A week after moving into our new house, the milk didn’t seem very cold. Then the popsicles turned to plastic bags of colorful liquid—drinkable, though hardly the treat they once were. But the tragedy here was that the icepacks we put in Silas’ lunch wouldn’t freeze. This sent Lindsay into a mild panic. I mentioned that I never once as a kid had an icepack in my lunchbox, but there was no reasoning with her. WHAT IF THE CHEESE IN HIS HAM ROLLS MELTS? THAT HAPPENED AT HIS SCHOOL LAST YEAR. Ham rolls, by the way are just ham and cheese rolled up into a roll.
Category: Things About Me
I’m convinced that an evil agribusiness conglomerate (not sure what conglomerate means) injects kids’ food with a chemical that activates the brain’s pleasure center. I know this is anecdotal, but whenever I gorge on Teddy Grahams, I feel like I don’t need to take my Wellbutrin that night. The yellow powdery cheddar cocaine that comes in a box of Macaroni and Cheese could cure the world of sadness. Sometimes I rub a little on my gums and stay up all night vacuuming toys.
Of course, when adults eat like children, they get fat and die. Sorry to bring it down, but as good as “Pizza Bites” make me feel mentally, the rest of my body is huddled in the corner of a prison cell begging for the warden to stop abusing it.
I think I’m the most emotionally and socially vulnerable while getting a haircut. Why do they make me wear a gown? Moments after sitting down, I already look ridiculous. My stylist always does some kind of diagnostic fluffing that leaves me looking like I lost a pillow fight. Then comes the washing and drying, which never seem to be followed by any combing, brushing or even patting-down. I’m left to scoot back to my chair missing only an IV stand to complete my mental patient on dialysis look. I’m constantly peering out the window to ensure that no one I know sees me because I can’t afford to move across the country right now.
Waaaaa, I’ve gained weight. But who doesn’t throw on a nice Crisco trenchcoat between the ages of 35 and 39? Meth heads? Good point. Like most modern dudes of my ilk, I’m not doing traditional manly stuff like nation building and wench buying. Back in our heyday, we could get fat and just be the sloppy kings who spill food into our ruffles. Now self-respect, at least for me, has more to do with looking decent (which is honestly the best I can do) than the size of the blonde babe’s rack on the back of my motorcycle. I’m not saying that doesn’t matter, but Lindsay has brown hair, and I don’t have a motorcycle because they’re super dangerous you guys!
For the third night in a row the stench forced my pregnant wife to sleep in the guest bedroom. The pizza I’d eaten at 3am to soak up the smell was now a vodka-logged mound of starch festering in my gut. They should invent a Febreeze for your insides, I remember thinking. It’s one of the booze industry’s greatest marketing spins that vodka is odorless. Unless you’re a good enough liar to convince people you’ve been funneling Purel, the acrid stink wafting from your mouth and pores is unmistakable.
I couldn’t continue to pour poison down my gullet. I was 5 months away from being a Dad, and my 4am bedtime was about to merge with 5am wakings.
Thinking in terms of achievement and legitimacy, instead of creativity and growth, earns any “artist” a one-way ticket on the bitter bus to Hacktown. Lately, I’ve wanted to be booked on shows for approval and acceptance, rather than the opportunity to perform. I’ve taken it as a sign to perhaps accept stand-up’s persistent pleas to change its role in my life to “hobby.”
If I strain-out the ambition, I’ll be more able to enjoy the juice, right? A mind focused only on the quality of its product can create things without the nagging influence of their marketability. Unfortunately, the reality is, I can write as much as I want, but without performing, the material sits lifeless on my hard-drive.
As I merged onto the highway, the rain sounded like gravel on my windshield. Cars that weren’t pulled over were driving with their hazards on. Normally a 70mph pace allows you to outrun or pass quickly through a thunderstorm. This four hour drive was different. I had a rain cloud following me wherever I went, like a clinically depressed blob in a Paxil commercial. It was the universe reminding me that the elation of freedom turns quickly to melancholy.
For some reason I didn’t pack for this road trip, opting to just throw my clothes in the back of the car.
My Father’s a foot rubber. His father was a foot rubber. I’m one and so is my youngest son. I’m not talking about some new age-y genetic defect that makes you want to give foot rubs to people all the time. I’m talking about the insatiable appetite to rub my own feet together to calm myself down. You know how people in asylums (or at least the actors who portray them in movies) rock back and forth in chairs? Almost all the men in my family rub their feet together with a similarly psychotic rhythm and compulsion.
As soon as I lie down, the desire to rub them together courses through my legs like a venom.
At 6 feet 6 inches, I’m tall enough that normal people clothes don’t fit me. The Big and Tall stores seem to be extremely focused on the “big” part of their commitment, so I’d have to gain a hundred pounds to get anything there. Even then, the fashion at those stores is either “Pavarotti plays badminton” or “It’s EATIN’ TIME!” They don’t really stock anything that fits me physically, socially or emotionally. There’s also the Land’s End type catalogues which offer “tall” sizes and while the medium-tall fits me pretty well, the fashion just screams “DAD COMIN!” Yes, I know I’m a father, but I would prefer people discover that when they see my children, not my “Sportsman Sweater Fleece Half-Zip.” Yes, that’s a real product, and I’m sure it’s a hit on casual Fridays at the Allstate Insurance Corporate offices.
I have to wear glasses when using my computer. The fact that my eyes are tired after 39 years of work isn’t surprising. Here’s the rub. I look like a complete psychopath in glasses. After searching for months, this is the best I could come up with. And yes, I know I’m slightly less photogenic than Bigfoot and work in a room that belongs in a Croatian DMV.
Here are some quotes from bespectacled Jason, whom I have nicknamed “Show me your papers”:
“Hey! Anyone need me to calculate some derivatives before I barf up this schnitzle?”
“What makes you think you would be a good fit here at Dieter Stank and Edeltraut?”
“So tell me, Mr.