Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Death In The Family

We are a family of pets. In fact - my kids have had almost everything: dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, turantula, hermit crabs, gerbil, rat, gecko & fish. We are down to three dogs and 2 cats. One night, after my wife finished folding some laundry, I delivered it to the kids' rooms so they could put it away. When I walked into my oldest daughters room I opened the door to be greeted by a rather noxious smell. She (my daughter) had been at the kitchen table doing homework and hadn't been to her room since getting home from school. Therefore my opening of the door at 7:00 p.m. was the first time it had been opened since she left for school that morning. I quickly closed the door and went to get her.

Me: "You need to come with me to your room."
Her: "Why?"

Me: "There is a smell."

Her: "What kind of smell?"

Me: "Well it isn't flowers, now get up and come here."
Her: "Fine". (then she exhales like only a teenager can - that huff that says 'please die')

Me: "Open the door and take a whiff." (she opens and steps in, I stay back)
Her: "Ewwww, that's gross. What did you do?"

Me: "Nothing! What did you leave in here? Something is rotting."
Her: "I didn't have any food in my room." (at this point, she walks over and taps on the aquarium that is the home of Socks, her pet rat)

Me: "How's Socks?" (I notice he didn't jump when she banged on the glass)
Her: "He's ok, he's just sleeping."

Me: "How do you know he's sleeping honey? Shouldn't he wake up when you tap on the glass?"
Her: "He didn't wake up but I see his chest moving, so he's just asleep."

Me: "Honey, as surpsing as this may be to hear, rats don't get 'dog tired' to the point that you can't wake them." (I walk over and look closely at Socks' chest - it is moving, but not from him breathing)

Her: "See, he's breathing."
Me: "I'll agree something is breathing, but it isn't Socks, see honey, those are maggots under his skin moving around as they eat his body. He's dead and has been for some time. "

Her: (now she is inaudible through the crying and sniffling) "......blah, it is your fault because I was going to feed and water him Saturday but you let me go spend the night with Christy so I couldn't feed him dad so it's your fault he did!"

Me: "Let me get this right, because I let you go to a friends house, it is my fault your rat died?"
Her: "Of course."

Me: "Your mother has trained you bring the cage to the garage so we can bury him." (while she is walking I start humming 'Taps' as we parade out the house)
Her: "Stop making fun of me!"

That was the end of rodent pets - I think PETA has banned my family from owning anymore of them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Joke That Backfired

If you didn't know it, I have 3 childern, two girls and a boy. A couple of years ago, when my son was 8 I thought I'd play a joke on him. He was at that age where it is important to be a 'big boy' and do things by yourself. Thus he always wants to go to the bathroom whenever we go somewhere. Something about being away from home makes his bowels quite active. At any rate, we were at a restaurant one evening and he had to go to the bathroom. Having proven his ability to do this himself I generally let him go back there but I follow him closely for his own safety. On one such occasion I had an idea that thought it would be fun. Immediately after he went into the bathroom to go #2, I went in after him.  I then balled up several paper towels and threw them over the stall at him.

I have to tell you, it was hard not to laugh out loud. I was getting a cramp from holding in my laughter when he came back to the table and said, "Dad.....somebody was throwing paper at me when I was going potty." This scenario played out several more times over the next couple of months, everytime he would go to the bathroom when we went out, I'd go and throw the towels again. Soon he would just come out to the table and say, "That man is here, the one that throws towels". By this time, my wife is telling me to stop before he gets a complex.

This brings us to the night I stopped throwing towels. We went to dinner and as usual Mr. Bowel Boy (my son) had to go #2 and so as usual, I waited a couple of minutes and went in and begin making nicely packed paper towel balls and throwing them over the stall door at him (that's what cool dads do). That was when I heard in a very deep voice say, "I'm going to kick somebody's a$$ when I get out of here. I see your shoes buddy and you won't be hard to find."

It turns out my son had already left the bathroom (false poopy alarm on his part) but he doubled back to the table via a different route. I must've missed him when I was going in so the occupied stall was NOT occupied by him. I made a quick exit, threw down way too much money on the table, grabbed the family and left.

I can tell you this, the man that throws towels doesn't come around anymore :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Gorilla Suit Story

As you may or may not know, the SuperBowl was coming to Jacksonville, Florida on Feb 6, 2005. I had an idea to get myself a big gorilla suit and stage some genuine 'Bigfoot spottings' along some very rural roads in the Jacksonvilel area.

My plan required an accomplice so over several lunches - I discussed my elaborate idea with a good friend. He too thought it was fool proof. The idea was to position my friend (we'll call him Rob since that was his name)up the road a bit on his cell phone. As a car was approaching I would be down the road in position in my gorilla suit. The plan was that I would be crossing the street or walking into the woods at just the right time so I would be seen at a passing glance.

After doing this for several months we thought it would be necessary to step it up a bit so the next level would involve roadkill. This required us to be 'mobile' and ready to act at a moments notice. Rob and I planned to canvas certain roads looking for an unforunate but always inevitable roadkill victim. In this staged siting, the idea was to have me crouch down as if to be feeding on the roadkill. Again, with Rob as lookout I would 'look up' into the oncoming headlights and then dash into the wood, Bigfoot style.

I know what your'e thinking - what about the footprints. Well we considered that. Rob was researching how to make giant gorilla/humanoid plaster feet casts that I could step into and wear like sandals. This way when I ran off I would leave foot prints. We also planned to just stamp the feet in the soft earth near the 'sighting' areas so that the wackadoo Bigfoot believers could announce thier findings.

If all went according to plan, by the time the SuperBowl hit, the entire Jacksonville community and perhaps even the nation would be aware that Bigfoot was in Jacksonville.

The best part the planned hoax was this:Rob was going to be one of 'those' people who not only saw Bigfoot but was going to be lucky enough capture some 'digital pictures'. We were convinced we could sell them to a tabloid paper for crazy money. The big unveiling was going to happen Superbowl week - after we cashed the tabloid check.

So why didn't we do it? Well I was on eBay shopping for Mascot costumes, gorilla suits, etc - I was working on phase one - acquisition of said ape suit when my wife peeked over my shoulder. I told her in so many words what Rob and I were up to. She walked away for about 10 minutes and then came back into the room. The conversation went like this.

Her: "So you think this Bigfoot thing is really a good idea?"
Me: "Hell yes. It can't fail."
Her: "Yes it can fail, and it will fail."
Me: "You're just jealous because you don't get to play a part."
Her: "Did you every consider this? Every road you're thinking of doing this on is inhabited by rednecks."
Me: "So what?"
Her: "Rednecks = Truck, Truck = Gun rack, Gun rack = Gun. This means that I don't think you can run as fast in a gorilla suit as a redneck can draw his rifle and shoot your ass while you're giggling like a girl and running in the woods. I think your carcass would be tied across the hood of his truck and the joke would be on you."

(this moment of clarity gave me great pause - I knew she was right, weeks of planning were wasted in that very instant - my plan was doomed.....or was it?)

Me: "What about a martian theme then?"
Her: "Go to bed."

She's too damn smart.......I still think it woulda worked.