Sunday, July 23

Lesson Returned

Until the first born was about five years old, the family lived in apartments. To him, the place to play was the living room in front of the television. His bedroom, spare and bare but with enough toys, was another place to play. Sometimes the small courtyard where they lived was enough for plastic dinosaurs, rubber balls, and ninja turtles. On weekends he got to play in the park and the playground, but he couldn't just walk out the back door and find an open space.

After the birth of his brother, the family rented their first house. The extra rooms and big kitchen were more than Son I's experience could comprehend. Now he could race little metal cars down a hallway. Now there was a huge driveway on which to sharpen popsicle sticks. There was a garage full of cobwebs and sawdust to explore. The bathtub, with the required bubbles, held more water than he had ever seen. Little brother was in another room, and parents had their own bathroom. It was HUGE.

More grand than anything were the front and back yards. An expanse of grass to tumble on. Bushes that made for really cool forts. Birds that didn't just fly overhead, but actually came down into the place where you played, pecking at Dad's bird feeders. There was a big concrete patio with Mom's plants, shade, and a table with chairs outside! There was wooden fence all around, plus Mom and Dad bought a swing set. It was a kindergartner's dream.

Son I had never seen such things in a place where he lived. He didn't quite know what to do with so much space. By the time he could toddle, his brother knew how to exploit places with roly-poly bugs and sticks, using or changing them to his heart's content. In their early youth, Son I would always be contemplative, while his brother crashed into places to see what was there, making fun and use of whatever he found, incurring scabs and broken bones in the discovery.

Mom and Dad were not immune to the joys of this piece of the Earth. Never having had the chance to manipulate dirt and leaf and roots together, the parents took to gardening with abandon. Shrubs were sheered, trees pruned, grass mowed, gardens plotted, all to the delight of their landlord. Dad dug in the dirt and planted gladiolus bulbs against the back wall. Mom tilled the clay soil and nurtured nasturtium sprouts along the walk to the side garden gate. Through it all, Mom and Dad showed their sons earthworms, seeds, and dirty hands. They played in the sunshine sprinklers, retiring to their beds after summertime barbecues.

Son II tumbled through the sunny afternoons. Son I, true to his nature, quizzed Mom and Dad about everything. His most important questions revolved around plants and gardens, and how they all grew.

"Dad? What's that stinky stuff?"

"Fertilizer. It's cow poop. Cows eat plants. When they poop, it helps the dirt make plants grow."


"Remember the dead bird you found?"

"Yeah. It was all dried up and had bugs on it."

"Well, everything dies. When something dies, like a bird or a plant, bugs and other things eat it and put good things back into the dirt. Those good things help plants grow, and the cows eat the plants, and poop more good things. So when something dies, something else grows."

Son I looked at the ground, then at the trees, then at his father. He said nothing, nor did Dad. Both knew there was some serious thinking to do. Son I wandered to where Mom was planting more seeds and pulling weeds. Dad started on the cherry tomatoes and purple salvia. Son II rolled on the grass. Later, they all played catch, ate hot dogs, and went to bed.

Job, bills, and rent began to pile up on Dad's brain. The humdrum of the workaday world made him irritable, distant, unlovable. He spent time at the sportsbar after work, or sat silently at the patio table. For him, the world was becoming stagnant, static, dead. One afternoon Son I ambled outside and sat next to his father, legs dangling over the patio chair.

"Dad, how come you're so quiet?"

"I don't know. Sometimes grown-ups are sad. You will understand when you are older."

Son I thought for a minute.

"Dad, when everything dies, everything grows."

Saturday, July 15

Vocabular Exclusionism

"The contract had a buyout provision. The sum of all payments was greater than 85% of the basis value. It had a transfer of ownership clause. The idiot couln't tell me whether it was a capital or an operating lease. The monthly journal entries debited lease expense, offset to accounts payable or prepaids. I invoked Sarbanes-Oxley and nailed her to the internal control manifesto. Can you believe that?"

Are you impressed? I didn't think so. Some of it is GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and some of it is utter bullshit. I know the difference, and can pick out which is relevant and which is sarcasm. Do you care? Of course not. So why do so many idiots think we understand, much less care, about the esoteric language of their occupation? Listen up, boneheads. We don't understand and we don't care. It's as obvious as your lack of social skills that you are trying to feel superior. But you don't make us feel inferior. You make us feel annoyed. Get off your perceived intellectual pedestal and eat a heaping platter of steaming turd sausages. The following are some favorites deserving of a kick in the the dick.

Engineer: "The coriolus effect negated any possible quantum derivative of the universal constant. Given the hypothetic gravitational construct, probability theory dictates a null result."

Response: "I don't understand. Please shut up."

Military: "A PxF 54th grade presence warranted a pre-ballistic battalion response. Longitude-inlflicted altimeter strategy was the obvious result of air countermanded Grade 7 juxtapositional ground assault."

Response: "You don't understand. Please shut up."

Computer Nimrod: "CII FRAB is obsolete. Recog in CBQV search shows -0- clabber infrastructure. How does the relational thread recoup redundant vascillation?"

Response: "You're making shit up. PLEASE shut up."

Auto Mechanic: "_____sayanythingtheywon'tknowthedifference_____"

Response: None needed. High school drop out asshole. Makes more money than you will ever see. Fucker.

Construction Worker: "Dude! He retreated the backhoe without lifting the snarky bucket! So I had to flip the mudjoint and spot weld the fascia to a non-code k-value easement!"

Response: "Without a Union, you would be mucking out the septic tank of a debtor's prison. Fucker."

Cop/Firefighter: "stuff that no one can figure out because it's all coded with greek letters and roman numerals and colors and obscure dog breeds and GMT and metric/imperial/cubit analogs and bradbury metaphoric conversion."

Response: "YES SIR! Here is my driver's license, proof of insurance, social security number, blood type, shoe size, sperm count, DNA signature, and complete elementary school community college swinger club history. Fucker."

Airline Worker: "Welcome to Cattle Airlines. We know you have a choice placard in the seat in front of you emergency exit luggage shifts in transit I have a lanyard identification and you don't you are sitting in an emergency row have some crappy peanuts..............."

Response: "Drunken bastards up front and community theatre jaggoffs showing us how to use a seat belt. Worthless overblown fuckers. In the event of a water landing, you are fucked beyond all fuck."

Trucker: "I've seen more of this country than you. Quit driving your car in front of me. Nobody knows better food than I do. Strikkee's outside of Omaha. Try living off of 2 hours of sleep a night while hauling hogs from Charleston to Seattle and listening to Toby Keith the whole way. And the gubment is for the minorities."

Response: "You know the best gay blowjobs at the rest stop at exit 94 on I-69 east of Duluth."

Cancer Survivor: "hippie psychologist maudlin holier than thou take pity on me but I don't need your pity and you cannot understand blah blah blah count your blessings EVERYTHING in the universe revolves around breast testicle ovary pancreas lung shinbone ankle scalp cancer (ignore all of the other human ills) blah blah blah."

Response: "You know what? I don't have cancer. You think you are better than me. Shut the fuck up."

Kingfisher: "Damn, I'm good. Read my stuff!"

Response: "Drop dead from eating diseased shit, Kingfucker."

Thursday, July 6

Morning According To Alex

When is he going to wake up? The sun came out two hours ago. I tried licking his face and wagging my tail real hard, but he still snores. I give up. I'll just lie down at the end of the bed. I am the only one who can be on the bed. Nickel is too fat and can't jump that high. Blaze is too big. It is too hot for her to be on the bed. Master kicked her off in the middle of the night. There she is on the floor. I peek over the side to let her know I am up here, and she is down there. Ha ha!

Mistress and the tall puppies are gone. I hope they come back. I like Master, but it's not the same without the whole pack. George went away a long time ago. I don't think he is coming back, so I have to be the big dog now. It is hard to be big without Mistress and the tall puppies. Blaze is a girl, and Nickel is stupid.

Finally the glowing box goes beep beep. I hate that sound. But not as much as Master. He hits the box and grumbles something. He does that every morning. I jump off the bed and lick his ankles, but Master pushes me with his foot and goes to the tinkle room. I wait by the door and sniff his alpha smell. Blaze stays on her blanket. Nickel is still stupid. Then Master stands under the water in the tinkle room. I don't know why he does that every morning before he goes away. It makes him smell like not-Master, and more like the bowls that come out of the growling box in the kitchen.

He stops standing under the water, and I bark bark bark to let him know I am ready. Master walks down the hall. He says "Doggies go potty?" I yarp at Blaze and Nickel to let Master know that I am helping. He opens the door and Blaze jumps all goofy. She is big and weird. Her legs are too long, and her nose too big, so she cannot be happy properly. I yarp at her to go to the gate where we have our outside tinkle room. Nickel waddles in the opposite direction. Master yells "Nickel! gmmpblltupflerrrrpotty!" I yarp at Nickel to tell him to go to the gate. I am helping.

Master opens the gate. Blaze and Nickel go in. I run to where Nickel wanted to go, just to make sure everything is okay. Master yells at me. I know I am supposed to go potty now, but there is a perfectly good dead bird in the garden that Master hasn't found. The smells of spiders and ground squirrels and cats from night time are everywhere. As the big dog, I have to check them, but Master keeps yelling. Sometimes he is as dumb as Nickel. I go to our outside tinkle room and sniff the puddles left by Blaze and Nickel. I tinkle on them to let them know that I am big dog. Master calls us back inside the house.

Blaze jumps on the couch. Nickel eats next to the growling box. Crunch crunch crunch. He is hungry and fat and loud. Master spends time in the sleeping room doing Master things with the teeth stick and skin coverings and smelly stuff and shoes. I don't play with his shoes any more. They smell really good, but Mistress got mad at me. I lie down under the front room table and wait.

Master comes down the hall, picks up the bag he always takes when he goes away during the day, and jangles his keys. It is time for him to go. He opens the door. The day smells wonderful! Sunshine and cars and grass and many many unsniffed things. Master is slow this morning, so run between his legs and dash outside. Freedom!

Master yellgrunts "ALEX!" but I don't hear "toy" or "potty" or "good," so it must not be important. I have to listen and sniff and - OH! A rock! I have to tinkle on that! *spritz*

I run down the street. Master is screaming - OH! A tree! *spritz*

Tire! *spritz*

Grass! *spritz*

Bicycle! *spritz*

Wall! *spritz*

Hose! *spritz*

Mailbox! *spritz*

Birdbath! *spritz*

Molecule! *spritz*

I am so busy sniffing things to tinkle on that Master pounces on me. He carries me back to our house, mumblflubbing the whole way. His voice is nasty, but I don't know the words. He opens the door and throws me inside. Blaze is standing by the door, grinning. Nickel goes whooooorrlll. It is embarassing, but at least they were too dumb to follow. I am still the big dog.

After grumphing and pointing, Master leaves. He will be gone all day. I will be leader inside our house. I will lie down on the couch. I will sniff Blaze's girl parts, and shove Nickel into the corner. I hope Mistress and the tall puppies come home soon. I will drink from the bowl by the kitchen growling box.

Helping makes me thirsty.

Saturday, July 1

In Praise Of Male

Some things are inherently male. Females can participate, but they will always be second place in certain areas of the Alpha Male life. The following are some I fervently believe are the sole province of Manliness.

Holding the door
Courtesy. Compassion. First to arrive and scope things out. Watching out for the tribe. When the progressive lesbiatch scowls at your denigrating of her abilities, hold it longer and smile wider.

But we will still laugh at the lisping gay guy.

Not the lever type. Not the butterfly type. Not the civil engineering behemoth mounted to the bar type. No. Only the simple single helix, Swiss army knife type. Used to open your lover's bottle of wine with strength, finesse, and libido.

Fart jokes
Like The Three Stooges. Timeless. Classic. Always funny.

We want to DIE. But we bought them. We love you.

Uncoordinated dork dance
We only dance because you want us to. Unless it involves a bonfire, animal skins, bragging rights, and outright lies.

At sunsets. And movies. And weddings. And babies. But you won't see it, even though we know you do.

We always are. But screw you. We will not admit it. It ain't fair, but we need every advantage we can get.

Women’s sports
Oxymoron. Unless it involves swimwear.

Toilet paper
Ladies, you can cut yourself while shaving your legs. But only a man has the courage to look you in the eye with new scabs and toilet paper pieces on his face.

The greatest concealed ulterior motive, and the one thing women haven't caught on to. Nothing says "I (love you) wanna get in your pants" like the reproductive organs of a plant. Slam dunk.

Under dogs and toddlers. Sorry, girls. Every child will remember this.

I cut it. I split it. I hauled it. I stacked it. I burned it. You're welcome.

Battle of the sexes
Throw us a bone. We pretend there is a battle because we knew the war was lost when we dropped out of the trees. See: Helen, Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Xaviera Hollander.

The Bryan Adams lyric
"When you can see your unborn children in her eyes,
Then you know you really love a woman."