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Entries in fish (6)


Yeah…We Got A Dog

The day started like any other day. We woke up late and a tad hung-over from the previous night’s party with friends.

We ate breakfast and broke-up 13.6 fights between the kids.

I wrote a love note to the wife.

Then we decided to go to my wife’s second home, Ikea, to look at lofts for the boy’s room since he needs desk space.

After a couple hours of crying and listening to the boy say, “Oh, I want that bed, and that desk, and can I get a chair that wheels around, and I could put my trophies on my desk and move them when it’s time to do homework, and please daddy, please mommy?!”

But unfortunately we left without the purchase.

Then I made the mistake of a lifetime. Feeling bad that we got the kid all hyped-up and let him down, I whipped into the pet store right next to Ikea so we could let him pet hamsters and look at fish.

Twenty minutes later I find myself in a small “petting room” waiting for a dude that works there to bring us a puppy to play with.

Twenty more minutes later my wife, son, and daughter are literally clasping their hands together as if in group prayer and begging me to let them take the doggie home forever.

I gave it a good fight, I really did. But I lost and I lost hard.

When we first moved to Chicago three years ago we got a damn cat. Jasper.

Almost two years ago we got each of the kids a fish. Then one died. So we got another.

Then a few months ago the boy “had to have” a hamster. When I wasn’t looking the wife bought the little bastard a hamster.

Now...a Cavalier King Charles dog named Marty.

But, I’m going to look at the positive side of this. I’m going to focus on the many things young Marty and I have in common.

  • If he’s not bathed regularly he stinks and leaves his musky scent all over the furniture. I do too…
  • Currently the cat’s scared out of his mind, so one could say he scares pussy away. I do too…
  • He was bred and we have his thorough pedigree chart. I guess in a way I was too…
  • This furry bastard loves to have his belly rubbed nonstop. The dog does too…
  • I’m going out on a limb and saying I’m pretty sure the dog doesn’t like to wear pants. We all know my feelings on those devil leg covers.
  • And, I’m not going to lie, if you throw a ball near me I’m definitely going to go for it and bring it right back to you.

Now, if only I could figure out how to make my ass wag like a dog’s tail and have my wife whistle at me and talk to me like I’m 8 months old.



Herding Cats is Making Me Crazy

I thought I’d just give a quick run-through of this past Friday morning. A somewhat typical morning in my family’s house.

4:41 a.m. – My alarm goes off. I make the snooze bar my bitch for a little bit, by 4:55 a.m. I’m out of bed. Kick back some water, head off to the Y and have an awesome spin class.

6:45 a.m. I cruise back up to the house. It’s the wifey’s first day of work. Before I left earlier, I had re-set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. to wake her up while I was gone. I slowly look up and no lights are on.


6:46 a.m. I open the back door and I hear someone stomping up the basement stairs, turn the corner…it’s my daughter. She continues, then stomps up the stairs to the second floor. She’s carrying clothes. I think to myself..well, that’s a start!

Daughter – “These mommy!! I WANT TO WEAR THESE!!!”

“Oh fuck..” I say as I drop my gym back. I walk into the kitchen to make a quick cup of coffee and WWIII in its very infancy upstairs. I think, "bye was nice knowing you. It was such a short relationship."

7:00 a.m. Slowly I walk up the stairs..

Wifey – “Grayson, get your pants on son!!”

Wifey –“, you cannot wear that you wore it yesterday and it’s dirty, put this on now!”

Daughter – “But it’s blue!!! I’ll look like a boy!!”

I hesitate for a second before reaching the top of the stairs, only because I remembered there’s still a ton of beer in the fridge. Then I continue up… I look in my son’s room and he’s still in his little red undies tapping on his fish tank…jeans still on the floor. My daughter brushes by me to go down stairs – still wearing the pink dress she was told to take off. Wifey, checking her ass out in the mirror to see if she has panty lines.

Me – “Macy…get back in your room and change please. Grayson – are you trying to get your fish to help you put your pants on? Come on man – it’s simple…one leg at a time, button, zip – score – you’re all done!”

My daughter falls to the ground screaming and crying. Son – “I FORGOT DADDY sheeeshh..never give me a second to do ANYTHING!!”

My chest puffs out and I start stomping towards my son’s room, “son, you’d better respect me…do you hear me? Don’t talk to me like that ever again!! Now put your pants on now!!” He falls to the ground crying, but somewhere in the crying he manages a, “yes sir.”

I turn feeling as though I’d won one battle. “Macy, get those clothes on now, or I’ll put them on for you and you won’t like that!!” She stands, walks to her room and throws herself on top of the clothes she should be wearing.

7:11 a.m. - I storm in our bedroom pissed. “Fuck!” I mumble under my breath. The wifey is all: “I know, I just don’t understand why it’s got to be so damn hard. Every morning I have to…..” her voice slowly turns into Charlie Brown’s teacher as I start to pull my work clothes out to iron.

Five minutes later, my son walks in our room, STILL in his underpants, holding a picture from his room and says, “Daddy…what was the name of this fish I caught again?”

It took a second for the disbelief to fully hit before I could speak… “ this a joke? Seriously, are you kidding me?

Son, with his arms out, eyes big, true confusion on his face, “What daddy? What do you mean?”

Me – “Seriously…are there cameras in here? Are we con Candid Camera? Is that douche gonna jump out holding balloons with my family laughing and tell me it’s all been a joke?”

Son – “DADDY!!! Just tell me what the name of this fish is!”

Me – “FIVE minutes ago I told you for the 4th time to put your pants on and you’re still in your skibbies!!! What are you doing? Son – you have to focus!!! GO…PUT…YOUR…PANTS….ON….NOW!!!!”

Son…immediately becomes the victim, starts crying, stomps off angrily and screams, “Daddy you’re so mean, I just wanted to know the name of the fish!!!”

This went on for another 10 min. before I turned into the atom bomb, flew myself into each kid’s room, dropped myself from their precious angle-filled skies, and exploded. There was a lot of tear debris, screams could be heard for miles, the cat was in the basement trying to tunnel out of the house, but no lives were lost.

We should be able to fire our children if they don’t perform simple tasks well when asked. Then, you put an ad in the paper, interview new children, and hire the right ones. Then…life would go on blissfully with beautiful songs, rainbows, helpful – well behaved children giggling and bringing you beers….ahhh…if only.


My Daughter Has Maggots

Well, actually they’re weevils. Acorn weevils to be exact. But we didn’t know those fuckers were weevils, we thought they were maggots. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’d just finished my tour of duty as single dad for 4 days and with chest fully inflated was about to head off to earn another paycheck. The wife got home late, tired, distraught, emotionally exhausted and was waking to herd the kids off to school. The little nippers were stretching, peeing, brushing, screaming, crying, and stating what they would not do. And then I heard it…

“Honey get in here!!!!”

So many thoughts run through my mind – she’s fallen and can’t get up, she found my box of porn, my daughter’s got the dreaded pukes, her fucking fish died again..... I slowly walk in and in front of her is my daughter’s “acorn collection”—a laundry basket half-way filled with a shit-ton of acorns.

“It’s Macy’s acorn collection and it’s out of freakin’ control. So what?”

“No – come here and look!” she says.

I walk closer and within the cute, harmless acorn collection are tons of what look like—white maggots.

I’m all – “WTF?!!” And she’s all “OMG.” Meanwhile the daughter can’t see what’s in there and is screaming that we can’t throw away her precious horded acorns! There were hundreds of the little bastards….on her floor, in her carpet, and who knows where else… the cat? In her hair? In her bed? IN HER BARBIES??!!!!!

OK – put on your science hats cause here comes your lesson!

What we experienced this morning was the little known and completely misunderstood acorn weevil larva. See – a small, brown-colored adult acorn weevil looks like a beetle. This daughter-of-a-bitch takes her long anteater like snout, burrows a hole in an acorn, and lays its larva. This maggot-looking larva lunches on the interior acorn nut all summer. Then, as Fall arrives, the bastard chews a perfectly round 1/8-inch hole in the side of the nut, crawls out, burrows itself into the ground, hangs out for one to two years and the Houdini-wanna-be emerges as an adult acorn weevil where it then finds acorns to start the process all over again.

And here’s another little known fact. Squirrels can tell if there’s an acorn weevil larva in a nut just by simply picking it up.

I’m absolutely convinced Mother Nature created these things simply to fuck with parents of small children. I mean, the weevil’s entire life centers around the laying of larva that emerges looking like a maggot. And, if he’s lucky enough to emerge and find himself in a cozy, pink bedroom with parents starring and children screaming – then he’s considered a rock star and dies a quick, famous rock star death. If not - then he just burrows in the ground to try his luck again two years later.

So – I write this to educate my fellow parental brethren. Go forth…spread the word and end this plague on the sanity’s of our kind. Ban acorns from your house and make sure no other acorn weevil larva is ever considered a rock star again!!!

Oh – and to end the story – the larva are harmless to furniture, carpets, people, etc.. When they can’t burrow into the ground they just lay there, wiggle harmlessly and die. You just sweep them up and you’re finished and can go try and drink the memory of the event away.

 The End


I'm the Meanest Father Alive!

How is it that we can drive from Chicago to North Carolina (14 hours) in one day with the kids and have it be somewhat sane, but from our house to the grocery store – maddening?

It seems to be the case these days. We can’t go anywhere without:

“Stoooooppp Macy.”

“Mooomm….she’s crossing the line”

“Daaaddd, Grayson just said I’m not his friend anymore.”

“Mooommm….Macy unbuckled from her seatbelt.”

…..and it goes on and on. I spared you the blood-curdling screams, the crying, and the death threats the wife and I impose on them.

This past weekend I hit my limit. We’d spent the entire day going fishing, getting ice cream, looking at replacement fish, playing with friends, roasting marshmallows, and riding bikes. We were on our way home and the screaming, yelling, kicking, telling on each other started and I lost it.

I finally reached the point where I would actually order, and use, a My Therapy Buddy while swaddling myself in a fucking Snuggie, sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth naked in a closet.

I’m all: “you know what – I should start treating you like my father treated me. No more bike rides, no more ice cream, no more fishing, no more playgrounds, no more anything. You mow grass, wash my car, wash windows, rake the yard – you earn your fun time.”

The daughter totally didn’t give a shit. She was all, “whatever jagoff, you know you’re not gonna do shit to us. Now fetch my sippy cup bitch!”

The son – whole different story. He started uncontrollably bawling. The whole way home this went on. Finally I pulled him aside. “Dude, why are you so upset?”

“That’s the meanest thing anyone has ever said to me.”

And it hit me – the kid thinks I’m gonna instantly turn his life of bliss into a replicated childhood like mine.

Now don’t get me wrong – I got to go swimming, ride bikes with my brother, do some playing, etc… But, that was usually when my father was “traveling” and rarely, if ever, involved the guy. When he was around, fun times were few and far between.

“Grayson, I said I ‘should’ do those things. I didn’t say I ‘would’ do those things. When I was growing up my daddy didn’t go on bike rides with me. He didn’t take me to parks for hours at a time. He didn’t do a lot of things. I would never do that to you. I just want you to appreciate what we do do for you.”

You could see his little sponge brain soaking in words flowing from my undersized mouth. He quickly cheered up, quit the crying, gave me a hug and took off.

Ten minutes later he was kicking the shit out of his sister on the couch.

I didn’t ever expect to be telling my son about things from my childhood this early in his life. But it seemed to make sense to me. It seemed to be the right time to teach him a lesson he could relate to. It seemed the right time to strengthen our relationship a bit by letting him know how lucky he is to have a dad who loves him to pieces and makes sure their time spent together is kick-ass and not getting your ass-kicked.

Regardless, I still can’t wait till the little bastard can push a lawnmower.


Death, Lesson, Inspiration, Timing…..Livestrong

Anyone who read my earlier post about putting a sex magazines and blow-up dolls under my pillow could have seen it coming, right? Either I post a follow-up about how I can’t even walk to the train anymore cause I’m so freakin’ over-sexed….or….I write about death – the death of an innocent,  young, frugal, vigilant, Democratic, healthcare reform advocate, fish. A young, brilliant-colored little guy named – Swimmy.

Quick flashback for those too lazy to read older posts. Friend tells story of how her son puts shark tooth under pillow, wakes up to can of tuna. My wife tries to one-up her. Son puts shark tooth under pillow wakes up to fish in fish bowl. Daughter disappointed she didn’t do the same so puts shark tooth under her pillow that night. Wakes up to fish next morning.

There…so, we get back from a relaxing, long day at a folk music festival – friends are about to come over – wife walks up to me and says,

“Swimmy is dead.”

I say, “fuckin’ who?”


“You wanna have sex now when friends are about to come over?”

“Jackass!!! – Your daughter’s fish – Swimmy – is fucking dead!!”

Me – “oh…..shit….that sucks….”

Swimmy was a good kid. I mean – he really did nothing but make my daughter happy every morning when she thought about feeding him – and every night when she wanted to use him as fuel to delay the inevitable.

The dilemma – should I tell her now when friends are walking in and involve them in the drama. OR – wait till we’ve had too much to drink, are ready for bed, and risk her seeing the fish and have her spend the remaining hours of the night crying? We decided to tell her now - “your fish died, sister.”

She took it hard. She cried. She cried hard. And even my son cried hard. Just earlier that day I explained to him why his mom was crying – “her cousin, Brett, who she grew up with has cancer and was told by doctors there’s nothing they can do.” Death took on a whole new meaning for my son today……

It’s kind bizarre and sadistically funny how shit seems to work out in your day-to-day life. One day you’re blogging about the stupidity of bringing in fish that will inevitably die and cause drama to your life. The next day you’re putting the pieces together about how that seemingly thoughtless act turned into a life lesson for the three greatest people in your life…and yourself.

I’m posting the picture of my kids by Swimmy’s grave not as a joke…..but as fuel to spark memories in my readers of their first loss…their first pet…their first family member…their first death.

My wife’s cousin, Brett, is a fighter. Fuck that – he’s the damn Man! He’ll win this fucking battle against cancer, because the love behind his fight is undying, relentless, passionate, and one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever witnessed.

Livestrong Brett!