Dada is on a “staycation” this week. That means you are getting long overdue things around the house done. If you don’t own a home, you’ve probably never heard on this oddity. I painted, I cut down trees and bushes, I pulled roots, I nailed and I laundered like a barbarian (OK, barbarians don’t launder). I finally met my match though, with the Little Tykes Treehouse/Playgym.
My dad and I were smelling like – well, go to the BMV in July, like that, but sober. We began assembling this plastic Rubik’s cube of a swing set. We felt proud until we realized the part numbers we could find were on the bottom and we had to start over from scratch after ten minutes. Then we forgot the washers and had to unwrench the whole thing. Then we stopped to rag the dripping sweat off our faces, only to realize we lost a locking nut somewhere in the abyss of the backyard. 20 minutes later, I’m at Lowe’s, stuck in fairgrounds dairy farmer traffic. I began to think – didn’t kids used to play with sticks and dirt? They turned out alright, I think.
I got to step 12. It called for STRING, SCOTCH TAPE (not scotch, I would be all for that) and A PENCIL. I’m assembling a swing set. WHY IN THE BLUE HELL DO I NEED STRING, SCOTCH TAPE AND A PENCIL – NO ONE USES PENCILS, IT’S 2016. I had to tie a string to an eyebolt, tape off the bracket (I did the wrong order because the pictures were wrong – thanks team that did the manual) and push a pencil through a hole 9 inches deep. OH WAIT, I HAVE NORMAL MAN HANDS SO IT DIDN’T FIT BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE HALF HANDS LIKE MORDECAI BROWN OR A ONE YEAR OLD. I had to use needle nose pliers and a piece of rebar to finesse it through. I used curse words I had forgotten years before.
I was pumped, we were halfway done. Then I realized the bar for the swings was not in the box. I blacked out for a minute, then came through and realized I had survived a rage stroke. I called Toys R Us, which fixed the problem…by offering me to pick up the bar, after putting me on hold for 20 minutes with Radio Disney. I am broken. I plan now to teach my daughter the wonder of…IMAGINATION! Let’s pretend there’s a swing set! YAY! FUN FOR ALL!
I have an almost one year old, so clearly I know everything now. Here’s some advice, tips and wisdom to share with you all.
– You’ll have it figured out until teething starts. Then it goes to hell faster than your social life did when you had a baby.
– If you think your newborn’s poopy diapers stink, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until they start “adult food” and you get the first post-meat surprise.
– When in doubt, Elmo. Elmo early and Elmo often. I don’t know what it is about that red, high pitched menace, but kids LOVE him.
– Routine, routine, routine. Babies need routine like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman on Full Metal Jacket needs to scream insults at Private Pyle. If you are in trouble, go in this order – food, diaper, sleep, boredom, then repeat. Or just call for momma – sometimes your kid is just sick of your bullshit.
– When you can, SLEEP. “Hey, I need to take out the trash.” SLEEP. “I should catch up on Netfilx.” SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP.
That should get you through the first year. Now I need to look into when my daughter should be expected to invent something so I can retire. I’m guessing three, she’s pretty smart.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be three things: President of the good ol’ USA (I used to think I had too much dirt in my past, then 2016 happened), a ninja (ninjas don’t drink Busch Light) or a robot inventor. I gave up on robots when I realized I couldn’t build one due to my lack of scientific knowledge or work ethic or resources, but I have found a few I think are on par with the internet, fire and air conditioning.
Ventilated shorts. I have a huge hole in the crotch of my shorts I wear around the house. I went to get something from the side of the living room by the A/C vent and realized I had stumbled upon a great and glorious revelation as the cold air froze my undercarriage. Sure, there’s the whole indecent exposure thing, but try chilling your grundle in July. It’s the best.
A powder that makes the donuts people bring to your office taste like poop. Let’s face it, we’re not working out tonight and you can’t turn down that cream filled delight. I know they were being nice, but we’re too fat to resist. Powder up and – not eating the donut. Poop taste beats willpower. You’ll thank me when you fit in your pants again.
Political post of Facebook blocker. I don’t know how this will work, but let me give you some info. Is someone reposting Hillary Clinton talking about creating tech jobs when she can’t figure out how email works? Someone telling you how Trump is the next Reagan/Lincoln/Captain America? Tired of hearing about how all Republicans are this or all Democrats are that and Jerry from Pataskala has it all figured out? Click this buttion and BOOM – all your statuses you read at work are about 1) Pets 2) Kids 3) Vacations or 4) Whatever people used to post about before this fucking election. I get one penny for every post blocked, so you’re welcome and I’ll be richer than Trump and Clinton combined in five minutes. Then I’ll run for president and BUY ALL YOUR SOULS! Sorry, got carried away there. (NOT REALLY!) Shut up voice in my head!
Well, maybe not completely, but I just realized my 20th high school reunion is next year. Here’s things that make me feel old and awful.
– Smartphones? Nope, but a lot of my friends had pagers! A pager, for the younger readers, was a small device that people could send numbers to. You would see this number and then find a payphone. You would wait for the crack dealer or prostitute to finish his or her call, then you would call the number, only to realize your “pals” had texted you a girl’s number when you called and made an ass out of yourself.
– Satellite radio? Nope, a CD player that skipped when you hit a bump. Every guy in my class was blaring one of the following: Metallica, Black Album; Guns N Roses, Appetite For Destruction; Hank Williams Jr., (Any CD with Country Boy Can Survive) or Death Row’s Greatest Hits. Not a lot of lady killers in my class (I was playing Pantera, so not me either).
It wasn’t all bad, though. Some things were better then. Need a boost? Forget $6 coffee, Mt. Dew was .99. Craft beer for $15 a six pack? Nope, Busch Light 30 pack – $8.99. Cigarettes were under $2 a pack (I think they’re $40 a cigarette now, someone that smokes help me out) and I filled up once in 1996 for .67 cents a gallon. Of course, I made $4.25 as a stock boy, similar to what I make doing comedy now, so not much has changed there. Maybe I should have stuck with the stock boy gig.
When I graduated from college, I took a job outside Chicago as a management trainee at a steel mill. As with most new hires right out of college, it was a bit of an adjustment. They didn’t really have a full slate for me, so my days consisted of “Hey, you’re still here? Umm, shuffle these papers for three hours and then take inventory for the eighth time this week.” Most of the team was nice and I’ll never forget two things. It’s where I was when 9/11 went down and I had a boss that stole my can of pop every day.
I went to my lunch break one day and realized my delicious beverage was gone. I was rather angry, but was determined it was an anomaly. I put a sticky note that said “Chris” on it the next day. Gone. Day 3 I began trying to structure my duties around the refrigerator, but was unable to find enough excuses to hang there. Finally, on Day 4, I brought in a very unique soda and inventoried the fridge. I finally caught my prey – it was one of my bosses, a skinny blonde smirking crook named Shawn. “Hey, you’ve been taking my pop.” He looked at me, “Yes.” That was it, no apology. “You can’t take my stuff.” “Well, I’m the boss. You want money for it?” He handed me $2. The pop machine was .55 cents. “This isn’t enough, plus the only thing they have over there is Diet Pepsi and Surge. I think it’s all five years old too.” He grinned, “You’ll be OK.”
My rage bubbled over, but I knew my fight was done…for now. The next day I found .50 cents in the fridge and my Diet Dr. Pepper missing. I walked to his desk. “You enjoying my drink?” He smiled, arrogantly. “Yes, I am.” I stared at him with dead eyes. “Well, the funny thing is I may have rubbed my pop all over my balls and dick this morning before I came in.” “What?! Are you serious? You’re going to get written up!” “Well, that means you stole my Dr. Pepper. How can you do that?” He was flabbergasted as I walked away. He yelled out, “You wouldn’t drink it then, I know you didn’t do it!” I looked back, “Oh, I wouldn’t have had it either way – you always steal it and short me a nickel. Oh, here’s your change back, this one’s on me.”
He never took my drink again, but I know what you’re wondering – did I really do it? A ladY nevEr revealS her secrets. Well, It woulD be IncreDible to know, but I can’t say.
Red light, green light. Pick a show on your DVR. When your kid falls asleep, Green Light! Watch Game of Thrones assassinations, Better Call Saul drug deals go bad, and Walking Dead zombie attacks to heart’s delight! Red Light! Kid woke up. Wait for Green Light in seventeen days when you finally can watch again.
Freeze Tag. Walk across a dark room. Step on toy – freeze and internalize the pain and urge to scream obscenities while a hard plastic action figure is lodged into the small of your foot. Toss in the petrifying fear of waking the baby as another toy you booted makes a happy song in the background. Unfreeze!
Hide and Go Seek. Set down something important. Have memory and brain function go hide as you spend next 20 minutes looking for it. Oh, the kid grabbed it and tossed it behind the couch…or trash can…or table. Repeat 34 times a week.
The last one is a parent game only – it’s called “Oh shit, my kid fell asleep on my lap and I just realized my cell phone is dying and I have to piss like a racehorse; how long I can hold my bladder and my sanity?”