannah and B) they’re murder victims and there’s no supreme court ruling yet on whether a killing made by a murder victim, who was for a matter of several minutes already dead him/herself, can indeed be defined as murder. After all, how does one prosecute a reanimated corpse? That’s a question I can’t answer. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t bug me to the point that I’m driven to try in a future post.

I think I’ve milked this for all I can. Plus it’s almost bed time anyway. I bid you adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…pray that the supreme court comes to a decision on this crucial matter before it’s too late. Perhaps you should contact a member of Congress. It just seems like double jeopardy to me. And not the Trebek version.

A don’t…take the adieu as a serious suggestion. And if you adieu…a don’t tell your congressman I told you to contact him regarding this particular line of inquiry.

Children…why?

My kids are weird. I’m not very comfortable around other people’s kids so I don’t know if their weirdness is normal for kids or if they’re just weird. If you don’t have kids, consider this a warning. If you do, let me know if mine are actually weird or if I’m just overly concerned.

Let’s start with the jokes. This one is fairly straightforward. A child’s sense of humor is developed only to the point that they understand the world. Of course, this is true of the young as well as the old. It’s just that our understanding is a bit more developed and therefore kid jokes seem bizarre. But enough of my amateur psycho-analytical theorization, on to the jokes. They learned the interrupting cow joke at school. I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“The interrupting cow.”

“The interrupting co…”

“MOOOOOO.”

Kind of funny. A little weird, but everyone’s heard it so the novelty is gone and it’s seen as run of the mill malarkey. With my kids it’s a little different.
My five year old daughter (name omitted to protect the weird): “Knock, knock.”

Me: “Who’s there?”

6 year old weirdo: “The interrupting cow chicken”

Me (in a voice tinged with trepidation): “The interrupting cow chicken who?”

Distracted 6 year old weirdo, forgetting that the punchline to this particular joke is that you’re supposed to interrupt the humor recipient: “bizarre loud piercing noise that I can’t type because there aren’t any letters in the English language ( or any other language I’m familiar with) that make those sounds.”

Or how about this one from my seven year old daughter? “Why did the spider cross the road?”

Her: “To get to Web City.”

Maybe not so weird. Actually a little creative and encouraging until she tells me the one about dog that crossed the road to eat its poop.

There are others, however I now find myself at a loss to remember them. My son who’s four has told some doozies but they’re so unintelligible that my brain won’t hold on to them. He’s more of a practical weirdo anyway. He once ran into the living room with his left nipple pinched between his left thumb and forefinger screaming “Get it off me, I don’t want it, cut my nipple off I don’t want it on me.” He was in tears and looked horrified. I had to scream at him to get through to him. If you’ve never stood in your living room screaming at your four year old that you absolutely will not cut off his nipple then you probably don’t understand the feeling. By way of explanation, I offer this; It feels weird. When I finally was able to get his attention and he understood that I refused to comply he screamed “Why not?” through the curtain of snot threatening to fill the dimple of his chin.

“Because it will hurt.” I screamed this too because it felt like it needed to be screamed. He said “Oh.” And went to play in his room. I don’t know if his acceptance of my logic is comforting or if his abrupt turnaround indicates deep psychosis, but I’m really not qualified to speculate. If you’re an expert, feel free to weigh in.

Another time he grabbed the phone jack, that wasn’t in use and wasn’t secured to anything other than the phone line that came up through a hole in the floor, and took off across the living room with it. From the kitchen I heard the sound of little feet smacking floor and knew that my feet needed to start smacking floor too. He was halfway to my bedroom before he saw me coming. His toddler turbo kicked in and he beat me. He slammed the door in my face and I could hear him trying to lock it. Thankfully his little body wasn’t used to such huge doses of adrenaline and he couldn’t get the little nubbin to turn. I opened the door and grabbed him around the waist. He began to do this very animated hot foot dance, the hand holding the phone jack flailing wildly. Up to this point I thought the whole incident was nothing but short stack shenanigans, but as I was closing in on pinning his arms a little gem of weirdosity plopped out of his mouth. He whipped his arm more wildly than ever and said “Ah, ah, ah! I say AH! Tuh you!” That last AH! Had such an emphasis on it that I almost stopped and he pronounced you in some weird way that can’t be imitated in print. If we ever meet, be sure to ask about it. I finally got his arms to his sides and relaxed enough that I began to laugh involuntarily. This only encouraged him. We thrashed about to the point that instead of having a phone cord strung at about toddler waist height across half the house I was now tied to a hyperactive kid in a weird gyrating pile on the floor. And of course, once we became disentangled, he waited until I had the cord completely poked back down its hole before he tried it again.

One more about the boy, if you’re still interested. He was younger during this display of disconcerting abnormality. Perhaps three or so. I was divorced and newly dating at the time so I was alone in my bed. I woke up suddenly and rolled over the see my 6 year old daughter, who was barely 4 then, silently staring at me. She continued to stare for a few moments so I timidly, fearfully, said “Good morning.” It would seem that this activated her somehow because her face contorted into a look of consternation and she screamed “The boy (once again, name omitted to protect the weird) threw your phone in the toilet!” I couldn’t afford another phone, so as I hoped it wasn’t true I sprang from the bed and sprinted to the living room where I see in my periphery, the boy. When he sees me he begins hopping from foot to foot and sings “I break a phone! I break a phone!” In my own consternation I say “I break a face!” This has no effect on him other than that he dances his way to the bathroom behind me singing happily “I break a phone! I break a face! I break a phone! I break a face!” I riced the phone and thankfully didn’t have to buy a new one. And I thought it was all over with that. But a few months later at a Halloween party that offered pony rides it flared up again. I sat behind the boy in the saddle. His first words ahorseback were “Daddy look, I ridey horse!” I respond with “I know, I’m riding a horse with you.” He then turns to look at me, his head swiveling on his neck a la creepy girl from The Exorcist. His mouth is a horrifying combination of excitement and evil. His eyes glint as his head spins back to its humanly possible position and he slaps the horse on the neck screaming “I break a horse!”

I think that’s all I can stand to remember for now but there is much, much more to come. My girls are just as weird, maybe more so. So stay logged in and once again I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…appreciate your children before they chew your throat out in your sleep for no other reason than that in their new little minds they think it is wise to dispatch those upon whom they depend to live.

A don’t…let them know you’re scared. It only encourages them.