A day on the town is a day of fun, excitement and as it turns out, uncomfortable exposure to the elements. Fortunately I’m little enough to force my handlers to bundle me up tightest, cover my stroller with its cover and often even an extra umbrella, but there’s something else most peculiar about being outdoors. It’s this “difficult air” or “wind” business, and I don’t understand it a bit.
I know that autumn leafs many astonished, but is it because of the temperature, the changing of leafy colored oranges, or is it something else, something more invisible and aggressive, something else I can’t even begin to finish understanding, something that has no name?
Its name is wind, and it’s a strange, gusty bird if ever I did see such a thing. It huffs and puffs like a pack of mischievous wolves and it ruffles my pretty hair, waters my tender eyes and chilies and frosties my very face to the bone, and I don’t even know what bones are in my face.
So what’s all this wind stuff about? I can’t see it, so where does it come from? I can feel it, so I know it’s as real as vegetables, but it defies my senses. No smell, no taste, hard to touch and impossible to see? What’s this “wind” stuff all about?
If I didn’t know better, which I most certainly do not, I’d think it was some aberration of ghostly intent or a complex science of mixing cool airs with warm, but even atmospheric scientonogers won’t swear by that.
If you’re thinking about going outside on a cloudy day, I advise that you bundle to the chin and be prepared for uncomforts to the teeth. The ghosts of thickest air await you outside and you never know when they’re going to strike. You can know where they’ll strike though, it’s to the face and hair, and it’s cold, cold, chilly-willy, I promise you that much indeed.
I’ve always been tolerant of this little noisemaker I call a junior journalist, but he’s got to start sleeping on his own time, not on the clock. This is a business around here you know.
Getting sick and tired is one thing, getting sick and tired of me is another, but perpetually snoozing on the job is so crazy I had to invent a new word to describe it. The word is “ridicumadness” and I hope you deduce it’s meaning.
I actually assigned him to write a report on the ridicumadness which is his falling asleep on the job, but he fell asleep instead. Are you grasping the gravity yet or must I further punctuate?
It’s not like I’m giving him a graveyard shift taking inventory of sheep by number, I’m sending him out on the latest breaking bits of newsworthy newsiness, and he’s still out less like a light and more like a dim bulb. I run a ship around here, and though it ain’t tight, it is a ship and on his watch it’s sinking.
Sure, when he naps the sum household volume drops about fifteen decibels, but peace and quiet is no peace of mind when it comes to a piece unwritten, and we’re falling behind schedule to embarrassing degrees.
My advice to business operators and would-be-successful entrepreneurs is this: hire child labor, but don’t hire newborns or infants. They’re all sleep and slobber with very little productivity and zero comprehension of deadlines. Hold off until kids hit toddling age before you conscript them into your Barbie factories or to polish the inside of your bomb casings. Take it from me, they don’t work, they just eat, sleep and do one other thing I don’t feel like talking about right now… and that’s where I leave it.
Yesterday I reported on my terrible decision to try to eat a rock, but rocks aren’t the only appealing toys the world provides free of charge to any sucker who may wander by. Nope, there are also lots of free sticks laying around of every size and variety, but they aren’t much better.
When I say these things are freely lying about for any passing sucker, I mean it as literally as I do figuratively. I don’t consider myself a chump, but I know what I am, and I like sucking on things. Toy heads, pine cones, rocks, candy, you name it. Pretty much whatever passes by my suckleport, has to have a quick taste. What can I say, it’s the favorite of all my senses.
Left – Seen here playing with rocks. I know it may not look like they’re going to go in my mouth, but it happened. Doubt as you may, it was yesterdays article, and it was published on the internet… you know what they say, if you read it on the internet it must be true.
But if you learned anything from yesterday’s article, it was that rocks are just no good when it comes to placement within ones mouth. No good at all. Rocks are much too hard, much too dirty, much too yucky overall.
So with that out of the way, let me expand my learned knowledge to include the realm of sticks by saying simply, they aren’t much better.
Though much softer and less catastrophic to the teeth and tummy, sticks are no treat. They’re roughage, which is apparently a good thing, but some of them are poisonous and all of them taste like they are. Where’s the fun in that?
So while you may already know that sticks and stones may break my bones, let me inform you further that they can break your teeth too, and suggest that you avoid eating them. If you want roughage that tastes like earth, go for lima beans or asparagus, because twigs are for the birds.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Teeth are bones, right? I mean, they have to be, don’t they?
As a self-proclaimed kid I consider myself an uncommon expert on all things candy, candy related, pseudo-candy, edible and otherwise mouthable. I know what you’re thinking, “mouthable” isn’t a real word, but tell that to all the things I put in my mouth, even things like inedible rocks.
It’s not that I’ve ever had pop rocks, though maybe I have, who can remember things that didn’t happen today. What I do know is that it’s candy, and thanks to shows like Mythbusters — a family favorite I’d be surprised if we haven’t mentioned at least twice before — I know that it doesn’t make tummies go ka-boom.
But what I do know, and I know because I learned it the hardest way possible today, is that real rocks are uncomfortably hard. No fun at all, really, not tasty a bit, and nothing like any candy I’ve ever had, and I’ve had Jawbreakers.
Also they taste like dirt al dente, which is no sort of a delicacy at all.
If you like candy and/or your teeth, I recommend you steer clear of the mineral fortified nature rocks, and stick instead to the candy kind, the popply-fizzlous Pop Rocks variety, if you’re able. Your tummy will thank you, your dentist will thank you, and unless you’re totally goofy, which you may be, as a reader of this paper, you will even thank yourself.
If there’s one thing we like — and there isn’t, there’s more like a million things, but for arguments sake, hear me out — it’s anything free. Whether it’s free time, free love, free cell, or free parking, it’s our thing. We’ve never mastered free cell, but when it comes to “no parking” we’ve found quite the opposite to be as true as it is wonderful.
They say the best things in life are free, but by “they” I mean “poor people”, by “best” I mean “pretty good, considering it’s free” and by “life” I obviously mean cereal, which makes no sense when you add it all up. The pretty good considering it’s free things are in cereal? Total nonsense, but that’s off topic, so let’s get back on track.
I thought free parking was imaginary. Sure, the Monopoly guy gives it out every tenth time around the board, but as a general rule I’m told that nothing in life is free. The only possible exception to this, I’ve found, is that “no parking” is free. Parking, the regular kind, on the other hand, costs as handsomely as it does with ugliness.
But there’s a free park not far from us, and one with no parking to boot. It’s near a watershed and if you want to park your family-mobile, you better do it on the street. Once you get out of the car and into the park, however, the parking is abundant. Except this time I mean “parking” in that we get to play in the park.
That’s parking, right? If you go to the park, park around, get your park on, and park yourself on park toys, you’re parking, right?
So disavow yourself of the notion that you can’t park for free, because we do it at least once a week. Spy the baby brother, spy the me, spy our curious and suspicious gazes, but rest assured we left without so much as a park ranger, beggar, or begging park ranger asking us to give so much as a nickel.
So if you’re hard up for fun and even harder up for funds, take a stroll, take a cruise, take what you must, but head to the park, leave your worries behind, and have yourself a ball or blast. It’s already covered by your tax dime, it’s only wasted if you don’t take advantage.
In an era of rampant extreme sporting events ranging from base jumping to pufferfish eating contests with very few stops in between, you can’t expect the world’s boys to pause for caution. So to evidence this, I figured there was no better way than by avoiding my own best (and strictest) advice, and continuing with my own domestic climbing hobby.
I know Brendan wrote a piece about his own forbidden domestic climbing endeavors some time back, and I’ve looked over it, it’s a really inspiring piece. It makes me want to go even higher and further. And just like my brother, it makes me want to free-climb it. That’s right, no holds barred, no ropes and no net.
The original climbing record set was at 5-feet by one Brendan Alexander of This House, My House, almost two years ago. He did ground breaking work, but he had it easy. Back then the guidelines were lax about this sort of thing, but just as playgrounds are harder to play with the wrong way and buildings are harder to climb onto from the outside, the design of my climbable world has adjusted to keep me off of it.
Since Brendan set his record, the shelves have been torn apart, reconfigured and rebuilt with just two things in mind; still keeping stuff on them, BUT making it as hard as possible for the likes of me and/or any brother of mine to climb up them.
It may sound unlikely but it’s true. The empty bottom is now much bigger, with a smaller first ascension base, and an impossible second ascension. This means that getting up to the higher levels would require me to skip any kind of base camp and just burn my way up to the top in a single climb. He had it easy; this new terrain defeats me at every step by its very design.
What’s worse is that his fun jungle gym, or Fungle-Gym as I’ve just decided to coin it, would bend and flex, even lean out from the wall as he’d climb it, as if to anticipate his every pound of inertia. I get no such luck. Since the Brendan Alexander Climbing Fiasco of 2005, all of our shelving units are securely fastened to the walls using no fewer than six 2-inch screws each. You’d have to weigh like 80 pounds to pull it loose, and come on, what kind of fatty weighs that much, that’s ridiculous!
But even with all these rules in place, all these guidelines and subsequent disciplinary actions set in stone, I can attest as a journalist who has done his homework, and done some homework for the kid sitting next to me, that the old adage is true, boys will be boys.
And I, my dear friends, am indeed a boy. I’ve got the monkey toes, reckless abandon and a potentially terminal case of fearlessness too. Yes, I am a boy. Secure your cabinets and do your best to keep me out of and off of them as you wish, your powers are useless against me.
So if you host a clever monkey in your midst or household, do as you please, secure as you feel you must, but know now that as sure as diapers get doodied, your boys will climb. Fatten your carpet, pad your walls and watch us like hawks, but it will not stop us. Oh, and your so-called rules? Yeah, we’ve got no time for those. You can punish us later but we’re going to climb right now.
Man oh man, I know I’ve been saying we’re running this thing for fun, and it almost always is, but there’s just about as many days of misery as there are of triumph, and sometimes it’s just too much. So seriously, where’s our syndication already?
We’ve had one-off, spot reprints here and there throughout the web on something like two-dozen sites, but that’s hardly encouraging. None of them has paid anything better than promotional consideration and the consideration has been anything but considerable.
What do we have to do to make a living, sell a book, a bunch of promotional toys or make some fancy-pants shirts of the “T” variety available? You just tell me, people, we’ll do it.
Although I’ve made this plea before, I’m not above making it again. If you’re in a paper or have some remote connection to a paper, tell them they need to syndicate my stuff. It’s a long and ugly story, but those print papers bring in scads more money than us online folks, and they could bring us around to a whole new life in short order.
We’re in two different, equally curious, financial predicaments right now. The first is that, if something magical doesn’t happen in the next three weeks, Daddy-O’s going to have to leave us and go back to the age old day job. The second is that, despite our three years online, 850 articles published and almost three-million pages read — on this site alone, not to speak of our limited syndication affiliates — we’ve only brought in like $1,300 towards our college fund. That’s like $1.52 per article, and ain’t nobody in no country in no world I’ve ever heard of that’s going to tell you that $1.52 is anything less than an insult.
So here’s your two big ways to help out today:
Send us in $10 for every hundred pages you think you’ve read. You’ve read a thousand, send us $100. You think you’ve read 100, send us a crisp ten-spot. Do what you can to help us junior boys out. I assure you, we really do need it.
Connect with anybody you can at your local paper and tell them how invaluable we would be as a regular, syndicated column in their publication. That would help us, but it would also help out the Daddy-man. Even if you just know an agent or publicist who’s looking for the next big thing, let them know how fresh and refreshing we are.
And if you’re too cheap or too timid to do these things, send us an email telling us what sort of for-sale merchandise you’d like to see. What would you pay for a -shirt? Would a book or four be valuable? Would you pay for these things?
Our site and articles are still growing more and more popular month by month, and we’re not going to give it up no matter what. But if you really do like it, share the joy and help us have what we want as well. We want our home, we like our food, and we love having Daddy-O at home with us, and we’ll do what we can to make sure it happens… and in case you didn’t already figure it out, so will the Daddy-O-man. He ain’t too proud to beg.
Top officials at Perplexing Times recently did a survey of the world’s hottest, cutest, and most promising alarmists, and it should come as no surprise, but Chicken Little topped the list. Let’s face it, he’s a star, a fan favorite, and with his claims crazier than Nostradamus, he’s just about as alarming as they come.
Boosted by the success of his recent film and subsequent merchandising campaigns, awareness of Chicken Little has risen to its highest all time levels. Thanks to the magic of Hollywood, he’s retained his youthful good looks even better than Harrison Ford, Macaulay Culkin or Betty Boop.
Rounding out the top five were:
2 – Baby New Year, who, despite his age and inherent adorability, promises to die of WHAT ROBIN WILLIAMS JACK HAD disease some time after Christmas.
3 – Sally Struthers, well known for pointing out that many children are still starving (even though I refuse to eat my vegetables).
4 – Crazy Apocalypse Guy, famous for his sandwich-board performances around the world’s street corners.
5 – And a five-way tie by all 435 congressional representatives who collectively swear that America as we know it is in serious danger in one way or another. (They don’t sound cute, but I recognize them from their role in the California Raisens music videos. I’m no good with names but I never forget a wrinkled prune.)
But Chicken Little trumps them all. Despite great efforts by government agencies to shut down his cult, it still remains technically open for business. Most of his following dropped out decades ago when his predicted end of the world passed without incident, and the rest dropped out since due to deadline after deadline passing without the end of the world. Official membership as of press time for the First Minipoultry Church of Falling Sky is reportedly less than five congregators strong.
But put your feelings about your favorite celebrity’s religious beliefs on hold… Chicken Little is fun, cute, Hollywood A-List, and he swears to high heaven and low heaven alike that the sky is falling. Take all that and throw on top that he’s the official 2006 Perplexing Times Cutest Alarmist, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
You can doubt his star power and you can second guess his cuteness factor, but you can’t deny that he made me cry, and I, my good friends, am a man among men… though admittedly a very small one.*
* It only makes me less of a man by volume, the rest I’ve more than made up for by admitting my stature.
If there’s one thing I love more than curling up with a cold hotdog and a cartoon, I don’t know what it is. But with so many channels on non-stop cartoons and all the great kid stuff we have OnDemand, how can one decide which is the best and most wholesome? It’s easy, for Christ’s sake.
Before you get all up in arms about my language, you need to think about what I’m saying. If I say “God dam (the river so the beavers won’t die),” or “for the love of Christ (you need to accept Jesus as your savior),” I’m not swearing. There’s no taking of any lord’s name in vein and no blasphemy either, they are just statements of fact as I see them, and I’ll be damned if I’m not right about it (assuming I die also having not been baptized and not accepting Jesus into my heart… I know it’s rough but it’s in the Bible).
But this Veggie Tales cartoonimation is really good stuff, for Christ’s sake. I mean it, there’s no bad words, the violence is limited to tasty Slushies being rained down, and if it doesn’t have a Bible story in it, it at least teaches a good lesson.
Did I mention the “for Christ’s sake” part? I just have to get it out of my system because I’m told this is the last time I’ll be allowed to say it without getting in trouble for a mighty long time.
If you’re sick or scared of the television and what it might be teaching your children (or parents), go with the safe bet and vote Larry the Cucumber for president of your TV hour. It’s fun, and while you may not feel thanked for the extra effort at the time, the reward will ultimately be yours when your offspring don’t burn down the house or come home as a teenager in handcuffs.
Me and my brothers are all in school; and as soon as you’re old enough to go to school, apparently, you’re old enough to learn the fine intricacies of calling other kids bad names. Sometimes it’s funny, but it’s never right, and who decided I’m Mr. Poopyhead?
Obviously this joke is over my head somehow because I don’t get it. I know what “poopy” means, and it’s nothing nice, especially when I partake of too many buffalo chicken strips. I can’t help it, they’re tasty when smothered in ranch dressing.
Also, I’m not 100% keen on body parts. I didn’t do very well on my anatomy test last month when I pointed to my nose for “mouth,” my mouth for “eyes,” my eyes for “ears” and tugged on my hair for “hat.” I’d argue I still got that last one right but, even still, a 25% success rate isn’t a passing grade.
Hey, at least I was in the right ballpark, even if I was playing the wrong sport.
But “Mr. Poopyhead”? That’s just uncalled for. Sure, I can get fussy from time to time. Okay, yes, I’ve been known to dish out the selfishness with the best of them.* And okay, fine, I’ve chosen to wear a diaper on my head for reasons unknown even to me.
Wait a minute, it’s not the diaper is it? Oh my goodness, I feel silly now. I didn’t feel silly when I put it on my head but I think I do now. Not for wearing the diaper of course, but for not making the connection.
Okay, well in that light it actually is a little bit funny. It’s still uncalled for, but now I think I get it.
I should go back and rewrite this article, probably, but I’m a product of my environment and I’ve never really been taught to revise. No, I’d say I do like dad does. I write like crazy, throw it out willy-nilly and take a nap when nobody’s looking. Sorry if that disagrees with you, but I’m a child and dad, well, he’s earned it.
* By “with the best of them” I mean the best of the boys in my house. It’s a tough crowd of competition around here, I promise you. That, and my brothers really are the best.