Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Gifts We Don't Keep Giving

4 clever quips
best gold collar necklace aurate

I'm panic-browsing an online collection of fine gold collar necklaces because last night My Love insisted we don't exchange gifts this Christmas. That's how I know I am screwed.

You know the drill. The spouse says they don't want you to get them anything for an anniversary or a birthday or Opening Day of Baseball Season, so you don't. Then the big day rolls around and you find some special, long-coveted desire of your heart neatly wrapped in a bow on the kitchen counter next to your morning bowl of bran pellets. 


I sigh because I wish that was the case for me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Thanksgiving Trots are for Turkeys

3 clever quips
thanksgiving turkey trot parents pushing baby

Our family’s Thanksgiving tradition is to ritually avoid them.

Multiple generations of loved ones gathering under one roof? Rarely. We have more of a shrub than a family tree. Plus, we tend to shy away from forced socializing. If we had a coat of arms, it’d feature badgers swathed in poison ivy.

Football? Ha! We’re New York Jets fans! By the fourth Thursday of November, we find more excitement in scouring the internet for video of curling competitions.

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Day The Sky Went Silent

0 clever quips
silent blue sky

I worked in a downtown Dallas office building in those days. My 7th floor office window, on a clear day, commanded a look of the flat, indistinctive North Texas landscape that was so broad and distant that one could almost make out where the Earth's surface made its subtle curve toward the other side of the planet. However, on most days the smog and ozone cleared only enough to reveal the lower parking levels of a nearby office building. So instead of marveling at natural wonders, a few of the IT people I shared the floor with would occasionally entertain ourselves by trying to identify which airline's planes from the multiple airports nearby were the ones rattling our windows at any given moment.

I came into the office a little earlier than normal that Tuesday morning, still a bit hung over from the previous week's annual sand, surf and suds vacation with friends, and logged into my computer. That's where I first saw the bulletin about a plane striking one of the Twin Towers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Some Pup Owners Belong in the Doghouse

0 clever quips
ashamed pup in the grass

Our town is going to the dogs, and you know who is responsible?

Not the developers. They’re leveling historic slums to build luxury slums of the future.

Not the folks in charge of our neglected local infrastructure. They’ve been letting the mold grow in our schools because … well, something has to hold the crumbling bricks together.

It’s the dog owners. You rotten, self-righteous lovers of furry beasts that retrieve old tennis balls, you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

One day, lad, all this minivan will be yours

0 clever quips

the boy loves his minivan of manliness

NOTE: After my unearthing of last week's piece about the Minivan of Manliness, I remembered that I had written another piece about it in 2017 for the fish wrapper that eventually let me go this past December. This one is about Excitable being, well, excited, about inheriting my ride when he started learning to drive. More on that after the story:

My son asked if we could give one of his high school teammates a ride home, so I hit the button to slide open the passenger-side rear door to the minivan. As the two of them climbed in, Excitable told his friend with what I knew to be more of his own brand of goofy pride than sarcasm, “Dude, this here is gonna be my whip.”

Don’t look it up; I already did.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Of Minivans and Men

0 clever quips

never say never to the minivan

NOTE: The legendary Minivan of Manliness -- as of this past December -- 'tis no more. Fifteen years and nearly 170,000 miles -- all in good service. Well, mostly good. Things got a little hairy those last few years. Various battery/electrical issues, wonky doors and a strange penchant for developing flat tires on long journeys: college trip to Baltimore, the night we moved -- seriously, drove three hours in the pouring rain and next day, flat as my singing voice; and, lastly, on the interstate the day I was driving to the dealer to test drive a new car. It's nice one of us knew when our time was up.

Here's a piece I wrote about the ol' girl back in 2008 for DadCentric.

Of Minivans and Men

Whrrrrrr -- CHUNK. Whrr -- CHUNK-CHUNK.

Hmmmm, I mused. The garage door track could have shaken loose from the ceiling again. Let's punch in that remote code two, neigh, three more times to be sure.

Whrrrrrr -- CHUNK. Whrr -- CHUNK-CHUNK.

Frickity-frick on a frickin' stick.

I had left the minivan tailgate open while it was inside the closed garage. Now the arm extending from the roller chain to the door was welded into the gate. 


My Uncool Past