Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to your old tricks

17 clever quips
stuffed rabbit with no eyes
After last week's episode, I'm not sure whether I should congratulate you or crate you.

Maybe this regression is a good thing. Hmmm ...

Dealer's choice, doggie dude: your analyst or mine?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bite Me

27 clever quips
Dearest Doggie o' Mine,

I know my friends made fun of you and your timid approach to the surf of the Atlantic Ocean this summer. You, I know, are accustomed only to the gentle lapping of the Long Island Sound upon your tender paws. Swells and spicy tides were new territory to you. You're just past the puppy stage, buddy; you'll gain confidence with more experience.

I know they questioned your pedigree when you refused to no-holds-barred dive into the pool at every opportunity. They don't know that this is a good thing. They've never experienced diving down to retrieve a child's toy or lost hair tie only to have a 75-pound cannonball of flailing claws on their unsuspecting backs. (I speak, of course, of your predecessor -- a similarly suburb-sedated lad I loved dearly but did loathe in this one respect.)

In addition, yes, you have no balls. Nevertheless, you are so much more than your physical shortcomings, my fuzzy friend.

So, you must agree that this recent transgression smacks a tad bit of overcompensation on your part, no?


back half of rabbit
Don't worry, my faithful furball. You're still all wild animal to me.

Love,

The One Who Walks on His Hind Legs and Picks Up Your Leftovers

P.S. If you want a little extra kibble in your bowl, go to Humor-Blogs.com and put your big paws on a smiley face for me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Greenbacks

32 clever quips
Everyone in my immediate family is or works for an accountant. I -- not once, but twice -- scored at least 130 points higher in math than verbal on my SATs.

Naturally, I became a writer. I blame a middle-school classmate who convinced me that, just prior to our taking a career-aptitude test, no job could be better than one in which you get paid to sit around and tell stories.

(Said classmate, the son of a minister, also had a premature taste for hard-core porn magazines. He kept out them out back, right across from the church.)

Still, from time to time, My Love asks me to handle simple financial matters. Why? Beats me. She has an MBA and spends most of her day converting world currencies and dissecting international monetary bylaws so someone who lives in Cheboygan, Mich., can be paid in British sterling via Turkish lira that has be filtered through Mexican counting houses because the person once saw a Taco Bell ad in magazine while flying over the Samsun province.

(Scene: My Love, lost in the thought at the kitchen table.

ME: "Honey, wha'cha thinkin' 'bout?"

HER: "Oh, you know. Sometimes I just like to compound interest in my head.")


Last week, My Love phoned home with a mission: Go to our local Wank of America branch and have them make out a bank check to a car dealer. The check was for a tidy sum that made me gag on the store-brand peanut butter I was having for lunch.

"If we have that much in the bank, why don't I just hit the ATM?" I asked, mentally picturing such a thick stack of Jacksons. "I'll go change into some cargo shorts."

"No. I need a check made out by the bank because … (I zoned out during this part, probably as I was focusing on removing the generic Jif from my wisdom tooth) …, OK?"

"Yes, My Love."

I grabbed the checkbook she left for me on the countertop and headed out.

Hmm, if I have a checkbook why do I need a bank check?

God, this peanut butter is being feisty!

I arrived at the bank and informed the teller of my need.

"There's a $7 charge for that," she said.

Then she looked at my checkbook. The account I wanted to use was actually with another bank down the street.

Quarts of flop sweat later, my minivan pulled up to the nearby PityWank branch. As I do, it dawns on me: I was in this building many years ago … when it was an S&H Green Stamps redemption center. What did we trade our stamps in for? Blender? Mixer?

So, into the bank and another line. The teller asks for my bank card.

"Uh, I don't have one."

"You don't have a card for your account?"

"No. But I have this checkbook."

She looks exasperated. Then she asks for my Social Security number.

"It's not in the system. Do you know your wife's Social?"

"I don't know my wife's phone number at work. … But I have this checkbook. My name is printed on the checks. See. Do these checks serve any purpose at all?"

She commences banging away furiously on her keyboard. I feel like I just asked to upgrade my seat on the last chopper out of 'Nam.

Triggered by waiting impatiently and impotently at the counter, just as I did with my mom 35 years ago, The Green Stamp store flashbacks begin. Yellow linoleum floors crammed with vacuums standing under soiled throw rugs. Peeling wallpaper with crooked posters of smiling housewives in checkered aprons. Jesus, what did we get here?

Sewing machine?

Rowboat?

Dang it, that's an old episode of the Brady Bunch.

"You know," the teller interrupted, "there will be a $10 service charge for issuing this check?"

"You know," I countered, "it's only $7 up the street."

"Pardon me, sir?"

"Hey! Do you know what?" I said in mid-epiphany. "My mom and I got a toaster over in this building once and all it cost us was a few books of sticky green paper."



Video: "It's Money that Matters," Randy Newman

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Going, going, gone -- good riddance

15 clever quips
The media and fans in these parts are all gushy and mushy with their weepy memories of Yankee Stadium, which closes down Sunday night. As a fan of any team playing the Yankees, I'm here today to anti-gush.

yankee stadium securityNo parking. Overpriced beer. Awful food. Nazi ushers.

Dirty, dark walkways. Some of the smelliest bathrooms in major league sports.

But anyone can tell you that. Here are my stories.

One of my first games at the stadium was Opening Day against the White Sox in 1991. It was rainy and roughly 41 degrees in our seats in the right-field upper deck, the place where the rats get vertigo and the home team resembles dust mites in pinstripes.

The game featured three homeruns. I missed them all while in line for nonexistent food items. I could understand being out of hot beverages by the fourth inning given the weather that day. But how do you run out of hot dogs in the first inning of the first game of the season?

During the mid-1990s, My Love and I took in several Yankees games whenever the Baltimore Orioles were in town. We'd sit on the third-base side, just past the infield, so she could have the maximum desired viewing angle … of Orioles' shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and his, uh, assets.

One day, though, her ogling time was severely hampered. A bunch of drunken bikers, who might have been auditioning to play Hell's Angels in an off-Broadway version of Gimme Shelter, posed a distraction.

"Ugh. They keep hocking and spitting in the aisles," she said. "Ugh. I'm going to be sick."

"Stop looking at them. They're two sections away. The game is to your left."

"Can't. Turn. Away. Like. Wreck. On. Highway."

My favorite memory, though, wasn't at a game, it was before one. Back in my reporter days, I had the chance to cover a children's baseball clinic being hosted by Yankees pitcher David Cone. This gave me access to the field, the bullpen, Monument Valley and the abuse of the Yankees' head of media relations.

"You, you! What are you doing here? Off the grass! Out of here!"

"Uh, I'm covering the clinic. I'm with the newspaper," I said, holding up the press credentials that dangled from around my neck.

"I don't care. Off the grass!"

I made my way to the bullpen where I met up with David Cone's wife, Lynn. I'm sure we had a fascinating discussion about something. Yet, all I recall is her wearing the tightest pair of ecru-colored pants to ever grace such a deserving body. I suspect she flew the Honduran child-laborers right to her Greenwich mansion that morning so they could stitch her into them.

Kids, you earned every penny. All 14 of them.

Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Lynn Cone, Uncool loves you more than you will know. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

My Love was fully aware of my drooling. After all, I got her onto the field by her posing as my photographer.

After the Yankees' media director disappeared to find a homeless veteran he could berate, we ventured to the outfield grass behind second base. I began picking up loose baseballs and wondering how big of a Bronx welcome I would receive from security if I attempted to test out my double-play pivot.

Then one very tall, dark and muscular Yankee emerged from the dugout with a leather bag over his shoulder. He started out toward us.

Or rather, should I say, toward My Love.

"Hey," he said. He gave her a good look, up and down, without breaking his long, loping stride.

I sidled over to her.

"Honey, you know what? You just got checked out … by Doc Gooden."

"Really," she said, thinking about it for a second. "He was carrying a man purse."

Ooo … strike three, looking.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pity the Poor Flaccid Mice

33 clever quips
mouse humping computer mouseLadies, does your man snore? If so, snoring could be the sign of more serious condition. As such, we need to discuss mouse boners.

Or more specifically, the lack thereof.

In my non-blogging, non-parenting life, I -- among other things -- re-write medical news releases for a consumer health care organization. It's never going to win me a Pulitzer, but it fulfills many of my prerequisites for a job: flexible hours, no dress code and the authority to delete superfluous commas at will.

Some of the news releases are about serious studies on promising new cancer treatments or insights into the cause and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Then, there's a regular helping of "people get money to study this?!" stories. Air pollution is bad for your lungs. Living next to an industrial solvent plant built on a Superfund site can cause extra limbs to spout from your navel.

And, of course, rodent erectile dysfunction.

Seems a team of University of Louisville researchers wanted to study some of the consequences of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a disorder in which you literally and repeatedly stop breathing at night for several seconds. This deprives your brain of oxygen, your body of rest and apparently, as this was the hypothesis of the experiment, it deprives your willy of woo-hoo.

The researchers tested their theory out on mice, though I don't think they would have had a tough time locating some male sleep-apnea sufferers interested in knowing whether they needed to start doing price comparisons on a "Mighty Man Trigger Pump."

According to the university's news release, after one week under sleep-apnea-like conditions, the mice "showed a 55 percent decline in their daily spontaneous erections." After five weeks, "the 'latency to mount' period— the average interval between mounting a mate — increased 60-fold."

This raises many questions. Like, who counted the erections and how was this person chosen? Seniority? Keenest eyesight? Least likely to giggle?

How did said researcher describe this work to a spouse or friend? "Honey, phew, what a day! I've been counting mice chubbies since the crack of dawn! You gonna eat all them fries?"

Next, how do we really know they were "spontaneous"? Isn't it possible a few pre-mediated woodies snuck in there? Did they bring in a parade of female mice in little bustiers and garter belts? Let them watch late-night Cinemax?

Finally, that latency-to-mount period -- like the males had a choice in the matter? I will say, this has given me a new approach to hitting up My Love: "Honey, my L2M is getting up there. I mean, WAY up there. C'mon -- for science, baby, for science. Think of the poor flaccid mice."

Unfortunately, even the sleep-deprived mice that managed to pitch their tents didn't have much luck making the s'mores. According to the news release, "In five out of seven mice tested, ejaculation did not occur at all, but in one mouse, latency to ejaculation was 660 minutes — eleven hours — whereas in control mice the median time to ejaculation was only a few minutes."

Eleven hours! I'm not sure who I feel worse for -- the mounter or his mountee. Either way, I'm reaching for a sympathy ice pack right now.

The good news: This condition is nearly completely reversible with treatment for the sleep apnea and some of those wondrous drugs you see advertised on TV. I can hear the squeaks of ecstasy now.

Feel enlightened? Then go to Humor-Blogs.com, register and give me a Mr. Happy. C'mon -- for science, baby, for science.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Her Body, My Self

49 clever quips
I am a heterosexual man who is so in touch with his feminine side that it has occasionally brought me up on harassment charges. Therefore, when Thing 1's bedtime reading selection for us was titled "The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls," I was fully prepared to read and share my experiences on the perils of acne and unwanted and/or strategically placed body hair.

Then I opened to where the bookmarker had been placed.

In rather large san serif white-on-orange lettering, the chapter heading spelled out, "Period."

Oh.

"You sure you want this book tonight? What about that fairy book you got from the school media center?"

cartoon vagina utereus"No," Thing 1 insisted. "This is what Mom and I were reading the other night."

"Then let me get Mom."

"No. It's your turn to read to me tonight."

I scanned the page. It had a cartoon drawing of a young girl in a purplish T-shirt and green shorts. Her shorts seemed to have a piece of paper pinned across them.

With a diagram.

Labeled "vagina."

And "uterus."

Monty Hall, that looks like a sweet trip to beautiful "Blushing Dadland," but I think I'd rather have what's behind Curtain No. 2. Oh, a goat munching on an old shoe? Faaaaan-tastic.

I started listening closely to the sounds out in the hall. My Love was tucking Thing 2 in for the night. She has probably read him another book about flesh-eating dinosaurs or bugs that crawl into your crevices and leave their slimy eggs to fester and hatch. Lucky wench.

I cleared my throat. Oops, lost the page. Gotta find it again.

"Ready?"

"Yep."

"OK," I said, hearing doors opening and closing beyond the bedroom. "You read the first sentence, sweetie."

" 'Getting your period. There are probably no other words that will make you feel as exited …' "

"No, sweetie. The word is 'excited.'"

"'Excited, scarred …' "

"'Scared' not 'scarred.'"

"'Scared, or just plain confused.'"

Oh, frickin' tell me about, stupid authors! Who wrote this? I flipped back and scanned the preface page:

american girl signatureWhy? Why do these people torment me so?

"Dad," Thing 1 said, "why are they calling it 'period.' I thought it was called 'puberty'?"

"All right. Those [footsteps] are … two [closer] ... well, different [doorknob turns] … things."

If ever My Love should have entered a room wearing a blue spandex outfit with a flowing red cape, this was it. I wonder which "special box" we hid that one in?

"MOOOM! Hey, we are sooooo glad you stopped by! Thing 1 here and I just started reading this very, um, detailed book you bought her. Maybe you can help us out with this question here …"

I bugged out, seeking comfort in the drunken, oversexed manliness of Tucker Max's "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell."

About half an hour later, My Love and I had a strategy review meeting.

"Honey," I said, "you know I'm more than willing to tackle most cringe-inducing subjects with the kids but -- I'm sorry -- you were on the premises and I think you'll admit this is probably a topic  not within the grasp of [here's where I really sell it to the executive goddess within her] my particular skill set."

"I know!" she said. "I purposely stopped on that page the other day. I wanted to wait a while. Three days ago, we were reading a book about princesses and fairies. I didn't want to jump into periods right this minute. I meant to hide that book for a month or so."

"So ... how'd it go in there?" I said.

"OK. I gave her a demonstration about tampons …"

"Frick on a stick!"

"No, not on me! I just unwrapped one and showed her what it was."

A little later, after my heart returned to its normal rhythm, My Love mentioned that she had read that now that Thing 1 had started to, uh, sprout in certain body areas that it was likely that her first period could occur within the next year.

Why do I suddenly feel like a man on death row watching the lights flicker overhead?


Video: "Heterosexual Man," The Odds
If any of this made you feel uncomfortable, please go to Humor-Blogs.com and report me to the proper authorities.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Soccer Coach? But I Hardly Know Him!

26 clever quips

Upon the birth of my first child, I knew two things were my destiny:

  1. I would be one of those father's who threatened (and, when needed, performed) bodily harm upon any boy who broke his little girl's heart; and,

  2. I would coach youth sports.

The first destiny is not yet fulfilled (but I'm watching you closely, curly haired, mouth-breather in the third row of homeroom). The second happened earlier this week when I became head wrangler of a herd of 7- and 8-year-old girl soccer players.

I originally volunteered to be an assistant. You know, the guy who always has a needle for the ball pump and a chemical ice bag for a bruised shin. When you need a supporting cast, I'm your Lou Grant, Rhoda Morgenstern and Phyllis Lindestrom -- all in one. But when you give me my own show … well, you tend to wish I had stayed in the newsroom with Murray and Ted.

But I got a frantic e-mail from the league saying they were desperately short of head coaches and would I, pretty please, do it. I hesitated for bit because I always envisioned coaching my children in a sport I actually know something about. Like baseball. Or beer pong.

Then I thought back to Thing 1's last coach. Her wisdom in the sport boiled down to screaming "kick it the other way" for 48 minutes every Saturday morning. The team scored two goals in eight games.

will ferrell kicking and screamingMy mission accepted, I immersed myself in every book with variations of the words "youth, " "soccer" and "coaching" in the title providing those words were modified by either "idiot," "dummy" or "ignorant, stupid-ass Dad."

Then it was off to Modell's to indulge in plastic orange cones, a whiteboard with an soccer field diagram on it, and, every youth sport coaches' ace in the hole, pepper spray. Unfortunately, on that last one, I had to settle for a whistle.

I read. I watched video. I drew up a detailed game plan … just for my practices. In fact, I did more work on this than on the presentations I did at my old corporate job. But then, most of those executives only acted like elementary school girls. This time, I was going head to head with the real thing.

When my team showed for its first practice, I repeatedly called every player by the wrong name, even Thing 1 because I didn't want her to get special treatment. I had them play a series of goofy games that I was told would trick them into learning important skills like ball control, passing and showboating so your highlight would make ESPN that night.

They laughed. They giggled. They fell an awful lot, too.

At the end, we played a 5-on-5, free-for-all match that gave me the epiphany I needed. My overarching coaching goal for this season would be simple: Perfect a dance that would bring frequent, violent lightning storms every Saturday morning so our games would be canceled.

Then, we had our second practice. At this one, my assistant coach showed up. He came bearing sheaves of diagrams and definitions. My shortcomings were about to be exposed.

Actually, it was a good balance. He knew something about soccer other than the team with the most goals when the whistle blows wins. He knew technique. He knew skills. He was also willing to play bad cop to my Barney Fife.

"Hey, listen to Coach Uncool or else you're going be taking a lap around the field," he told one hyperactive player. He had missed it early when this same player told me I could easily remember her name because it rhymed with "wacky."

This was unprecedented. No one ever recognizes my authority. Not My Love, not the Things, not the dog. This called for a testing of boundaries.

At the end of practice, I called everyone in.

"Now Coach Joe here really knows his stuff. If he tells you something that is completely different than what I tell you, chances are that he is probably right and I'm wrong," I told my giggly gaggle of girls. "But, since I'm the head coach, you'll still need to do what I say. That's the law."

Tittles of laughter.

"He's right," said Coach Joe. "He's the head coach. You do as he says."

I don't know about you, kids, but I smell … ah, victory.

For more kicks and balls, go to Humor-Blogs.com, register and give me a smiley.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Never Too Thin ... or Too Into Male Gymnasts

19 clever quips
Some people spread themselves out too thin. Me, I'm more of a lumpy gravy, chunky-style peanut-butter type.

That is why I have no posts for three days and today, I have posts on other two sites and one right here.

You might enjoy the insights on my relationship with My Love, her kin and nature in "Suburb Boy Gets Campy," which I wrote for my kindly patron and monthly drinking buddy, Meg at a FairfieldCountyChild.com -- the destination for parents in my 'hood with disposable income to spare and no shame to admit it.

Meg's in-laws, who include an NFL Hall of Famer, would probably enjoy my follow-up "Dear Brett Favre -- Week 2" over on DadCentric.com. Maybe not. He played for the Giants.

You don't have to like sports to like that last post. It's all about black magic and making pacts with Satan. The Devil, yeah, yeah -- snort!

I know my best friend, L.B. Stutter, will find it intriguing that I have now twice posted about football. She spent our mutual week at the beach house in August maligning the fact that I had no interest either in the Olympics or most other sports outside of baseball.

First, I watched part of the Olympics. I'll give you Michael Phelps and some of the track events. But I sat through 30 minutes of synchronized diving. Not synchronized swimming, mind you, but diving.

WTF?

chinese gymnastNext, I watched a bit of the men's gymnastics -- the floor routines in specific. I'll confess that watching those guys sprint across the mat at breakneck speed then perform those potentially neck-breaking quadruple flips and whatnot was amazing and frightening all at once.

But what's with the little girlie flourishes?

You know, these muscled-out men have essentially defied gravity, broke a few laws of physics with these mid-air body contortions and shook the popcorn out of someone's bag in the cheap seats with an earthquake-inducing landing. Then, they finish by pointing their pinky toes out like they are testing the ocean's temperature and gazing longingly toward the heavens with arms spread in fainting protest like Scarlett O'Hara after Sherman: "No, no, I shan't go on like this! The Yankees! The Yankees have burned Daddy's cotton fields! And they've taken two of three from the Rays in a crucial pennant race!"

Oops. Strike three on me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Singalong with Sarah Palin!

37 clever quips
I think this could be my first No. 1 hit.

If I could sing. Or play an instrument. Or at least shoot and edit a video.

I'll leave that up to the professionals. Just send me the royalty checks.

Play this Everclear video (which is great on it own, BTW), but singalong with the new lyrics below:

Newest Bush Republican

Na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na

You know I used to be a point guard
I got busy on the hard wood in my high school gym
Yeah I used to be the nice girl at the local beauty show
But now I know my right wing from my wrong

Yeah, yeah

I really used to be a newsgirl
I talked winning sled dogs in the big Iditarod
I even did the weather in a pinch
But now I am the Newest Bush Republican
Newest Bush Republican

Na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na

I really used to be a mayor
I got lobbyists to con 'em into sending pork funds
I used to love to do the things I say I will not do
'Cause I've been vetted -- now I sing a new song

I really used to be the governor
Loved that crazy "Bridge to Nowhere" 'til McCain caught on
Yes, I was a pitbull in lipstick brown
But now I am the Newest Bush Republican
Newest Bush Republican
Newest Bush Republican
Newest Bush Republican
Newest Bush Republican

Na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na

Where do all the reformers go
After elections go down?
I wonder where all the reformers go
'Cause when you need one, they are never around

I think they pander to the interest groups
Suck up to some white rich-ass Republican wives
They spout their values to low-class Republican children
Then live their big-ass Republican lies

Where do all the reformers go
After elections go down?
I wonder where all the reformers go
But now I am the Newest Bush Republican

Na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na

* * *

My Love thinks Jon Stewart needs a nice goy like me on staff. How do you like your coffee, Mr. Stewart? Black? Sweeeeeeet?

But maybe Everclear has already written the perfect theme song for my girl Sarah.

C'mon, now -- do that stupid dance for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Not About Sarah Palin. Sorta.

30 clever quips
sarah palin dead moose
While rest of the media -- professional, amateur and Fox News -- is buzzing about Sarah Palin today, I'm talking football over on DadCentric.com, so please go over there and read my post.

OK, even that post alludes to Sarah Palin. How could it not? They must love football in Alaska as much as they love moose, oil and unprotected teen sex. Hmmm, I bet they combine all four in one sitting up there. Alaska -- your 49th in the union but No. 1 in awesome perversness.

My Love has been obsessed with Palin being nominated as VP. Obsessed because I think she thinks she is just as qualified for the nomination, assuming My Love was a Republican and was backed by a vital special interest group, such as Wives of DUI Snowmobile Champions. Hey, My Love's dad was mayor of a small Midwestern town of less than 8,000. Executive knowledge through osmosis, baby. That's how George W. made it in, right?

Well, after watching Sarah Palin's speech last night, I must say I admire her fire, her spirit and her sarcastic wit (or that of her speechwriter). So much so that I dreamed about her last night. I'll save the details for my shrink; however, one thing stuck in my craw last night about this whole affair (no, she's not having an affair with me, let's stop the talk right here):

She isn't afraid to use her Down Syndrome baby like a prop.

Her daughter, the knocked up one, used the boy to hide her now apparent baby bump during Palin's introduction speech last week. Cindy McCain played down her heiress background and Rudy G.'s hard-assness by cuddling the kid during the former NYC mayor's speech. Someone woke the kid up on stage so Palin could be photographed with him after saying she'd be an advocate for special needs kids.

Sarah, darling, next time hire a sitter. No one will think less of you. You have my e-mail. Pay is negotiable.

Don't forget -- read my other post at DadCentric.com or at least go to Humor-Blogs.com and vote for me because I will never raise your taxes or impregnate your unwed daughter!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Remnants of Summer's Demise

26 clever quips
I'm watching Summer '08 officially end as I type this. It's being sucked away, grain by grain, by the jumpsuits at my local car wash as they perform the season-ending de-beachification of the Manly Minivan of Uncoolness.

Before bringing the minivan in, I did my best to empty its contents -- the debris and spent remains of our two-week expedition to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Petrified French fries and whined-for, now-forgotten fast-food kiddie meal toys.

Broken CD cases and scratched DVDs.

Half-melted crayons and half-colored sheets of paper.

Chipped sea shells and several sunscreen-stained pairs of sunglasses.

Then I found some non-beach memorabilia.

A heart-shaped necklace Thing 1 left in a cup holder since late June, taken off because it didn't match the pink jeweled flowers in her newly pierced ears.

An orange parking pass from a minor league baseball game attended by me and my soon-to-be sno-cone engorged children in early August.

A wrinkled receipt from CVS detailing the cost to develop doubles of 216 photos we took during a tag-along on My Love's business trip in London. All the free reprints I had earned from this expired last week.

Stray golf balls from my weekend attempts to socialize with people other than those born in or after the year 2000.

Yesterday, the Things spent a glorious, sunny, 82-degree-with-low-humidity last day of freedom hunkered down in the basement watching Cartoon Network's "Pokemon" marathon. My Love scrambled to put down deposits on a beach house for next summer. I watered the greenery that is now brownery, and watched the first yellow leaves cascading down in my backyard.

Today, the Things are locked inside a school that may or may not be teaching them what they need to know for future success. My Love is back at her office, fighting the War of World Snack-Food Domination.

Me, I'm watching the suds come spraying down, wondering about autumn soccer schedules and dance classes. And I start to think that I didn't accomplish all I wanted to or should have this summer.

But I never do, and that's all right because that's what's summer's all about.

My Uncool Past

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