Mute Works Well, SAP Doesn’t

Of all the buttons on my remote control, arguably the most useful is the one to instantly dull the din of quasi-entertainment. Though “mute” doesn’t work on others in my house, it remarkably does on baby Dominic. The SAP button; not so much. story561

It’s so strange that the mute button works. All I have to do is push it and hand it over to him. He puts the whole thing in his mouth, and voila, he’s quiet. Admittedly, nobody else in my house eats the remote, but still, it’s an unrivaled party trick.

It’s a funny button, that SAP one. It turns normal talk into comical gibberish I can’t even begin to comprehend, though I totally love it. It’s called Spanish or something, I think, but such labels don’t mean much to me.

He’s only got one channel on him, a half-baked kid show, so we know why that part of the clicker* doesn’t work, but why not the SAP? I suspect it’s because he’s already stuck in gibberish mode. I’ve never heard any straight talk out of him, so maybe that’s what it is.

You got a better theory? That’s what I thought.

If you’ve got a noisy housemate and a spare remote control, try combining the two for the enhancement of personal peace and quietness. I did, and I insist it’s worked like a charm for me, despite the latent slobber which eventually has awaited my handy kiddo paws. The price is right and it deserves a try.

* Why do they call it a clicker when it doesn’t click on its own? It only makes clicking noises when you bang it on your teeth. Is that it? They don’t really design them this way on purpose, do they?

"Hola, mi llamo Dominic. ¿Usted me negociará en el mercado negro como un DVD de contrabando?"
“Hola, mi llamo Dominic. ¿Usted me negociará en el mercado negro como un DVD de contrabando?”

Kangaroos Got it Hoppin’ Made

Now I see what them hoppy ‘roos like so much about their pouch-bound childhood’s. Being toted in the tummy or torso satchel is safe, secure and warm as all get-in. I fully approve and recommend it to all.

Daddy-O took me outside to see the snow, but wanted to keep me double-warm. He chucked me into a marsupial sling and off we went, with nothing but shared delight (and me) in tow.

If you’ve ever been carried around by somebody as a badge, scarlet letter or breastplate, you know how cozy and carefree it can be (if you’ll pardon the danglitude of my participle*). I’ve been there and I’ll tell you big-people-types, it’s nothing but good times.

I was still free to wiggle and rib-kick all I wanted, but I was snug and toasty. I didn’t even have to get down in the snowy chill nor chilly snow. This is a clear win-win for me.

Even my normally frosty fingers are toasty as chestnuts on the daddy pecs. I’m stealing his heat and I love it.

No matter your age, you should get back in touch with your parents and crawl up into their shirts and jackets. Go outside, maybe hang out for the day, you know, no biggy. I’m sure they’ll understand and love it as much as you will.

The shirts, people. It’s where the love is and it’s where the warmth is. If you don’t believe me, just ask the wallabies.

* Did I end that sentence with a dangling participle? Maybe yes before the apology, maybe no. Beats me man, I’m no grammatorian.


Elder’s Envy Claims Plain Silly

RETRACTION – My editor previously said that I’ve got some “two-envy” and that’s a total lie. He’s basing this on half-baked observation alone, not on research or even an interview. That’s really lousy journalism.

I’m not jealous of his walking, I’ve got my pre-toddler toe-basher, that’s way better and a lot more fun. Walking’s all top-heavy and tough, I’m not game for that.

He said in his article that I want all his puffy, latex balloons. That’s crazy. Even the casual observer could see I was just trying to eat the ribbon. You saw it, right? All kinds of tasty. Him and his balloons are both full of hot air… and helium, I guess. Not sure, but whatever.

Then he had the gall-and-ball stones to suggest my affinity for his gorgeous mylar “2” (ala MissLissa, as was previously uncredited, thank you and you’re welcome very muy mucho) was somehow personally covetous-some-ness. How absurd!

The balloon is all silver and chrome, I was playing discount funhouse mirror with that goofy thing, that’s all. Look at my lumpy mug in that thing, ain’t I the funniest thing ye ever hath be-seenth?

He’s older and he can’t remember what it’s like to be young. That’s the problem with old people. I was at his over-the-hill party, I know he’s dusty-style old. Heck, I’ll never be as old as him. Sure, he’s met women his own age, a feat I haven’t duplicated. I’m not impressed, though, I’ve got fuzzy plushies aplenty, and that’s enough for me.

Schucks, at my age I can’t even get in trouble no matter how hard I try, and believe me I have tried. You wouldn’t trade unlimited immunity like this for a bunch of responsibility and high expectations, would you? Crazy talk, the answer is no.

My retraction is complete, the record has been set straight and ample sorts of narrow. I didn’t pick this newsy profession, Dad and Brendan picked it for me. I’m just here to tell it like I’m pretty sure I see it, and this done-do-be just thatty-there-much, if you’ll pardon my babbly gibberish.


Sunday! Sunday! Sundaaaay!

It’s that time of year again, when television is inundated with ads for the monster truck rally. My curiosity was peaked, so we just had to go.

Not being one to miss any part of the the experience, I went early for

Standing at the glass and clapping through the dust.
Standing at the glass and clapping through the dust.

the Pit Party. I got to meet the drivers, touch the track, even get close enough to smell the embiggened rigs of automotive terror. They said something about autographs, but none of the guys seemed to want mine, not even when I offered.

That was fun, but despite my pancake-wide and drying eyes, it seems I hadn’t seen nothing yet, if you’ll pardon the double-negative.

When the lights went down and the monsters revved up, I couldn’t contain my excitement and I didn’t even try. It was so loud and everybody got so emotional about it, you just can’t imagine. I found myself shouting, yay-hollering, wee-shrieking and clapping my hands pink and tender. I’m not sure who won and I don’t care. The magic of the moment had swept me away.

It’s crazy. To think that such polite drivers can tame such unbridled monsters of 1500 horsies. How do they do it, and where do they stick the horses anyhow?

The monster trucks were just the summit of the mountain, but there’s other stuff to see at all the base camps along the ascent. Light trucks, quarter cars and the smash ‘em up derby might be more your speed, and that need for wet-yourself speed will still be satisfied.

USHRA obviously knows their way around these sorts of events, as the whole thing was delivered with all the elation of intravenous sugar. It’s a touring event, so whether you’re two like me or two-hundred like my parents, you’ve got no reason to miss it. If I have my way, I’ll be in attendance again next year.

You show me another place where they smash up cars and offer discounts for kids, and I’ll change my tune… You might need to hum a few bars for me, but don’t worry, I’m a quick study.

Above- This is me and Jason Brinar in front of his ’56 Ford, called “Low Budget.” In the qualifying heat he almost flipped it, in the real race he lost control and almost plowed into some parked monsters. Not sure how that helps the race, but it was a real crowd pleaser!

Above- Patrick wanted to teach me the fundamentals of car-crushing, so he mocked up this handy re-enactment. I think I get the idea now. He even provided the deafening roar of the motor for me. Oh, and that’s my foot pictured at far left.


Infant Suffers Toddler Envy

As much as I love a good party, I hate it when it’s not mine. I thought it might just be me, but I see now that even baby Dominic feels the same, bittersweet burn.

Dominic doesn’t enjoy all the freedoms I have, what with me being terribly two and all. He normally handles these things pretty well, but I suspect that this infant is harboring serious toddler-envy, no matter how comical it may sound. And oh, he’s harboring it bad.

I love garish balloons, and I demand them. You know how it is; he’s jealous. I love and demand parental attention, and I get it. Again I’m just sure he’s jealous that I get my way. I toddle while he only skooches and bangs around in his* bulky walker. I’m liberated, but he covets in biblical proportions. It’s sad, really.

Right down to embracing my “2” balloon. Obviously it’s mine, but he’s got his slobbery chops locked smacked-up to it as if it’s his own. It ain’t, he ain’t two. I’m the one around here who’s two all the time. I had the birthday, the party, the cake. I’m so two I don’t even know what to do with myself… and junior Dominic wants it bad.

It’s not just him though, everybody wants to be like me. I don’t have proof, but come on, who wouldn’t want this? Career, loving parents, good (bad) food and tons of fun. I got it all, baby (Dominic… yes you… Not that I’m gloating).

You got two-envy, don’t be ashamed. You’ll grow into your own two-ness before you can say covet… Seriously, if you can figure out how to say “covet” before you’re two, I’ll eat crow on crackers.

* Technically my walker, but whatever, I don’t use it any more.


New Year Two-Year for You Year

It’s 2005 and I’m two (hold the thousand and five). I’m ready to turn over a new leaf, whatever that means, and make and keep some ridiculous resolutions. I’ll make some real changes… for you!

Though I can’t imagine why people come up with resolutions (since they’re all inherently made to be broken) and I don’t know what’s “normal” I’ve no less made my list, and here it is:

  • Gain weight. I’m sure everybody has this one on their list, so I’ll just move on.
  • Yell more. Be nice to cats, dogs and birds, but yell like hell at everybody else. Nothing says “Hey!” like a mind-shattering, girlish shriek. I want to be noticed and I think it’s important to do more hollering during the coming year.
  • Grow eight-inches. Though not publicly, I made this resolution last year and it worked out fine. I did it and so can you. Yes, even you can grow eight inches in height, width or a combination thereof over this new year.
  • Use a toilet, unprovoked… Right, um, it’s a long story… Moving right along.
  • Grow canine teeth. Seriously, it’s the only gap in my otherwise flawless rows of pearlies. Think how dashing and dangerous I’d look with fangs where only pinkest gums are now. I can do anything so long as I put my mind to it, right? I can grow more teeth and so should you.

While I can’t even remotely speak for the plausibility of my coming year’s dreams, I know they’re my resolutions. I’m ready to dedicate the next 50% of my life to fruitioning them to, um, fruition.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, I’ll challenge you head-to-head. Gain more weight than me, yell more than me, grow more than me, use more of that confusing toilet than me and sprout more teeth than me. Do you have what it takes?

You do all that and this time next year I’ll pay you tribute. In the meantime, pay me tribute. Read a bunch of articles, click a couple ads and otherwise bow down. Hey it’s for a good cause, everybody. It’s for us boys.

Happy new year and happy two-year to me and to all of you (who all revolve around me, right?)


Kid’s Grocery Shopping Yields 80% Sugar

As us junior folk continue to age and mature, we’re constantly given new responsibilities. Word to the dumb and wise alike; don’t let the five-year-old pick out the groceries.

It was so beautiful. He carefully picked all the necessities as he saw the need. Sugar cereal of a hundred mascots, candy of a dozen-odd sugar derivatives, and two body-weights of quickly melting ice-cream belonging to some Ben and/or Jerry fellows. Total hippies, trust me. All in all it was a glorious sight, though.

I know they’ve got the short carts, but that doesn’t mean you can put him in charge. I think you need a license to drive these things, and it’s a smart move, really.

Even before it started the parents told him “no-no”, but he didn’t hear it. He didn’t want to.

The last 20% of our food budget was sadly dedicated to those gumball toy dispensers at the market’s exit. Oh babies, he went simply bananas right there. Stickers, Superballs, fuzzy wooglies, fake tattoos and melon-sized jawbreakers. And that barely broke the ice. The bank wasn’t so lucky.

He got to the register and only had about 42 cents in filthy, sweaty change. He was pretty sad, but it was lucky. If he had come home with that motherload of booty, he’d have been grounded until he got his grownup teeth.

Needless to say* he’s been taken off shopping duty. Maybe when he’s older they’ll let him try it again, but I can’t even guess when that would be a good idea.

* It’s all “needless to say” here at Perplexing Times, we still say it anywho.


King Fancy-Pants Claims to ‘Rule’

During a grand, regal parade, a single young boy’s voice was heard to cry out, “the king’s got no clue”… And that’s where we are with today’s article.

He dons his crown, presents himself to his mirror-self, and rocks, rules and bows down in peculiar self-submission. I’ve got a decree: the king’s lost his frosted marbles.

“I’m a king,” says Patrick, “Look at me, look, I’m a king. I’ve got a crown!”

Yeah, that’s great, but the king of what? Burger King? King of the private art school prom? King of the world vis a vis mermaid atip the sinking Titanic? I’m lost, Cap’n Fruitloop, help me out here.

“I’m king, I rule!” declared the self-proclaimed King Patrick, but sources close to Patrick are skeptical of his ruling status. One member of his household, speaking on the condition of anonymity declared, “No!” in potentially treasonous defiance. Despite similarity to my own speech patterns, I wish to point out that it wasn’t me, probably.

Another member of his man’s-house-is-castle kingdom offered, “gaa-boo-oo-ee-oo-ah weeee!” Dominic also wished to remain anonymous.

This new ruling regime promises benevolence. Fortunately, he’s lost his scepter (as well as his mind) so he can’t take power until he finds it. As I recall he never had one, so maybe we’re safe after all.

Of course, he may just be the king of the roller disco, so maybe we face a greater threat than anyone imagined.

Only you can prevent roller disco. Act now. Call your legislators and help raise public awareness. After all, it’s for the children.


Dominic Makes Awesome Peasant Girl

I’m no career counselor, so it wasn’t my idea, but I have to say that Dominic makes a pretty good peasant girl. Who’d have guessed it, really?

Look at him with that precious bonnet and those girly-locks. He’s every bit the part. If I had a cow I’d demand he go out and milk it this very minute. If I had pails to bring up the hill, he’d be my maid at the well, no two ways about it, for sure.

It’s amazing the work they do, those guidance counselors. Sure, I’ve never been pegged as a girl. They had me as more of the cowboy type, but this fits him well, not unlike a lacey, silken glove.

It’s almost embarrassing, really. I know that after two boys, the parents really wanted a daughter, but this goes a little too far, even for my tastes, and I’m deeply entrenched in humor.

Boy is it ever Sunday, for the sake of readers, myself, and also on behalf of the unknowingly gender-bent Mr. Dominic, I’m going to cut this off right here.

Happy Sabbath to all and to all a good grief… Especially Dominic. Good grief, man.


Old Man Winter Offers Do-it-Yourself Men

As any fool’s wall-mounted mercury can tell you (even mine); it’s cold outside. It’s easy to blame Old Man Winter, but you have to look at the bright side, despite the bright-side glare.

Seriously though, check out this do-it-yourself opportunity. Thanks to our good friend snow (actual snow, not the singer) even the most curmudgeonly of codger can build his or her own snow-friend. All it takes is a bit of dedication and some really chilly fingers.

He’s a transient friend this man of frosted water, but he’s a good listener and loyal to the bitter end. That bitter end, of course, barring any sort of warmer weather. It’s his own fault for being so cold-blooded. He shouldn’t really be smoking a corncob pipe, you know, but still, he’s a good guy though nobody you can take to Disney World.

Like all relationships, there’s limitations and frailty. Also, he can’t come inside for dinner and he’s nobody that digs a marshmallow roast.

It’s okay though, snow men only eat puppies and baby chicks, I’m told. We don’t eat those horrible things at my table. We only eat stuff like “food chicken”, which I’m assured is very different from “animal chicken.” Totally different deal here altogether, much more benevolent.

Oh, and these snowmen come in any color you want, as long as it’s white… or yellow.

My only complaint is how complicated the building procedure is. The snow falls from the sky without handy assembly instructions, and the piling together of slushy snow is anything but self-explanatory. Smacking it with mittens doesn’t do anything useful, not even when coupled with a running start. Patrick builds it up pretty good, but everything I do just seems to knock it back down. It’s like I’m a dumb kid or something, I can’t figure it out.

Whether you’re a cabin-dwelling hermit or a crazy cat lady, take solace in the knowledge that icy roads would only keep your human friends away anyhow. Not to worry, those same inclement conditions can bring you a better friend. One with an icy stare, cold heart and a smile you can build as big as you want.