I Got A Lov-a-ly Bunch of Chicken Pox

Medical science, you wicked old Stockholm dungeon master, you’ve done it to me once again. I got an immunization shot to forever protect me from chicken pox, yet here I am just two weeks later with a pan-body spattering or red dots and a fever to boot.

Above - This annotated photo shox many of pox and much of sadness.
Above – This annotated photo shox many of pox and much of sadness.

Oh it’s a lov-a-ly bunch indeed (bum ditty bump). Tummy, face, back and even on my stocky thighs… stalky? Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s stocky. Call them “ditty bops” or “Gigi box” if you like but a rose by any other name is still just as red and itchy.

Should I be immune to this? They inject me with a weakened live strain for my body to fight off and I get stuck, well, fighting it off. I have people to screen my calls, cook my food and drive me around, why can’t my parents fight off my chicken pox for me? They give me shoes, toys and dashing good looks, but won’t give me their immunity? Hard news, man, rotten.

There’s no use crying over spilt milk, but this I think warrants a whine. I’m going to go look over some of the paper’s reports, mope a bit, get my lethargy on and maybe do some sweating. I mean, I’ll do these things when I’m not too busy sucking down my odd doses of fever-halting chilling’s Tylenol. It’s “chilling’s,” right, like to cool a fever?


Cerebral Wit Defined by Hysterically Funny Face

I know I’ve reported on it before but I just gotta do it again. That Mr. Dominic Benjamin is a humorist the likes of which I’ve never met. Forget dad, forget me (but only briefly) and forget all those fuddy dinosaur types you see on Last Comic Standing. This guy’s got more “it” than Stephen King. story395

He does impressions, makes funny noises from all apertures, and wiggles and dances almost on cue. If these faces don’t beg a chuckle, we may need to check you for a pulse, because this is the funniest business I’ve ever had the pleasure of being wickedly jealous of.

His talents are wasted as an immobile journalist. We’ve got to find him a new gig of some sort. Maybe we can make him the entertainment editor, celebrity editor, or something. At the very least we need to get him an agent so he can start teaching voice and improv classes. Can you see it? A 14-week veteran of entertainment giving pointers between naps, suckles and temper tantrums? This guy’s going places.

I know I’ve been cutting articles short lately but this guy’s just plain killing me. I mean, look at that goofy mug. He’s a natural. I’m in stitches in my Osh Kosh’s. My cheeks are all crampy and I may have just finished topping off my pull-ups, but I can tell you it’s worth it. I’m not just saying that because our money is effectively shared from here out, I mean it.


Glee Garnered by Gummy Grin

I only figured out how to smile pretty recently. It’s fun for me because I only do it on really good moments of really good days. What I didn’t see then (in part because I don’t see so good) was the effect it has on other people. I can’t say “wow,” but oh man if I could, wow!

Okay, that`s a tongue, not gums. Still, it really gets `em going.
Okay, that`s a tongue, not gums. Still, it really gets `em going.

I’ve heard detailed things in passing about the power of a pearly grin and it made me sad. Not even eBay offers aftermarket teeth, not even for someone of my newsy caliber. I can’t give anyone a pearly grin, not anyway I may try. Doesn’t matter anyhow, I’ve got my own deal.

I wasn’t trying to please anybody around me when I smiled yesterday. I was just really happy with my sleeping, feeding and toying schedule. I was happy, that’s a good reason to smile, right? I did my smiling business and I got paid back with acute interest.*

Back to what I call news, I gave my big grin and everybody around me showed me their pearly grins back. Did you know you can trade a single gummy grin for a pack of ivory to semi ivory ones? You can, it’s true. Thanks to my ohne-tooth smile I can see more mit-tooth grins than I know what to do with.

I’ve got all this new power now. I know now how to move the masses to love me. I think I’ll look into a bid for Congress or the Senate from it. Why not? Polls say I could probably do less harm anyhow.

If you’ve got gums, I say smile. It can’t hurt, it will probably feel good, and odds are everyone around you will share with you that elusive moment of “smile.” That right there is worth its weight in milk, and that is worth its weight in gold.


Babies Allegedly Fragile

Hey, I’m no big dummyhead. I know that there’s a bunch of stuff in my world that’s fragile. Glassware, non-plastic plates, mom or dad’s collectibles, any combination of sandwiches, the floor and the DVD player. But now you tell me babies are fragile? Woah, stop the presses!

Woah, uh-oh, I think I might have broke it.
Woah, uh-oh, I think I might have broke it.

I know little Dominic gets noisy when I poke him or tamper with his head. I also know that when climbing in on his preferential treatment he gets upset if I use him as a fleshy ladder. But now you tell me that unnecessary roughness can prove he’s breakable? I’m sorry but I honestly had no idea.

So you’re telling me that if I try to huggy-squeeze him like my beloved dog or try to wrassle him like I practiced with Blue, he could break and cry? This isn’t a very good design anyhow you slice the pie. I dish out roughness left, right, and center and argue it’s forever necessary. Yet, just like me he’s not ready to take it? This really throws my “Brendan-centric Universe” theory out the window.

I’m going to hop onto eBay now, try to find him some body armor or maybe some health elixir or something. I know I overpower him so maybe if we can get him some more lives, a couple do-overs or some cheat codes we could play properly.

In the meantime I’m going to put maybe two or three boxes of Band-Aids on him, maybe put a couple sloppy kisses on his ouchies. Laughters a pretty good medicine, but me pointing and laughing at him only makes him more sad. Since mocking his distress hasn’t helped, the Band-Aids and boo-boo smooches surely ought to do the trick.

If your home is plagued by the noise, distraction and attention thievery best known as “a baby” bear in mind that they are apparently fragile, breakable, and noisy as all get out when poked to inconsolability.

Man, why did I hire this guy?


1st Movie Good as Any Other 1st

We had a road trip planned but a combination of unbearable heat and car trouble had us turning back after just fifty miles. We coped with it like anyone would, we went to the movies.

Me and the gaggle at the talking picture show.
Me and the gaggle at the talking picture show.

I’ve seen (parts of) movies before on the big screen at home. At least, I thought it was a big screen because it’s way, way bigger than me and I’m bigger than I’ve ever been before. The screen and volume at the theater really puts our VCR to shame.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I still looked forward to it with my blurry, blue eyes. Though I’ve almost forgot it all already, here’s what I learned:

  • Much more social than movies at home. I’ve never even seen that many people in our place before. It’s bigger, but it was still pretty different having all those people around.
  • Brothers be shushed. Unlike at home where the parents just steam and shrug over the restless destructo-brothers, here they had to work very hard to keep them happy and quiet.
  • Catering was as good as anywhere. At snack time, Mama just threw a blanket over us and fed me proper-like, or improper-like, depends on who you ask.

I’m not sure what the movie was about but the parents, I mean, my personal assistants, said it was something about two spider men. I snacked, I napped, the accommodations were just fine. Second best of all was that it was air conditioned so I could pause my rampaging sweat-frenzy. Best of all was that, no matter how much people complain about the cost of entertainment, it was still free for me. Surely this is a moment I will not soon forget.

What was I just talking about?

Drowning Avoided as Diaper Absorbs Entire* Pool

Swimming pools can be fun but they’re also very dangerous. If you don’t believe me, just ask any insurance agent how he or she feels about it. My own sure peril was narrowly avoided by the Luv I keep tucked in my shorts.

Can you see it? Can you see how gigantic my diaper has become?
Can you see it? Can you see how gigantic my diaper has become?s

I wasn’t planning to go swimming, but then again, I don’t really plan anything before I do it. I saw everybody else splashing in the pool and it looked like something I needed to get in on… in to? Well, “in” at any rate.

I’m old friends with fluoridated water in moderation, so I figured 80,000 gallons of chlorinated water wouldn’t be too different, but it turns out it is. Just the quantity of it alone should have been my first red flag, but you know me, no amount of flags of any color can challenge my fearless resolve.

The pool was too chilly for me and I quickly started shivering. Smartly, we popped into the hot tub for about two minutes, converting my SUV-sized diaper into a highly effective hot-pack. Then we were free to splash in the pool without hypothermia setting in.

It’s hot and I’m grouchy so I’m going to cut this article short. The whole joke was in the headline anyhow. By the end of my bobbing, splashing and unintentional dunkings, my diaper had expanded to the point of literally busting out of my swim trunks, making my trademark waddle especially ducky. Now we know how come those water logged quackers strut so funny. It’s their highly absorbent undercarriages, you see.

It’s in the high 90’s and I can’t stand it anymore. I’m out of the pool and just about melting from the heat, so I’m going to go sweat, pant and be drowsy in the shade. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.


Ode to My Dog, Blanket and Bottle

For those of you who haven’t finished piecing together the puzzle: I’m a kid. And for those of you who don’t know: kids have favored comfort items like blankets, bottles, and stuffed animals. Though I’ve never dedicated proper attention to it, I feel inclined to explain how I’m no different.

Here we all are, me, dog, bottle and blanket. So happy together.
Here we all are, me, dog, bottle and blanket. So happy together.

I’m not sure what an “ode” is, I’m calling it a serenade of deepest love expressed in prose. Deepest love, that’s how I feel for these three greatest inanimate things in my life.

  • Dog. I’m not sure how I’ve left him out of my historical, journalistic logs, but I realize now it’s happened. I got Dog as a carefully calculated gift from Daddy-O when we visited China. We started out as friends but now he’s my closest ally. When I’m sad he brings me joy, when I’m tired he brings me sleep. He’s my single favorite pal and he always makes me smile.
  • Blanket. Distant quasi-auntie Jessica started knitting it for me before I was even born. She didn’t finish until after I was born though, so as I started growing her task grew too. Once I finally got it (about a year ago) it immediately became my favorite. No matter how hot it gets in my room I still can’t sleep without it. It’s soft, thick, pretty and has logged almost 30,000 miles in travel.
  • Bottle. Well, come on, it’s my bottle people. I’ve been weaned down to just getting it at nap and nighttime, but my vanilla soy solace still silences me immediately and not just because my piehole is clogged.

Many of the Perplexing Times articles are funny, even deemed satire by some, but I highly doubt this one applies. Maybe it garners a tittle or smug understanding, but this paper is more about documenting the things most important to me while you guyses’s giggly entertainment is secondary. It’s a close second, don’t worry, but no less this piece has its place. Call me annal retentive if you like, but when I’m older I’ll want to look back at this and best understand whom I’ll have become and why


Escape Tactics No Match for Needle-Bearing Doctor

We’ve been in to see this doctor lady before, but it was always about checking up on Mr. Benjamin. I thought she was nice but this time she had shots for me and running and hiding wasn’t the least I could do, it was the most.

Catch me if ya can turned into `caught me`, cuz they did.
Catch me if ya can turned into `caught me`, cuz they did.

I’m no stranger to doctors and their Hibicleanse stinking offices, but it’s been a long time since I did something so bad that they had to punish me with shots. I was wooed into a false sense of security by their smiling faces and well-played toys, but when they bared my trunky thighs and brandished a menacing hypodermic trio, I knew I was in trouble, deep.

Unlike my younger self, I’ve got skills to help me avoid this pokey torture. While I’m not exactly an escape artist, I’ve been known to doodle. I squirmed to the ground and found the snuggest far reaches of the room in which to hide. For once my diminutive stature came in handy, but ultimately, my avoidance was no match for this trained professional “just doing her job.”

Without so much as a gaudy lure they fished me out of my cleverly spelunked crevasse. Before I could dial 911 for fire or emergency they poked me with their sharp, jabby techno-ouchies.

Something tells me there’s more of this sort of funny business down the road and I’m none to thrilled about it. I guess I’ll shelve my avoidance training and maybe work on Karate instead. They’ve got experience on their side but I’m not helpless anymore. I’m armed with creativity, a fiesty spirit and lungs ready to belt out with sharper ear piercing than a stainless steel stud. Don’t cross me, man, I’m dangerous… and my legs hurt.


Inflata-House Kinda Bounces, Totally Rocks

For those of you out of the loop on modern construction techniques, you should be aware of wood, steel, cement, and inflatable plastic construction methods. While durability may be somewhat in question, the fun to be had overshadows other, non-pneumatic construction methods by gargantuan margins. story384

Though my own home lacks the sort of elasticity offered by a house of complete inflatability, I can recognize the value of such a place. Did I say “place”? That’s a typo, spello or thinko, I meant “palace.”

I witnessed oversized people, those of ridiculous 4-foot plus stature, bouncing in it to heights I’ve never before seen nor imagined. Not one to be precluded from a good time (nor a time of any sort, as I’ve even joined bro-Patrick in his time-out corner just to see what it’s all about) I had to toddle & doddle in for my own investigation.

bouncy-house-tallOnce inside I couldn’t have been much more pleased. Though I couldn’t work it to bounce me to great heights, I was perfectly able to rock a bit and over-heightedly gallop a smidgen. I don’t know whose idea it was to replace 2×8 tresses with a bounty of air, but that dude deserves an award because this stuff is ten kinds of amazing.

I uncovered that you can rent them at party stores or even buy them periodically at Costco. But, somehow they aren’t yet offered as permanent housing, no thanks to the restrictions set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, whomever they are. Think of how easy it would be to get up in the morning if rolling out of bed was followed by bouncing to your feet.

Having sampled this sort of alternative home I suggest you write to your congressman or woman to allow and maybe even mandate the acceptance of inflatable homes with plasticine porters and looking glass whatevers. It’s just as good and far more fun. I give you my promise as a journalist, as a colleague, and as an 18-month-old toddler; that’s right they’re worth their weight in something, that’s for sure.



Brother Embraces ‘Bus’ Experience, Shirks Journalizing

Okay, I know bro-Patrick gets to ride the big yellow bus every day* and gets to go “get his learn on,” but does that mean he doesn’t have to help out around the paper? I know lower school is imperative to getting into upper school which eventually leads to college, but this site is all about paying for our college someday, so can’t he help out even just a bit? story383

I’m carrying a bit of envy, I’ll admit it. Every time we walk him out to the bus I watch him climb aboard that massive yellow vestige of transportation thinking “why not me?” I don’t know where he goes or what he does there, but I do know I’m clueless about it, and that’s no consolation.

I’m home all day in the office doing my reporting thing. I diligently play with toys, get into mischief and learn new things. All the while my Canon’s a-clickin’ and I’m making notes, even if only mentally. When I’m done I dig through the muddy waters of my experience and make an article out of it. Meanwhile he’s doing God-knows-what and writing… nothing.

Coveting his engiddied bus ride is one thing, but then he comes home with arts and crafts and all sorts of colored-in number/letter projects. All this leaves me curious and colored many of my own shades of green with envy, perhaps even nausea. Then my other cheek is abjectly turned (and, oh yes, I do believe slapped) when he presents his “no article(s)” for all that experience.

Unfortunately I don’t have a solution in sight for this one. I think I’ll increase my bus-related fuss magnitude, maybe try to climb aboard it myself (as pictured here). I don’t see it helping out, but I have to make my voice heard, despite my cumbersomely limited spoken vocabulary.