Bring it on, Sandy. We’ve Got Hot Dogs.

Of course I panicked a little late about this hurricane, so by the time Silas and I made it to Target yesterday all the good stuff was gone. The store appeared stocked, but a closer look revealed that the bottled water left on the shelves was sparkling and the  batteries were all AAAs, and I’m not really concerned about the ability of Arlo’s electronic piggy bank to deliver its best snort throughout the storm. But I also couldn’t leave empty-handed.

In a trance, I grabbed the following items…you know, in case of emergency:

  • 6 Ballpark Franks
  • 1 bottle of Vitamin water
  • 8 spoons
  • a box of Count Chocula Cereal
  • 1 Star Wars pumpkin carving kit
  • a package of Pokemon cards

Am I a 40-year-old father preparing his family for a hurricane, or a 16 year-old member of the high school juggling club gearing-up for a road trip to his fake girlfriend’s house in Canada?

Or was it the perfect mix of random things that, if combined in proper amounts, would magically produce a protective canopy for my home? No, of course it wasn’t. I’d gathered a wonderfully absurd smattering of crap that one might find strewn across the floor after a 48 hour meth party.

Here’s how I ended up with this ridiculous haul:

  • The Ballpark Franks: I saw five or six people put hot dogs in their cart, and though I couldn’t really understand why they were stocking up on hotdogs, considered the possibility that maybe I was missing something, and decided I didn’t want to be the one dumb ass without hotdogs during a hurricane (made sense at the time).
  • 1 bottle of Vitamin Water: I got thirsty and meant to come back to buy some more, but thought, “WAIT, WE NEED SPOONS!”
  • 8 spoons: Can you ever have enough spoons? If needed, spoons can be used to “spoon-out” any basement flooding, or as a musical instrument in a post apocalyptic hillbilly band. I figured since society is about to collapse at the un-manicured hands of Sandy, the world might — JUST MIGHT — need a little music. Sure, go ahead, call me a romantic.
  • The Count Chocula: If you saw Count Chocula, would you be able to walk past it? What if you’d just bought 8 spoons and felt like it was destiny? How about if Count Chocula is your wife’s favorite cereal? If you think I’m weak-willed, I’ll have you know there were boxes of Boo Berry cereal too, but I resisted. It’s called self-control and discipline.
  • Pumpkin carving kit: This is the only thing I was actually sent out to get, and I actually procured the last one, like some kind of goddamn domestic super hero. Plus, though tiny, it’s not a bad saw.
  • Pokemon cards: I’d put my son through nearly an hour of me running up and down the aisles of Target like a guilty dad searching for the last Furby. The least I could do was get him a treat, especially since letting him have any Count Chocula was completely out of the question.

I probably should have stocked-up on sparkling water and AAA batteries instead.

Everyone be safe, and to those on the west coast, you have an earthquake coming at some point, so think about us out here, if only to keep your Karma tight. You’re all into Karma out there, right?

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

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