Friday, July 31, 2015

The Hot Dog Clock

 It's like rubbing a pork, brillo pad.

So recently I decided to do something out of pure, brazen curiosity. I've spent my entire life wondering what on earth has possessed grown men to shave their chests. With the exception of very few exceptional looking people I've always thought an adult who did that looks like twelve year old boy. And I do mean a short list. Really - unless you're Brad Pitt, David Beckham or Ryan Gosling I've always thought that the hair-free man resembled an adolescent sea-cow. Or - and this probably says more about me than I should admit - some odd sort of walking penis. And yet at the same time I was acutely aware of that dichotomy that these people think they look pretty damn good. And really that's really the main thing. Sod what I or anyone else thinks. You own your own happiness. You feel attractive - no matter what that looks like to other people (except for people who wear Crocs - you people should be ashamed) - then you get to decide that.

After a very brief dalliance with knowing that every other weekend I tend to wander about mountains half-dressed, I figured balls to it. Shave the lot off. Not out of vanity. Not out of a diligent, metrosexual drive for manscaping. Although let's be clear - if your plums look like one of the planets being taken over by the weird, plant-alien things from Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors then you need to sort that crap out. Especially if your pubes are the same colour green. Actually I imagine that's a fetish thing at a vegan-orgy (and you know those exist - everyone in S&M gimp suits made out of hemp and an acorn squash as a ball-gag) to physically announce, "I know you don't usually eat meat - but this animal is grass fed." 

Nope - I shaved it off out of pure curiosity. I was more than prepared to have a damn good laugh at it. And much to my absolute shock I thought it looked better. That slight, inexplicable improvement that you seem to get when you get a tan. Or actually wash. Which is actually annoying. Because it means keeping it up. And shaving around my nipples is just dancing with death. The are very few moments during my day when I'm as focused as I am when I'm doing that. Terrifying mental images of slicing the thing off and it bouncing across the bathroom linoleum swamp my thoughts. And then the cat scurrying over and eating it. And I don't even own a cat. But I can guarantee one would show up alert and hungry if that happened. On the one hand it is pretty motivating. It really does ram home the point that unless I stay in shape I'll quickly look like a burst sausage. Which - if I carry on with the analogy - I guess means if I were to get all hairy again I'd look like a hairy sausage (don't Google that....). Not because it's frightening/enormously arousing. But because I've done it already for you. Voila....

The most homoerotic thing I've ever posted.
But on the other hand if I'm already using my motivation of a morning to workout when do I fit in time for shaving my half my upper body? The answer is obvious - half the time I don't. Which means I'm now privy to that weirdly uncomfortable feeling that women get after not shaving their legs. At least once a I'm convinced you could grate cheese on my chest stubble (again - don't Google that). But then - as a wise man once said - it'd be with that side of the cheese grater that absolutely nobody uses. If I'm extra lazy and let it go even further I feel like a baby hedgehog.  Actually I've thought on prickly days like this that if my life were a movie it'd be an alternate version of The Fly - except in this version Jeff Goldblum goes through the transporter with a horse chestnut.

Oh and lastly - I should get bonus points for sitting in a public place with the above photo blaring out of my screen like a visual klaxon as a permanent queue wanders behind me. I'm no extrovert, but it's a sociology masterclass watching various people wonder, "is that guy looking up dick spaghetti or a hot dog clock?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Tequila Worm

If I had one I’m fairly confident my womb would be amazing

I moved house last Saturday. And as large, conglomerate corporations don't give a flying toss about the regular people I still don't have internet at my house despite the completion date being July 27 on my order. So - like a real weirdo - I find myself sitting in a library using my laptop. I'm being very flippant there. I have been sat in Starbucks most of the week sorting out bills, changing addresses and that sort of thing. But I'm quite aware I've two enormous cups of iced coffee already today and could happily have sex with a caramel-crunch frappucinno right now - so have opted against Seattle's finest brown water restaurant. 

My kids have been away most of the month and I pick them up from the airport Saturday late afternoon. They're flying back with their grandparents. That time has (in a boring cliche) flown by and taken forever. During that time I've spoken on the phone to my daughter twice and my son once. Having too much fun and being so young means that when I needed to talk to them they decided that kayaking and going to county fairs was a much better option. Actually my daughter did send me a few emails. My son though said three words to me - those being "ice cream sundae." Fair enough. It's a fairly solid bet that he's had one of those most nights since he arrived at the grandparents. 

In the time they were away I made myself a few promises. One - move house and get their room sorted. Two - work out like a bastard while I have the spare time. Well - I moved. Their room has the boxes of books in it I haven't unpacked yet. No furniture. No accents. No success there. As for working out - I haven't cranked that up at all. I do workout enough as it is. But all it takes is one evening scouring Pinterest for tattoos to realize what you have in mind would look a lot better if you didn't have to do a shit-ton of crunches to actually see your six pack. Or have such a frighteningly white arse because the rest of your body has been sun-tanned by the brutal, Arizona death-orb. And it was around 9pm last night when I caught a glimpse of myself naked in the mirror - stood naked in my kitchen with tortilla chip in one hand and a margarita in the other - that I thought, "nice work Adonis." My eyes aren't great from a distance but I still managed to make out that a) I need a shave, b) my arse is so white it looks like I've been squatting in coconut cream (I totally haven't - those pictures are photoshopped - I don't care what anyone says), and c) at no point should should a pointy, triangular tortilla chip be that close to an uncovered penis. I've got plenty of time for food introduced into your sex life. You don't even want to know what I'd do with a 99 flake and pop rocks. But if I can imagine a nurse saying, "so you're saying you tripped over a enormous box of Febreeze room scents and that's when the tortilla went into your urethra?" then it's time to start snacking with knickers on.

Anyhoo - I'll work out later. Probably. The naked mexican home-dining will obviously be repeated too despite what I said above. What can I say - I like to live dangerously. And perhaps it'll be a great way to meet the neighbours as the EMT stretchers me outside - with my salsa dip on it's own little stretcher, one would hope.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Relief For You All

I don't want you to worry.

It's okay. I know some of you have been sat near the computer all day. Constantly picking up your phones. Refreshing the page for this blog. Desperately hoping for news. Any kind of update since hearing about the bug bite I got Tuesday. "Please just tell us you're okay. Please, please be alright. Oh God. Gavin you're so big."

As you can imagine I spent much of today fearing the worst. Riddled with concern that because it still itched that it meant terrible things were happening. I let my mind wander. Within minutes I'd gone from Googling photos of melted Mars bars at work to picturing the somber face of the regional news anchor on television. In between that evening's inevitable stories about an enormous meth bust and North Korean-style, glorification of the local sheriff, the news would break. Trembling, the newscaster would somberly tell everyone that I had succumbed. My mind wandered more. I imagined two people stood in an office building. One saying, "did you hear about that guy - apparently it laid eggs in him and they fed off his bone marrow." The other making the salient point that my new shoes ae absolutely fucking delicious. Moments later my mind wandered further more. "Apparently that radioactive man laid eggs in him." Oh Father, why have you forsaken me?

All of that is patent bollocks, of course. I thought that for about as long as you took to read it. Most of the morning I spent thinking about other things entirely. My afternoon was turned on it's face entirely after I asked someone on the phone what symptoms they had and they responded, "aggressive urination." All I could picture was someone running at crowds of strangers and yelling while he pissed into the air. Then being diagnosed. And handed a cork.

After that was a pet peeve of mine - someone talking to me on speakerphone with background noise. There are a few special circumstances where this is okay. But otherwise it always sounds like the person I'm talking to is trapped down a well. And I checked - that wasn't why he was calling at all. I'm compassionate after all. We've all been trapped at some point (down a well/ under a horse/ in a loveless marriage). But I get incredibly arsey when people use speakerphone and then a) complain that they can't hear me, and b) ridiculously expect me to be able to hear them - despite the fact that they're fifteen feet away from the phone. Mostly moaning that they can't hear me and could I speak up a bit. No - pick up the pissing phone. It's bad enough that I have to pretend to be American sometimes. But a loud one?! Not happening.

I have three simple rules for America.

1 - Never say the words lookit, winningest or fanny pack.
2 - Never eat anything that smells like it might have a yeast infection (everything at Subway, store-brand chicharones)
3 - Never yell in American.

Walmart Brand chicharones are both organic and now come in cheese flavour
Luckily after that I forgot entirely about men in wells and aggressive pissing. My mind rocketed back through being bitten by a radioactive man all the way back to this morning and Googling photos of Mars bars. Stopped at 7-Eleven and got one. And now Lady Margarita and I are gonna get it on. What's that Lady M? "Oh Gavin you're so big."

Oh please. I've barely begun.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Man Man

In 2007 I was bitten in my sleep.

Someone I know has MRSA. From a bug bite. Then last night I was bitten by a mosquito. And then spent a few hours wondering when the symptoms of MRSA/malaria/yellow monkey fever would begin to ravage me. Fortunately - because I'm tough as ten bears - my body rejected the inevitable onslaught. And all I had to endure was a slightly itchy ankle. For those of you who haven't collapsed swooning, I want you to know that I'm okay.  I know I know. I can hear you thinking, "but you nearly died!" And, "I'll never stop being amazed at how brave you are." And of course, "Oh Gavin you're so big!"  Yes. I know.

Anyway, I have a confession to make. You see I've been in this situation before. In 2006 I was bitten in my sleep. Not in a sexy way. Not at all. When I woke up my thumb itched. I'd clearly been bitten by something. But even back then - when I was often a bona fide twat to be honest - I had the inkling that I might be tough as ten bears. Maybe just as tough as Bear Grylls if he did actually have MRSA. And after he'd eaten nine gummy bears (washed down with his own piss, no doubt). Regardless - I shrugged off the itchiness and went to work. By the time my break came around my hand looked like a cartoon. Or like someone had blown up a rubber glove so the hand was all massive with very, swollen fingers protruding out. I remember a coworker making me show my manager. And my manager saying that at least I didn't have a scary, red line going from the bite mark all the way up my arm. At which point - squinting in realization - I turned my arm over and we all looked at the thick, dark red line that was etched up my arm all the way to my armpit.

Needless to say when I woke up in Urgent Care my doctor was beside himself. Absolutely giddy he was. He'd never had anyone come in with a spider bite before. And more disgusting than that - he was ecstatic that he was going to stick a giant, cartoon needle (appropriate when you think about it) into my hand and drain it. More importantly he was glad it was me. I know that sounds weird. But first and foremost - we were mates. Which betrays how bloody often I went to see him back then. But we'd bonded very closely over a fast six-month illness I'd had. He was from Germany. And his number one medicine that he'd give me was to take the piss. Don't worry - not with that massive needle. I mean in that way us foreigners bond by making fun of each other - no holds barred. He's still officially the only doctor I've ever hear say, "fuck." And that was while he was prescribing Zoloft. Our relationship was very old fashioned in a sense too. Like the old, parochial doctor/patient relationship people romanticize about the north of England having in the 1950s. Except with a lot less rickets, obviously. Essentially he was James Herriot and I was a horse.

Ricketts ravaged the city of Bolton in 2001.
I remember asking my doctor if he thought perhaps I'd been bitten by a radioactive spider. He said he couldn't rule it out. What I'm about to tell you my shock you so bluntly that it will turn your hair ghost-white. Because, ladies and gentlemen, for the following week I lived believing that I was now Man Spider. I recall one evening being in my bedroom - and if I moved my hand just right - a white, violent shot of organic matter shot across the room. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise. But I came (steady...) to learn that I was not, in fact, Man Spider.

Fast forward several years to a point when I was living alone in my apartment in Westmoreland, NY. And I woke up in the middle of the night and found teeth marks in my own arm. Now, I know it's possible that I'd bitten myself in my sleep. I'm not an arrogant man. Not by any stretch. But I am aware that on occasion I could be considered tasty (seriously - you should see these shoes I bought last week). But I'm not about to eat myself. No. That's for someone else to do. The truth has to be even more shocking than the spider. I'm afraid the only explanation is that on that dark night of the soul that I - Gavin Ten Bears Cheesestick - was bitten by a radioactive man.

And now I have become...... Man Man.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cat Amongst The Pigeons

I think my downstairs neighbor thought for just one second that I might be a serial killer.

Every morning when I wake up I slip out of bed and into the same routine. After checking the bed to see if I'm alone (that reads in a much seedier way than I had wanted it to) I'll say good morning to the laundry. I'll then stride all the way across my apartment right out onto my balcony - flicking the AC on as I go. It's usually absurdly early. Normally between 3.30 and 4am. And lately it's also been around 100 degrees.

The one thing I can guarantee is that no matter what time it is my downstairs neighbor will leave their place for work almost right after I come out. And will - without fail - give me a "well good morning" in the exact same way if Kenneth Williams was a fifty-something year old Latino woman. I'm quite aware that part of the reason for this is because I'm usually in just my knickers. I'm certainly not showing off. Frankly I just don't care. I'm not putting something on when the entire purpose of going outside is to stand in the morning air and breathe in the day. Yes I'd prefer the angle someone was saying good morning wasn't ten feet directly below my crotch as it peeked over a balcony wall. But I'm not that prudish to give too much of a shit nor egotistical enough to think I'm thrilling anyone.

Actually a Kenneth Williams/Carry On reference is a pretty good way to describe my neighbor. She's so overtly brazen. Once she just randomly made a "mmmm yummy" noise and said I was like a pudding cup. Which actually makes no sense. What - brown and stodgy with a spoon stuck in me? Thanks a lot. Another time when I was getting my mail she squealed, "and who are we dressed in those pants for?" Firstly  that's oddly specific. I'm happy with "oh, I like your shirt." That's a compliment. And yeah you should - it's ace. But what my neighbor said had that undertone of, "you weren't wearing those when I broke into your apartment while you were asleep to clip toenails for my collection,,,."

Secondly - there's an awful lot in somebodies tone and body language. And when this woman talks it reminds me of those unbelievably cheesy guys who think licking their fingertips and smoothing out their eyebrows is sexy (especially the uber-douche ones who can do both  eyebrows at the same time). That's so weird to me. Nobody has ever said they think that's hot. No one. There's no fetish website for people who moisten their own eyebrows. No niche porn at all where the "woodsman" (genuine, professional title, that) does that first. And believe me - I've looked. For heaven's sake I came across a site ( you stop that immediately) that had pigeons in it. Those freaks keep that shit to themselves. They aren't chancing their luck at dance clubs cooing at women then chasing them around doing that demented head-wobble thing pigeons do. But Eyebrow Boy - he practices in the mirror so that when he does it for you it's perfect. And when my neighbor says her overt, oh-yes-I-would statements she reeks of Eyebrown Boy. Actually no - it's more like this prize candidate.

Mysteriously neighborhood cats kept going missing.
Oh and trust me - she talks like that to the guy upstairs too. I'm not some unique Adonis making middle-aged women weak at the knees ("yeah baby I'll make you feel like you've got anterior cruciate knee ligament damage.....awww yeah"). I've literally watched her stop him as he takes his dog out and make a typical, small-talk, neighborly hello sound more like, "oh your dog is soooo sexy." And to be clear - it isn't. Trust me. Maybe if it dressed up in something slutty. Gave the slightest glimpse of one of it's six nipples. Maybe then it'd explain why my neighbor sounded like she was saying, "oh your dog will know when I give it a bone."

Anyway in just under a week I'm moving house. So in an effort to be ready to get out of this place as quickly as humanly possible I've been packing and cleaning. And about a week ago I carried a very over-full garbage bag out to throw in the dumpster. On the way I saw my neighbor outside. Who weirdly asked me what I was carting outside. Let's be clear - asking someone carrying a black bag what they've put in there is weird. It definitely had that vibe of "if you just tell me now I might not have to bother going through it in fifteen minutes to see if you threw out anything you've licked." And because I can't let it go I still had to joke, "it's not a body....honest...." Which frankly Little Miss Toe Nail Nibbler laughed a little bit too hard at. And then this morning I was carrying a Rug Doctor carpet cleaning machine out to my car she was lurking at the bottom of the stairs. And lewdly asked if someone had had an accident. Mildly irritated by how that sounds all seven kinds of wrong I quickly said that there was a big, red stain on my carpet I was trying to get out. It wasn't until I had loaded the machine into my car that I realized I'd definitely made it sound like I'd murdered someone up there.And seeing as I can't get this stain out completely I should definitely leave crime-scene tape and a chalk outline in here. But something creative...

Ivory poaching is rife in Glendale...
Here's the point though. When I came back in to grab my iced coffee she still said "...forget something" in a way that suggested I'd left my cock in the house and had to go get it. Which a) King Missile, and b) meant despite the whole "I got blood everywhere" confession she wasn't phased at all. She still went cheesy, 70s sitcom lewd. Ugh -I bet she uses that pigeon website. I have to know. So later I'm gonna throw Gregg's pastie crumbs all over thr ground outside and see if she goes mental.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Perfect Circle

I don't want to write this. But this morning I had three anal abcesses.

Obviously I'm referring to work. I manage disability insurance claims. Some of which involves wincing at another new claim with the word, "fistula" in it. A deeply unpleasant word. Pardon me for bringing up the obvious but I don't quite understand why an illness associated with your arse has the word "fist" in it (stop - I know you're already picturing it). Mind you the word, "analgesic" oddly isn't related to your arse either. I must admit I did shut my eyes in despair yesterday after a nurse mentioned the word, "diarrhea" - only to quickly follow that up by asking if I wanted to see the, "discharge report." Good Lord woman, no. This isn't France. And I don't want to seem like all I talk about are bottoms (someone told me recently that I'm somewhat obsessed - and considering they haven't wandered through my internet browser history that's an incredibly astute statement to be making) I think it's entirely wrong when I'm speaking with a medical professional and they use the word, "ass." Repeatedly. If this were a movie I imagine Bob Odenkirk playing that doctor.

I mean seriously - we all dream of doing something with our lives that perfectly matches our passion. That truly satisfies us. Makes us feel alive. Connects with our soul. Having said that I really didn't expect to be spend part of a morning listening to a man in Kentucky tell me"well I knew something was wrong when my urine smelled like onions." If ever there was a phrase to put on it's that one. And I have only mentioned this to one person ever - but I'd be quite content to slip out of the rat race, work doing landscaping with all my Mexican brethren every day and write on my downtime. Not just lawn mowing and whatnot. I mean the full-bore, two-acres of landscaping, rock-scaping/waterfall nonsense. I expended untold amounts of sweat on designing, digging, planting and making the gardens at my old place. Very little in the last five years, work wise, has been as rewarding to my soul as that was. And here I am now - two thousand miles away listening to a 22 year old man in Kentucky who sounds like Elmer Fudd repeat the word "anus" down the phone.

"Hold on Gavin - aren't you supposed to be tying this in somewhat with living in Arizona? I mean - less graphic, descriptions of national arse-ailments sweeping America, and more stuff about being a dad?" Alright, calm down. Fact is my kids aren't here. Their mother has carted them off to Upstate New York until August for extended family time. So in between endless TiVo'd Judge Judy episodes and explanations as to why all those people on Facebook who rainbowed their faces should be kept on a national security databse, there will also be an awful lot of this -:

Worst. Mermaid. Ever.
Yeah that's my son chugging himself along. Although I wasn't sent a photo of ten seconds later. Quite possibly his sister began chewing on the underneath of his kayak. Not that he'd be scared of something like that. Not Tiny Ten Bears. He's not scared of anything. Well - except tomatoes. And Mr. Worm (the fact you made that seedy is shameful). Oh - and judging by his expression - this fish.


Needless to say twenty fours hours of jumping in and out of that lake and my daughter was at the doctor's being diagnosed with Swimmer's Ear.

Perfecting the "disappoint" look
Although she told me it didn't hurt at all. Just itched. And the water wouldn't come out. Though she also didn't joke that if anyone had the ear for swimming it was me. So clearly not 100 percent. Naturally Owen claimed to have Swimmer's Bumcheek.

See - there was a theme all the way through this after all.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Yellow Shame

I explained the whole pissing on a jellyfish sting to my kids this week,

The problem with kids is that they learn so much random information that - in order to make sense of the world - at some point they have to stitch it all together. Form some sort of pattern. A mesh of all the things they've learned woven together to hold the universe in. Which is why everyday when I pick my son up he starts ranting uncontrollably about the kid at school who "doesn't know anything." At first I worried this was some sort of massively, arrogant, view of the world in which you can automatically elevate your own intellectual standing by pointing out what other people don't know. We all know someone who attempts to emphasize their strengths by solely underlying other people's perceived weaknesses. Some of us were even married to them. That attitude is maddening. And I was worried my innocent little Oboe had - for want of a better phrase - turned into a dick.

Thankfully not, as it turns out. Very much the other way around. Apparently every day at school a boy tells my son things don't exist. Not the fanciful stuff that five year old kids make up. But things like apples. And England. My son - clearly irritated - tells me, "he says that I only think apples are real because I'm from New York."

Which is when the whole jellyfish thing came up. Out front of the pool at my complex are a line of those boxwood plants that smell like cat urine. At least I bloody hope that what that is. Quite why the landscaping people opted for a piss-bush next to the pool is anyone's guess. Although apparently it's to ward off the hordes of actual cats from gushing their horrible whizz around the pool. The hordes of cats which have freely been allowed to multiply (at least the exterminator/maintenance guy who fixed my stove informed me) because they really help keep the rats/roaches/leprechauns (probably) at bay.

Anyhoo - the kids and I wandered past the pool during the week and my daughter jokingly asked, "oh Daddy did you pee yourself?!" And I instinctively responded that yes I had. But only because I thought I saw a jellyfish in the pool. Better be safe than sorry. Which Owen found funny. Because Daddy talking about pissing himself is funny. Although I imagine if I was one of those Dads that actually did piss himself then the chuckles wouldn't have been so forthcoming. My daughter quickly went from "ewww!!" to wanting an explanation. So I told the old, stereotypical story about how somehow years ago - before even Daddy was born (Owen: "What like 196 years ago!!?") - someone was stung by a jellyfish and someone sprayed them with yellow shame, and they felt all better.

Jump forward a few days and Owen told the arrogant kid at school that you can stop jellyfish from stinging you by pissing on them. Possibly true. Oddly the other kid ignored the whole issue of fighting off jellyfish with wee and denied that jellyfish even exist in the first place. Bold move that. Then he threw the weird, "well maybe in New York they do.....snort...." thing at him. Which is the kind of Massive Twat denigration that I was alluding to earlier. That would have annoyed me, let alone a five year old.

I'm dearly hoping that kid really thinks he's got one over on my son. Feels really smug about it. So smug that come Halloween he rolls into school dressed like one of those glow in the dark box jellyfish. That he says are imaginary monsters. "Except in New York.....snort."

And then Owen pisses all over him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Amish Dildo

Many years ago I was walking down the stairwell of a multi-storey car park when I two items  that should never be within fifty feet of one another. In the same corner of that stairwell I found a potato and a vibrator. After a lot of deliberation the only thing I can think of is that the owner of said vibrator had no batteries. And - being aware of those potato-powered clocks you can get in craft stores - tried to combine the two. An Amish Dildo, if you will. More to the point, Mr. Potato Head (that's much cleverer than you're giving me credit for) was in the stairwell outside where I worked. In the daytime. Meaning there was quite a good chance someone I worked with had been gripped with spud-lust during a smoke-break and had popped outside for a quick bit of fish and chips.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that I've taken to walking to a few places lately. Around Glendale at this time of the year that's usually only done by people banned from driving, people too poor to own a car and silly people in some sort of Fitbit Steps challenge who don't seem to know how hot it is. Mostly I've just been walking to the library through the college campus and park, or to Starbucks at Ridiculous O'clock (that's 5am, in case you wondered). Last weekend I got caught in my first monsoon proper here. And got happily soaked.

Wetin all the wrong places. The main one being Arizona.
 But in the dying embers of that storm something odd happened that inadvertently reminded me of the Spud-U-Like story from above. That being it was hammering it down. It was early. And with the camouflage of daylight and the hustle of daytime city life stripped away I could see some of the grime underneath. I've mentioned that where I am is right on the cusp between half-decent and dumpster-diving haven. On my walk from my place to Starbucks - which is an okay area - I stroll through the edge of a moderately shitty suburb.

Slumped against a wall of a CVS was a young guy - possibly around twenty years old. He wasn't asleep - but clearly wasn't really awake either. And he was propped out in the open - pounded by rain - and clearly off his tits on something. Half way down a fairly quiet residential street a guy on a BMX - clearly too small for him - came tearing up the road as fast as he could. Innocently I figured he was just getting to where he needed to be at 5.30am in a rainstorm. But then not only was he shirtless, but he came hurtling quite close towards me only to spin around and zoom back off the way he came. Eyes wide open. Clearly still gripped by whatever it was he'd had hours earlier. And then lastly sat on a wall outside some pretty shady apartments - near a liquor store that seemed quite confident that it needed bars over correlated sheet windows (yes, I just anthropomorphized a liquor store) - sat two teenagers. Dressed in the stereotype of absolutely massive jeans, that despite having enough material in them to actually make two pairs of jeans, are worn so that a good four or five inches of very unpleasant, cheap boxer shorts can be seen underneath. Think Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad - but with way more Hanes hemline. It was still raining. And still not even 6am. Yet these clearly-not-going-to-bed-this-weekend guys felt confident in asking me if I had a cigarette. And when I said no they me that look of knowing that dudes still up at 6am on a Saturday have something on them. Though usually they aren't singing The Weather Girls and carrying a trenta iced coffee.

All of which brings me to the happy fact that I'm moving in just under three weeks. About ten miles north to a nice part of town. Nicer apartment. Closer to my kids school. Less meth-heads you'd think. I've only got the two photos of the new place. One is the pool outside my place. And another is your bog-standard, apartment kitchen.

That's looks like a huge, dead grasshopper on the fridge
Is that actual water in the pool?
Compare with the snot-green, jello-like quality of the pool at my current place.

Pie an peas
 I mean seriously. One of those pools will give you thrush. Whereas the other you might get pregnant in.

If you ask nicely.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

An Unpleasant Feeling

Brace yourselves.

Sometimes we come up with these ideas. Some of them awful (like that Welsh-nationalist, meat flavoured soda drink I invented called Lambonade). Some of them amazing (like that script you wrote for Speed Re-Ignited: Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are trapped on a horse. If it slows down below 55 miles per hour it will explode). But all in all life teaches you which things you do are good and bad. Or more importantly - acceptable. What fits into the norm. Not just being conformist. But which things you do don't have other people in your lives wondering what the hell is wrong with you. Which is why I'm openly broadcasting that my daughter - my little angel - likes to hover over the toilet.

I'm not suggesting she's a witch. Or that she's trying to reenact that scene from Back To the Future 3 where Michael J. Fox glides a hoverboard over the pond. Although it would tie in nicely to the fact when I ask what she's eaten that week it often sounds like the crap Doc Brown fueled the Delorean with. Nope - she's just started this weird, inexplicable habit. She still does all the other things correctly that parents bellow at their kids after they've been in there. And when I do ask if she's washed her hands (and trust me - I will those times when I know she hasn't) she doesn't grumble or see it as inconvenient. She just goes and washes them - delighted that she gets to choose between two different hand soaps that I had the kids pick out.

But this insistence she has of not actually making contact with the toilet seat is irritating me. I've asked her why. And I've made a loud, grandiose, public display of scrubbing the toilet till you could eat off it. Actually quite how Clorox haven't made a commercial where this happens is beyond me. Imagine the tie-in, crockery they could sell. "When I'm finished eating my chicken mole poblano off my toilet plates I just pull the flush handle and they clean themselves!!" But she's made it clear it has nothing to do with that. She just doesn't like sitting down now, apparently. And I want to clarify - I'm not just referring to urinating either. It's a horrifying sight. Like a weird new Zumba innovation that absolutely no one needs to be copying. Which is partly why it's irritating me so much. The toilet isn't a place for fun or creativity. It's a place where the only things that should be happening are efficiency and shame. I'm annoyed enough that the people who came up with how modern bathrooms are laid out thought it made sense to have a place for squeezing out monkey fudge right next to where you clean your teeth. I mean seriously - all those poo fumes. It doesn't bear thinking about. All that pride I had in toilet training my kids at an absurdly young age is being squashed with her new, evolutionary shitting style.

NO. I don't even want to know what those "dips" are..
That's not the only weird habit she's adopted either. This past month I've caught her deliberately not wearing underwear. Again she tells me she just doesn't like it. It's too hot. I can understand that. I've spent the last seven months sweating out of places I didn't even know sweated. But it's a difficult story to buy when she chooses not to bother with knickers - but then throws on a pair of corduroy trousers and a long sleeve shirt. Again - not that big a deal. I know people who don't wear underwear sometimes (and no - I'm not referring to my "friends" on Pornhub). And I quite like them. A lot.

But my daughter has the habit of bursting through my front door, stripping everything off and sprawling out on my couch. And this is where every parent will get that shudder of recognition. Because there is very little as disturbing as those unexpected moments when you find your kids splayed out in odd places with their genitals on display. It's horrifying. It's bad enough having to deal with the grotesque, knotted,  pink-twiglet nature of a little boy's spam javelin. But when you walk from your kitchen into the living room to hand your child a glass of water you don't expect to be assaulted with what looks like the alien's mouth in Predator. That moment of surprise brings forth a unique noise. It's one that is the perfect mix of shock, revulsion and disturbance. It's the perfect sound that encapsulates the feeling of the phrase, "oh for fuck sake....again?!"

I can tell from the flagrant way she's breaking Rule Number 56 (No Naked Arses On My Furniture Unless You Are The Specific Person On My Very Short List Of One) that she's forgotten that she hasn't got any on. After all - her brother is also striding about in the same fashion. But he's clearly absurdly proud of his underpants. You can tell by the fact that he expends quite a bit of energy strolling about the house in just them. Smug look on his face. Wandering past your eye line repeatedly until you acknowledge him. Partly because he thinks it's hilarious that he's breaking a taboo. But also because he really likes his knickers. It's startling how he and his sister are the complete opposites on this. And when you do acknowledge him he will often burst into a ridiculously satisfied dance. And in case you needed reminding - the boy can't dance.

Lastly - a pet peeve we all encounter. Every parent has been to an event at their child's school and watched their child perform something. A play or a Christmas carol thing. It's usually a collection of holiday songs of some type. The teacher will line the kids up and hope beyond hope that they all at least remember to follow her lead. For reasons I can't quite fathom I cannot ever ascertain what song is being sung. The half-shouted/half-sung monotone - sung seemingly entirely in vowels - all melds into a mess of white noise to me. And lined up a few feet in front of the kids are proud parents holding their camera phones. Some are clearly doing that thing where they've zoomed in to just their child - removing the context and point of the entire performance. The actual accomplishment of the teacher and class to all do it together.

The performance itself isn't meant to be amazing. It's not meant to be a line of thirty Shirley Temples absolutely nailing a song. And even though I can't usually tell what song is being sung - it's certainly not a painful experience. And like most parents watching their child on that stage all I can think at such a time is, "for God sake just don't pick your nose for the entire thing."

My daughter can get almost her entire index finger up her nose. It's up there so often that I tease her that her nostril is her favorite ring to wear. When I catch her I usually ask, "did you find it?" She's gone from giving me a playful smirk in response to now genuinely getting upset that I'm ruining one of her favorite hobbies. I'll hand her a tissue and give her a smile as if to say that it's a good job I was around or goodness only knows what she would have done. And I'll stress that she isn't being horrifyingly grotesque and wiping it all over the place. And thank Stephen Fry Himself that she isn't remotely interested in eating it. But she has taken this bad habit to entirely new level too by deliberately collecting whatever green monstrosity she finds and then rolling it around in her fingers. Not just with some odd sense of satisfaction, but also with pride. And after she has rolled her own snot into a perfect sphere and then put it back up her nose. Like a bizarre hamster storing it's food in it's cheeks (insert Richard Gere joke here). Except it isn't food. Or cheeks. Or a hamster. Frankly that analogy suddenly just seems like a pathetic attempt at slipping in a Richard Gere joke...

Ferrero have refused to show the inside of a Nutella factory - until now...
Of course I don't have any weird habits like this. All of my ideas and behaviors are remarkably ordinary. Straight as an arrow, me (stop laughing). Now if you don't mind. I have to go manscape my chest hair and see if I can fill my Camelbak water backpack with peach margarita mix.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Smokin and Drinkin

Me: Don't you think it's weird that there is an animal called a Vampire Bat?
Evelyn: You know what would be scary Daddy? Vampire Cockroaches.

Now, this is going to sound unbelievably racist but I really don't like maple syrup. And yes I realize that isn't actually racist. But when you write these sorts of things you apparently need to be contentious and controversial to get a good flow of traffic. You know - that fervent mix of people who flock to slurp up every rancid, piss-weak, clearly-contrived, offensive-by-numbers wank that people like Ann Coulter spew out for no apparent good reason. And who are also inexplicably followed around by an equally brain dead, zombie-horde of people who solely vacuum up everything she says - purely to get energy from how much that loathe her.

Anyway - my son insists often that I fetch him a slice of toast drizzled with either honey or maple syrup. And when I say fetch I do mean that when he feels the sorrow-filled star he gives me to indicate that he's hungry (because it's been almost 7 minutes since he last ate) he'll quickly alternate to beckoning me and recommending I fetch him sustenance. I'll be clear - 99% of the time he's the sweetest little bugger. But when he's taking a vacation from his usual self into that 1% he has the tendency to be a Grade A, full-bore, obnoxious twat. He's got the whole, "you there - boy - bring me your finest Chardonnay...." condescendingly smug demeanor down completely. In the very least it's good to learn that his mother is actually teaching him something. Thankfully it's an incredibly brief dalliance with arsehollery that he usually snaps out of sharpish when I give him my best, "Oh fuck no...." stare. 

Moving on - I've told him that honey is essentially stuff that leaks from a bees arse. But he won't listen. Quite why he wants it on toast is anyone's guess. Mind you I think the same thing about jam or marmalade. It's not really the weird sweetness of those things (although I do think they taste too much). It's more the textural mix of having something that feels both stodgy and sticky in your mouth whilst eating toast. So I guess honey fits that same criteria of wanting something that makes it seem like a perfectly good piece of toast has been cum on. But maple syrup - that's just rank. It's up there with root beer (swarfiga) and egg nogg (horse jizz) for weird things to put in your mouth. Granted, a) my kids did use to go to a school that actually had a high school maple syrup class for Future Farmers of America (good old backwoods NY) and b) I have actually tapped a fwe maple syrup trees myself. But that's more out of a rustic, romantic attempt at preserving an old way of life. Remembering the way things used to be done. Clinging on to a history of this continent that deserves to be preserved. But to actually eat that crap? No thanks.

I should point out that my kids are utterly delightful most of the time. And I don't mean, "they don't cause any trouble." I mean that when the mutant, alien-overlords that are hiding in Lake Havasu finally rise up to massacre the human race - but first demand a male and female of our kind to show if we really can demonstrate pure, unfettered altruism - I'd put my kids forward in a heartbeat. Without prompting and most of the time uninterested in seeing it recognized they go out of their way to make each other happy. If there's not enough of something delicious to eat they don't fight over who should have it. They just split it. If they can't remember whose turn it is to go first at something, or to pick something - they actively agree to pick something they both like. It's weird. Absolutely wonderful and weird. Take the other day when I got to school to pick up my son. His teacher offered him a lollipop to take home for cleaning everything away earlier in the day. His first question was if his sister could have one too. And a purple one please - that's her favorite colour after all.

Police say the alein overlords look just like regular, little boys.
So I have this problem. My daughter currently has three favorite songs. One is a legendary song that absolutely reeks of Summer. I must have played this song probably at least once a week whilst taking them to school as our singalong song. And it is this absolutely wonderful slice of Jamaican sunshine.

Then there's this lovely arse-shaking thing.

 The problem is that last song she somehow has become hooked on is quite clearly inappropriate for a nearly-eight year old. It's this. Firstly - I don't do Hip Hop. Not on principle - I just don't really like much of it. But this somehow has burrowed into my brain. And a few cheeky listens here and there meant when it came on in the car this morning my daughter protested when I hit Skip. At which  point I was immediately filled with pride that my little girl likes good music. And horrified that she could have her ears violated  by this much swearing.

Obviously when she protested I quickly jammed in something far more appropriate. Not really - it ended up being The Doors. Weird that I can react to potentially age-inappropriate music and slip in Jim Morrison. And I really can't talk about appropriate things for kids. The night before last I got this out of the library for them.

Nightmare Fuel

Ugh. Screw zombie roaches or The Walking Dead. That right there is absolutely terrifying.