Friday, October 19, 2012

February 28, 2013

Apparently Big Bird is the latest victim of the recession. Proving that the economy is no respecter of persons. Big Bird was seen patiently waiting for his number to be called at the local unemployment office in downtown New York City. Our news team caught up with Big Bird as he was leaving the building.


So Big Bird, any luck in finding a new job?

No Bob. It seems like I am unemployable. My case worker asked what work experience I had. I told him I had spent the last 37 years talking to an imaginary shaggy elephant and some grouchy hand puppet that lives in a garbage can. I showed her that I could count to 12, rattled off my ABCs... the works. I also mentioned that I like to nap. Apparently that didn’t equate into any real life skills.

Have you looked into becoming a mascot for a professional athletic team?

Of course, but folks don’t seem to think of a giant sized yellow bird as intimidating enough. They said I would need an extreme makeover, like dying my features red or shaving my head, or getting a pedi to turn these chicken feet into “talons”. How could I ever look at myself in the mirror and like what I see when I’m pretending to be something I am not?

What about running for some political office?

Bob, that’s not a bad idea. You could to be my campaign manager!

Could you introduce me to Mr. Snuffleupagus?

Of course. He’s standing right next to you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Living in a Proverbial Leper Colony

A few months ago some of the members of my family started getting bit by some sort of bug/creepy crawly in the middle of the night. One of our first thoughts was maybe we were being eaten by bedbugs. We began searching our bedding and mattresses and what not for the telltale signs. We couldn't find any. Weeks went by and we continued to be clueless. We searched online and couldn't identify anything that seemed to match what we were experiencing.

About four weeks ago, one of my sons spotted a little bug crawling on our bed skirt. We captured it and compared it with some online images: Bedbug!
So once again we tore apart our bedrooms, looking for signs. Lo and behold, we found the standard signs on our bed, a crib, two other beds, a couch and a rocker-glider. We've been trying to treat the problem on our own because we don't have $500-700 to pay a professional. I think we are slowly winning the battle. There are fewer bites and they are more sporadic.

Once word leaked out that we did indeed have bedbugs, people started steering clear of us, particularly our home. We haven't had visitors inside our home in a month. People don't want us to be where they are. Some people are concerned about us going to church and spreading the bedbugs around. It’s not the plague! Part of me understands their fear. Part of me thinks they are overreacting. I’d like to think that from this experience, if anything, I can be more empathetic towards those in similar circumstances.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Undeserving a Name

The other day I noticed an unusaul message printed on a water bottle: New smaller cap - uses less plastic. As a consumer, I was insulted. Inferring that a smaller cap is a "greener" water bottle is like telling me that a [fill in the name of a car model] now gets 25.00025 miles per gallon instead of 25 mpg. The company touting this new advertisement shall remain nameless and are undeserving of a name in my blogisphere. Grasping at straws has never been a good marketing ploy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Understand What it Means to be Blonde.

For the past six years, we've heard from all sorts of people how bad we are as parents for home schooling our children. Home school kids are freaks of nature. They don't really learn anything. They don't know how to socialize. They won't ever make it into college. They won't ever get to be like normal kids that play sports, participate in choirs, bands, or orchestras. They won't ever go to Prom, Home Coming or Sadie Hawkins. Their childhood will be incomplete.

It's this same form of logic that leads to statements such as:

• All southerners are hicks

• All Muslims are terrorists

• Chiropractors are quacks

• The Earth is flat

• Blondes are dumb

The hard part is, that no amount of explaining about what we do as home schooling parents and how it works ever seems to be enough to bring comprehension, understanding and empathy. I imagine it's like being Jewish and trying to explain to a Christian what it means to be a Jew. Unless you've actually experienced that lifestyle, you'll always be more in the dark than in the light.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Immitation, the Highest Form of Flattery: Jolly Porter

I'm always amazed at the stuff I manage to dig up: Here's an excerpt from a little known a conversation between two contemporaries of the 1800's: Jack London and Stephen Crane.

CRANE: So I hear you have a new book out.

LONDON: Yes. It's called White Fang.

CRANE: Is that some sort of vampire story?

LONDON: If it was, I'd have to call it Red Fang.

CRANE: Oh yeah. That makes sense.

LONDON: Besides, the media is already oversaturated with vampire and werewolf stories. Mine is about a relationship that develops between a boy and a wolf.

CRANE: So you broke from the pack by dropping the "were" part of wolf.

LONDON: You're quite the comedian… break from the pack. Pack. Wolf.

CRANE: I found sitting in a row boat for days on end, trying to reach the shore can have a huge impact on ones sense of humor. It can either make it or break it. After all, my "ship mates" weren't quite the most… uh how do I say it, savory folk to have on board.

LONDON: Anyway, I figured because Call of the Wild was such a huge success, I'd revisit the whole man versus canine versus nature gig. Besides, most of my fan base are a bunch of tree hugging granola eaters and they're into the whole recycling movement.

CRANE: So you're telling me that I didn't have to sweat and toil, strut and fret, labor and worry, pace the floor late into the night trying to come up with fresh new ideas. I could have stuck with my wounded war time soldier routine and just write war novels?

LONDON: Word to the wise: water follows the path of least resistance. My friend, all that extra worry about writing something new and original will just lead to an early grave. But that would also require you to acquire a new fan base and mine is already spoken for.

CRANE: So you're telling me you're not willing to share the spoils eh?

LONDON: Who do I look like, Charles Dickens?

CRANE: No. But with a name like London, you might as well be.

LONDON: See, you're being a wise guy again.

CRANE: It's almost second nature these days. Can I at least get you to autograph my copy of your book?

LONDON: As long as you don't ask me to go sailing with you.

CRANE: Now look who's being funny.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rewind to 7 months ago, first encounter with one of our backyard neighbors:

Nancy (name has been changed): What a cute adorable baby.

Lyle (with family on a walk around the block): Thank you.

Nancy: Blah, blah, blah.

Lyle: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to last week at 7:30 am at my home...

-ding dong-
-ding dong-
-ding dong-
-ding dong-

Nancy: Your children keep throwing red lava rocks into my yard and it's gotta stop. My pup ingested one last night. That can be a very expensive vet bill if he should develope any complications and I'm not going to be the one to pay it. It's gotta stop.

Lyle: We don't have red lava rocks in our yard.

Nancy: I've seen your kids throw them.

Lyle: We don't have red lava rocks anywhere on our property.

Nancy: Your neighbors that used to live next door were always asking your kids to stop throwing rocks.

Lyle: They never said a word to me.

Nancy: Well they were always telling them to stop throwing rocks into their yard. It's gotta stop.

Lyle: If my kids were repeatedly doing something and were being asked not to, and our neighbors never came and told me or my wife, then that's stupid on their part.

Nancy: Well it's gotta stop. I'm tired of picking up red lava rocks in my yard.

Lyle: Show me where the red lava rocks are in my yard.

Nancy: You just need to tell your kids to stop throwing rocks. It's gotta stop and if my dog gets sick, that can be a huge bill and I'm not going to pay it.

Lyle: I'll tell my kids to stop throwing red lava rocks.

FYI: Our other neighbor that lives behind us has oodles of red lava rocks under their deck. Problem: Nancy is good friends with the owners of the red lava rocks.