One Hundred and Sixty

Friday, August 31st, 2007


That’s not the sound of an excited dog’s tail, nor is it the restless taboo of my foot as I wait for the local drivers to figure out and work their way through a roundabout (on the other hand, that’s also kind of funny). No, that excited pitter-patter is what I heard a couple of days ago after the Insta-Princess’s doctor lubed her belly and had us listen to the fetal doppler (as opposed to a fatal doppler, which is when a local news channel weatherman collapses under the weight of his dire “wind! snow! er, did I say wind!” predictions… and expires).

That, my friends, is the sound of Wiggy’s heart. Beating too fast, you say? Maybe not human? Nonsense. Wiggy’s just taking after his/her pa, that’s all. I mean, the Insta-Princess often tells me that I lack a heart, and I know it’s not the same thing, but look, two weird heart issues right there. Wiggy and I are obviously related.

One hundred and sixty. The first one hundred and sixty sounds I’ve ever heard my kid make. (True, Wiggy might also be burping by now, but I’m not sure whether the burping organ has been formed yet. I hope it has. Burping’s great fun. At any rate, I haven’t heard it, so I wish they’d hurry up and develop a fetal burpoppler.)

I thought it’d be kind of cool if Wiggy grew up to be a rock star, so with that helltastically great beat, now I know Wiggy’s a natural drummer. This is definitely good for Wiggy’s groupie status (i.e., he’ll have some); after all, while the drummer doesn’t get as much play as the singer, he certainly gets more than the bassist. Oddly, the roadie gets the most.

Me, I was a roadie once. I was allowed to be a Roadie-On-The-Spot (carrying out an amp and a stand) for the gorgeous gals of Softee, and for an all too brief moment of rock-‘n’-roll glory, I was able to puff out my chest, glare at the doorman and sniff in contempt as I haughtily told him…

“I’m with the band.”

Oh, Wiggy, with your 160 beats a minute, you, my dear kiddo, you’ll go much further than your roadie dad. I’m proud of you.

Hoppin’ Over the Sweeper

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

… or, better yet, jumping the broom. A good friend* of mine recently got engaged, so I thought I’d spend a little time today passing along advice about being married. I’ve had tons of experience,** so I’m clearly qualified to hand out the words o’ wisdom.

Skippy’s Marital Advice:

And, I really, really mean it. So, take that advice to heart.

Wait. You wanted something sagacious? Something meaty, something you could stick a matrimonial fork into? Well, here’s the deal: I know nothing, except each day the Insta-Princess takes one of her dainty feet and kicks me in the direction she wants me to go. She has all these rules I gotta follow, and I must say—just between you and me—that some of them are pretty durn selfish. For example, I’m not allowed to date anymore. Not even first dates, where, statistically-speaking, chances of getting any are the lowest of any date, numbers 1- 10.

“You’re also not allowed to cheat,” she warned me. Oh, sure, take the fun out of it. I mean, if there’s anything I learned from Lifetime movies, it’s that men are supposed to cheat and otherwise be bastards. (True, I’m also supposed to be a doctor and drive a BMW, but I figured we were just reading from a different script.) I can’t cheat, I’m not even allowed to date, so I don’t know what else she can do to—

“The serial killing? Stop it. Stop it now. It’s embarrassing.”

What? Geez, now I can’t even have a hobby.

So, there you go, my pretty, betrothed friend. My advice to you is to not take away his hobby. That can really kill a relationship.

* She’s pretty. There are, admittedly, two hundred (and six) other qualities that help make a good friend, but “she’s pretty” ain’t too shabby a start. Unless you’re a male. Then it’s a toss-up.

** Just over four years. Plus, I used to watch The Cosby Show a lot. (Which is why I’m occasionally surprised to remember that the Insta-Princess isn’t a lawyer with vague lawyerly duties. And that Lisa Bonet isn’t my daughter… which is good, ’cause I probably shouldn’t feel that way about any daughter I might have. )

Buffy’s Decidedly Unphony Euphony

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Buffy, El Sing-O!


I readily, willingly and unabashedly admit it: I’m a Buffy fan.

Close your mouths. It’s not pretty.

I used to be a little more reticent about such a personal revelation, but it’s been ten years since the show first aired, and since then I’ve successfully managed to convert a few girlfriends and a wife into fans. So, if I go down, I’m bringing them with me. (Speaking of which, my lovely wife, The Insta-Princess, even performed a magic trick or two and abracadabra’d a poster of Buffy (and co-horts) into a framed poster of Buffy (and co-horts). I know, I know… she’s mystical like that—ya gotta be in awe of her. She’s even allowed me to hang it up on the wall. In full view of friends, relatives, guests, child protective services, and everyone. Obviously, she is gracious as well as beautiful and powerful.)

So, while I’m comfortable with my own personal Buffy lurve, I admit that I’m afraid of the rest of Buffy’s fans. See, you’d think that come this Friday, waiting in line to see the musical episode on the silver screen, we’d have something in common. But, we don’t. I bathe, for example; I can’t guarantee the same about them. Normally, I don’t bake a cake for the creator of the show on his birthday; again, I make no promises about the rest of the fans. They pass food along to each other, down from one end of the line to the next; I demur. They, it seems, are happy; me, I’m old and grumpy. I can’t even stand it when they sing songs in line.

But, the Insta-Princess? She loves them. Absolutely adores them. Of course, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt her feelings any that the men love women—any women, but especially the pretty ones—and are immediately solicitous when the girls show up.

“May I buy you a soda?”

“Maybe some popcorn?”

“How about a car?”

“Please look at me. I’m lonely.”

So, why am I going to a Buffy sing-a-long with the Insta-Princess this Friday?

Because, alas, I’m also a fan. And, stupid.



Jumpin’ Ginger

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

My lovely wife is a fan of Dad Gone Mad, the blog of a gentleman who is, unsurprisingly, a dad, and a little surprisingly, not quite mad. He should be, I imagine, because based on the cartoon characters decorating his site, he has two kids. (Both with the same size and color of eyes. Freaky.) One’s enough, and I haven’t even had mine yet.

But, this blog shall not turn into a cheaper version of the insane daddums. It shall not be solely about the kid because the kid shall not rule my life! My wife’s life, on the other hand…

My poor widdle sweetums, struck ill each day as the cells divide, the cord grows, and the DNA dances its genetic jig as it tries to figure out whether the hair color will be dark brown (my wife’s) or a gorgeous red (mine–what little is left). We redheads rock, in case you doubted. Conspiracy nuts blather on about secret cabals of religious organizations, government powerhouses and, one time, a guy named Fred from down the street (that sumbitch was scary), but they do so without knowing that the true power, the tastiest moxie, the proper Fredness, belongs to redheads, whether the Devil’s own auburn or an angelic strawberry-blonde.

So, lil’ kiddo, I bet you’re a redhead. Ruling your mom’s life, telling her through mild nausea and energy-sapping biological e-missives that she is not to touch vegetables—those are the hallmarks of real power. I solute you, kiddo, even if your mom is looking, right now, rather anxiously at a book of exorcism.


P.S.: You conniving, devious fetus! Curses! This entry was about you, after all. Damnable wily redhead…

I’m Prawn To You, Baby

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Seafood Lover's Delight

So, it looks like I’m gonna be a Papa. And, based on the image above, it looks as if I’m going to be the proud father of a healthy baby prawn. With, if you look closely enough, a really long… umbilical cord. (Please. If I didn’t make a puerile joke like that, someone would have. At least, that’s my defense.)

We’re gonna have a kid, and by “we,” I mean my wife—who seems steadfastly intent on doing it all by herself. “It’s natural,” she tells me. “It’s up to me, my stomach and an occasional craving for catsup and sauerkraut. And the gardener.”

“Hey, what’s he got to do with this?” I was suspicious. I’m quick like that.

“What? Oh, nothing.” She patted her belly. “Isn’t that right my little ootchie-kootchie-TruGreen Chemlawn?”

My part is done. (Not my “part” part—he’s fine. But I appreciate your concern, and so does Lord Von Hugenstein.) There’s little else for me to do, but being an emotional sort, I thought I’d write a letter to our future polka-dot; kind of a fatherly gesture, what with this being my first kid I ever knew about. So, here goes…

Dear Prawn,

I can’t say how good of a father I’ll be, but I hope when you’re on death row and they ask you how you came to this end–what caused you to be this way–I hope, my shrimp-like dickens, that you’ll look them straight in the eye and proudly blame it on yer Ma.

But before we even get to that point, I hope, boy or girl (we don’t know yet; we just hope you don’t turn out to be a puppy or a kitten… which, honestly, would make an excellent YouTube video), to teach you the important lessons in life:

  • Michael Bay should never direct another movie again. I mean, Jesus!, who gives Optimus Prime lips?
  • Cereal is only really cool when you can dig your hand deep down inside the plastic bag, get the rainbow-colored bits of artery-clogging crisp mini-donuts grimey with whatever childhood funk you’ve got growing on your skin, and grasp the cheap, plastic toy that someone (your Ma) will eventually force you to throw out because it’ll “draw bugs”. But for those few minutes when you’ve run off with your treasure and secreted it away somewhere in that toy-infested pit of perdition you call a room, it’ll be grand. Simply grand. Because, honestly? You only buy the cereal for the toy.
  • If you’re a girl, stop it with the pink. Seriously. It’s just a bad color. Oh, and avoid pastels if you can.
  • If you’re a boy, see the note to the girl.
  • You can cry all you want; you can wail and gnash your teeth (when you have them), but no matter how sincere you are in your displeasure; no matter how passionately you point out how insanely dumb it is, Spike will continue to have a chip in his head for FOUR friggin’ seasons. They’ll make him bland and uninteresting; they’ll vacuum out his cool and replace it with a weird, frothy mixture of stalker and puppy love. Mourn for Buffy, my faithful off-spring, shed a tear for our favorite vampire slayer.
  • Daddy’s wang really isn’t called “Lord Von Hugenstein”. It’s “Cadbury”. But that’s a family secret, so don’t tell anyone.

Take these lessons to heart, my little tadpole cast-off. This is wisdom I wish had been passed along to me when I was your age.