Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Modern Age of Youth Baseball

3 clever quips


Welcome back to Little League baseball, guys! It’s good to ha–

What’s that, Carl? You want to be called what? Like Casey Stengel, the great baseball manager? No? Like Kacey Musgraves, the great country songstress. Mom and dad on board with that? Cool. Let me grab my clipboard.

All right, let’s try this again.

Welcome back, children, to Little League baseball. OK, so you all have good winter? Play some basketball or hockey, did you? No? Well, what sports did you kids play over the winter?

Fortnite does not count as a sport, Roberto. Neither does Minecraft. I agree, it does help your hand-eye coordination. It also helps prepare your glutes for another three months of riding the pine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Headaches of Moving and Downsizing

1 clever quips

If you still haven’t found the motivation to clean out even your kitchen junk drawer during all this pandemic downtime at home, try this three-step formula:

1. Sell your current house.

2. Move 200 miles out of state.

3. Then, and only then, buy a house built when lives were simpler and homeowners smaller.

That’s what we did this autumn. My Love received a job offer she couldn’t possibly pass up even though, despite living in a world brimming with deadly airborne contagions and pants-less Zoom calls from home, it required her to work on-site. With live, air-spewing co-workers. And, I assume, a dress code.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Frigga It All! It's Friday the 13th, Again!

0 clever quips

Today is the second Friday the 13th of the year. Does that make you anxious and full of dread?

It shouldn’t. If you survived 2020 long enough to read that sentence, brother, you should not sweat friggatriskaidekaphobia. Not even if your preferred freakout is paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Those two tongue-tripping words mean the exact same thing — the fear of Friday the 13th — but I prefer the former because, after the year we’ve had, we should all find it far more satisfying to look at the calendar today and shout “Frigga it all.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Syrupy Tales of Election Day, Pancakes

0 clever quips

It started as either a clever plan to instill the importance of participating in our democracy in my children or a hankering for butter pecan syrup. 

Since my two children, now 20 and 18, were old enough to stand still for a minute in the voting booth, we have followed an Election Day ritual: Wake up on the first Tuesday of November, cruise to the polling place in the minivan to cast my ballot, and then head out for a breakfast feast. The IHOP is our usual destination — owing to that aforementioned jonesing of mine. My family rarely went there in my youth, but its steep royal blue roof had been such a familiar sight to me over five decades, at least from a car window, that it seemed a perfectly stable and secure spot for building a lifetime memory along with a customized pancake combo. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Life Hands You Quarantine, Make Quaran-tini

6 clever quips

Tomorrow, I find a restaurant with a huge outdoor patio and indulge in a fresh, hot burger and fries. And, definitely, a cold draft beer. At minimum, I’ll go get a haircut.

That’s how I plan to celebrate the end of my state imposed, 14-day self-quarantine for the high crime of vacationing in a COVID-19 hotspot even though while there I didn’t go out for a burger or a beer or anything vaguely vacationy beyond sitting on the spacious beach beyond our rental’s back deck for hours and hours. I won’t name the location to protect the many conspiracy theorists who permanently live there, but I’ll offer hints. It’s a state where:
  • face masks only became required in public settings in late June,
  • indoor dining is allowed at 50 percent capacity, and
  • the riskiest behavior I undertook was showing my Blue State issued driver’s license to the Good Ol’ Boy behind the register at the ABC store.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Taking a lickin' at the hardware store

0 clever quips
I’ve always been sweet on trips to the hardware store and, quite honestly, it started with the candy. Those old-fashioned striped stick candies, if you must have details.

It never struck me as odd that places where the air is thick with lawn fertilizer and 3-in-1 oil also specialized in sugary delicacies, cellophane wrapped and flavored with root beer, cinnamon or the exotic if not vague “tropical fruit.” But I was knee-high to a sack of Kingsford briquettes then, usually stopping in on a Saturday with my dad so he could pick up a bag of concrete mix or a propane canister for his soldering torch. And those ol’ mom-and-pops had everything. "Hey, Ethel, we already sell slip joint pliers, right? Let’s stock some cavity inducers while we’re at it?"

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My Uncool Past