Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Would Doug Heffernan Do?

I'm changing channels on the not-too-obnoxious large flat screen when the clicker comes to rest on a Comedy Central special featuring Chris Rock.

Dressed 'fro to toe in black leather.

"Eeeeeeewwwwwww!" Thing 1 says through gritted teeth. "That's bad."

"Yeah. Only your Mom could pull off that look." I close my eyes. Mmmm. When will you return from Ahu Dhabi, hun? How many Cool Ranch Doritos can one speck on the map consume?

As I navigate to a safer fashion harbor, the diva-in-training speaks:

"They say it doesn't matter what you look like. It matters what's inside. Like, Drew in my class. He's snotty and gross. But we might actually have a lot of things in common. He might like the same shows and things that I do. But he doesn't. I should marry someone who's more my type."

[Ed. Note - "Snotty," in this usage, does not mean "snobby" or "uppity." It literally means "full of snot." I've meet the Drew in question before.]

The remote drops from my hand as I contemplate the wisdom of my 8-year-old. Did she actually take a break from transcribing every item from the American Girl mail-order catalog onto her "Christmas list" to ponder the depths of love and beauty?

"Um, actually that's really smart of you. You might be really attracted to someone at the start because they look good or dress well or smell like hazelnut and vanilla but they may be really rotten underneath. Like those carrots I tried to serve you and your brother for dinner tonight," I say. "Smothered in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter-y goodness on the outside, but old, brown and stinky on the inside."

She shoots me a quizzical look.

"Or someone could look like me," I continue, "and still be really cool and lovable."

"You are not cool. You're Dad."

"But I'm a good guy despite that, the love handles and the failure to shave regularly, right?"


Little victory for me. I'll take it.

We settle on a "King of Queens" rerun. This is perfect. Carrie, even in the flabbier, post-pregnancy seasons, was a total babe, despite the New Yawk accent. But, let's face it, inside she's pretty ... evil. She's scheming, she's a hypocrite, she really beats down on her well-meaning, yet unambitious marshmallow hubby. (And in real life, she's a Scientologist known to travel with the Suri Cruise crowd. Scaaaaa-reeeee.)

Doug, meanwhile, is a classic TV dad ... but without kids. A bumbling immature man with no drive unless it involves a destination in front of a plate of hot wings. But one with a heart of gold for the most part. An enlarged, cholesterol-blocked, heart of gold but nonetheless. For example, he kicked weakest-link Carrie off the bowling team to try to bring them a championship, then was so guilt stricken he became the gutter-baller himself. He ended up quitting in disgrace and in disgust over what he had done to his wife.

How would Doug handle this conversation with Thing 1? I don't know, but it would probably start over a box of Hot Pockets.

"So," I venture, "who bestowed you with such wisdom at such a young age?"


"Where did you learn this from, midget?"

"TV," she smiles.

"What show?"

"'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.'"

Maybe I need to start paying more attention to what the twins' spiky-haired TV Mom has got going on. She might teach me a thing or two.

Say, do we have any Hot Pockets?

You can find more sitcom-like babes and hunks over at this site.


  1. Every thing I know about parenting I learned from Arthur. Those parents? Never ruffled and D.W. could be a serious bitch.

    My kids however think "talk the to hand" is a decent thing for people to say. Thanks so much Raven.

    So glad you got cancelled, girl.

  2. I've kept the Disney channel at bay for now. Not sure that I can handle at that Hannah Montana/High School Musical blech.

    I think my kids HAVE spotted that Zach & Cody show though. Is this the beginning of the end?

  3. "I think my kids HAVE spotted that Zach & Cody show though. Is this the beginning of the end?"

    Yes, it is. I don't know what the long-term effect of ham acting and canned laughter is on children, but it can't be good.

  4. It literally means "full of snot."

    Hilarious. I wonder what that says about me that I actually knew what she meant by snotty before I even read your Ed.Note. :)

  5. I really like King of Queens because Doug and Carrie are such great characters. I'm glad you wrote about them; I have never actually heard or read any commentary on the show. And Arthur- he's perfect.

  6. Frickin' Zack and Cody are on constantly! Perhaps I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but seriously! Here's what I've learned from them: That brunette chick? I want to thump her. (That's 't'hump!); and I still don't know which is Zack and which is Cody, so I've learned my kids get tired of me asking.

    I just want Steve back on Blue's Clues. Life was simpler than.

  7. Ms P - I thought u meant Arthur Spooner, Carrie's dad. ... I got the talk to the hand from one of Thing 1's friends once. Just once.

    Alice - Too late for us. We are submerged.

    Ellen - Agreed.

    Jen W. - I knew you were the smart one.

    ST - I think KoQ was very underrated. I think it holds up better than a lot of old Seinfelds.

    FADKOG - Steve is a genius, and a swell guy in person to boot. Buy his "Songs for Dust Mites" album. You'll enjoy it.

  8. It could be like at my house....
    I have an 11 year old already sprouting boobies and planning on when she is going to try out for Playboy and be on the Girls Next Door, a 9 year old who watches wrestling and is planning on attending wrestling school and becoming a Diva on the WWE, and a son who wants to be a chef like mommy and cook a lot!

  9. Okay, see, I have to totally disagree w/ you right now. Not on the total concept (which is sweet and wonderful) but on your testosterone fueled man version of Carrie and Doug. From my perch over here in Estrogen-ville Doug is definately the less moral and solid of the two. Doug would be nothing w/ out Carrie. He is a big kid..yes, a big kid w/ a sweet heart, but a big kid just the same. Carrie is often bitchy becaue it is tiring dealing w/a big kid all the time. They require much supervision and coddling and frankly it just stresses her the hell out so yes, sometimes she seems cold. Carrie loves Doug and takes care of him and that in itself makes her morally superior.

  10. As Homer Simpson once said, "TV. Is there anything it can't do?

  11. Thinking back and its a long way back, I kept bevis and butthead and the simpsons out of my son's repository of tv shows. Of course he found a way around that (every kid does)grandparents are that way, yes they are. So soon, he came home snorting and saying creepy sayings and well just general poo came from his mouth. Its a part of growing up I suppose to be able to test your limits with speech and actions. Just a shame we, as parents, have to go through the phase. This too will pass.

  12. Uh-huh-huh..ummm..ahh..Like, what's wrong w/ Beavis and Butthead? Uh-huh-huh..heehehe.. Sssshee said "poo"..

  13. That Girl - Calling ME "testosterone fueled" just shoots your whole argument to hell.

    LD - So true.

    Blonde, Deb - Thanks stopping by and jumping in the pool. Towel? Hand sanitizer? Complimentary flip flops? Seriously, come again.

  14. I think i'll just start leaving "Weeds" and "Sex in the City" on 24/7 and see what comes out of my kids.

    Probably a recap of my early 20's, but I'm not passing any judgement.

  15. Isn't it great when you discovery there is a great person lurking inside all the kid-ness!? Those are the moments that keep me going.

    And as for TV, I'm busy watching the angst filled teen stuff. Rejoice in the nothingness of Zack and Cody. At least they aren't getting girls pregnant and drinking between classes. Sigh.

  16. Oh... I HATE that show. And it is terrible to say, especially given the magnaminity of Thing 1, but those kids got really fat and freaky looking since the Adam Sandler/Big Daddy days.

    You should encourage the Things to follow the Gospel According To Hannah Montana.

  17. Ah, King of Queens. That was a funny show. Although, I preferred Raymond, since he had twins like me. That was pretty much like turning a camera on myself. Plus, his wife was kinda hot too.

  18. Fantastic, your kid is already wiser than I am. Then again, it really doesn't take much.

  19. steve from Blues clues...*sighs dreamily* now that's when Milfs could watch their kiddy Tv and get hot flashes.

    Oh Stevie....where art thou?!

  20. Hi there, came over from Sue...

    I have to agree with you on the Doug/Carrie dynamic... Carrie was too hard on Doug.

    I'm very glad that we are not at the Z&C stage yet. My boy is still into Super Friends, Scooby Doo, and Dora. Basically we're still into cartoons in the Pop household.

    I'm so not ready for the rest of it... Yet...

  21. How can I not love a post that references 'can't believe its not butter, The Heffernans, American Girl dolls, creepy scientology AND has a life lesson? Genius my friend. Pure genius.

    All I can do now is SUB.SCRIBE.

    There you made me do it!

  22. wuts rawng wit a nuu yawka's ax sent?


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