Why a Puppy

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So we have a puppy. Her name is Ella. I didn’t want one, but it turns out it’s mandatory, like death, taxes and having panic attacks during campaign periods.

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My son found her mug shot on the Internet. She was behind bars for what we can only assume was a urine related incident, either that or death by adorable…ness.

 

She is a mix; Yorkie and something other than a Yorkie. We’re not sure what because, after asking a dog groomer and two vets, the best they could come up with was: a Yorkshire Terrier and some sort of terrier that is not a Yorkshire Terrier. It’s hard to say what the mystery addition is, except to say she is long and tall. I think it’s possible that she’s actually two short, skinny guys in a dog suit.

 

From what we can see of it, she has an adorable face. Her bangs (or fringe if you’re from the UK and can’t help saying things wrong, adding a u to words and eggs to everything else), partially obscure her face to the point that I think she might have cut someone else’s bangs too short in another life and is thereby facing her Karma.

 

She has two ears, which is a plus for just about everyone, except for people who live next to airports and air horn factories and Ella’s house.

 

These ears don’t seem to belong to her, as if she tried on a Great Dane’s ears and forgot to give them back. They seem to work independently from the rest of her body as well as each other, especially when she barks. Each utterance brings about a new configuration. Bark! One up, one down. Bark! One back, one up. Bark! One down, one juggling kibble.

 

We’ve had plenty of time to enjoy this phenomenon, as it appears Ella has been sent with a very urgent message on the level of R2D2, one that we have yet to decipher, but she is determined to deliver. It better not be, “I like chicken” or “Squirrels are ne’er-do-wells” or we have spent an inordinate amount of time with our ears ringing for nothing.

 

She has a condition, which our vet refers to as “The Zoomies”. (This is the same vet who declared her a Yorkie and something that’s not a Yorkie, so we are not sure if this is an official diagnosis). This condition takes place first thing in the morning when Ella feels the need to be convincing as half Yorkie/half Greyhound or coyote (pronounced Ki-yote to sound fiercer). She runs laps outside, pausing only to maul our nine-year-old Miniature Schnauzer/Yorkie. At first, this came as a surprise to our older dog, Rain, after all, with Ella’s face it’s kind of like being mugged by Shirley Temple.

 

Once the Zoomies subside, she ramps down to crazy, throwing her toys for herself and continuing to maul our Rain, who, over time has become resigned to her fate, yet cleverly signed up for Kung Fu in her spare time. She’s just that smart.

 

Once Ella is completely worn out she morphs into the animal we decide to keep. She blinks her eyes in exhaustion, reaches out to be picked up and settles in for a nap, where she adorably stops biting and fighting and sleeps the sleep of the damned…or the innocent. Doesn’t matter. She’s quiet and we can hear ourselves think.

 

Havoc is not the only condition she imposes when she is awake, however. She makes us laugh when she unconvincingly menaces her mirrored image. She makes us all mushy inside when she looks up at us with flattened ears and smiles. She creates a healthier environment when we desperately attempt to ward off future Zoomies by walking her around the neighborhood at what, for us, seems a pretty steady clip, but, for her, seems to be a frustratingly slow stroll.

 

For Rain, she has brought a friend to play with and cuddle with in sleep, neither of which was approved of by our late Lhasa-Apso, Grace Greco who seemed to find it weird when we would take her lovies and throw them as hard as we could into another room and demand some space in which to sleep.

 

Over all, and for the time being, we’ve decided to keep this creature that is almost potty trained and sometimes attempts to eat our rocking chair, which I think makes our family tolerant in the extreme. Consider our reaction if our son came home with a girlfriend and said person almost always used the toilet instead of pooping in our closet and also relaxed by settling down for a gnaw on our furniture.

 

Plus, there is hope for the future, because, all dogs, like all children, become adults and make us cry when we thing of when they were new and everything they did was darling in our memories. So, we’ll sit back and enjoy what we can and suffer through what we have to, knowing full well one day we’ll say to one another; remember when Ella used to bark at her reflection in the window, in the same way we currently say; remember when Grace hated it when we threw her toys? And cry just a little.

 

 

Why Chris Martin owes me a refund

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So. I went to see Coldplay for the third time last month. Those of you who’ve read my blog, know me or have driven next to me in traffic know I love Coldplay, specifically, Chris Martin and believe he is magical. Not like a unicorn, because they only exist in the mind of the truly innocent and that guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but still as magical as one can be without the ability to spew glitter on demand. On second thought…

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I was depending on Chris Martin to help me recover from my Annus horribilis, which is not Latin for hemorrhoids but Horrible Year, a term I learned from Elizabeth the Second after she tripped over a Corgi three years back.

 

My year, however, has actually been worthy of whatever award they give First World People when life has smacked them about for more than a week or two.

 

Hold on to your wigs and keys, as Dave Letterman used to say when he cared about what I wanted to see on TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love Stephen Colbert and watch him most every night, but I wish I could have my cake and eat it too and, also that Dave would pop up from time to say something smart and snarky before sinking into his beard again, while Stephen Colbert continues to amuse.

 

Anyway, here’s a list of what has gone on in my life since March 2016. Ironically, I was given a mood leveller in hopes that I would stop dragging my nose on the ground on a regular basis, instead, it knocked me on my ass for 5 weeks while I laid in bed trying not to move my head, which caused vertigo and a plethora of unpleasant symptoms no one truly wants to hear or experience, trust me.

 

As I pulled slowly from that sinkhole, I fell into the larger crevice of my father’s death, followed closely with my big brother teetering on the edge of death for a number of weeks and then, one week after her 16th birthday, my dog, Gracie Louise Greco barked at her last mail carrier, successfully sending him from my porch, gripped in terror, or so she likely thought.

 

By this time, it was late June and I pinned my hopes on Chris Martin, who, most likely was blithely unaware and mostly goofy, because as Dr. Phil says, the past is the best predictor of the future.

 

I had bought my tickets last December, splurging mightily and shockingly to my more pragmatic friends. As a freelance writer, I won’t be taking any solo trips to Paris or even Peoria any time soon. Still, I thought, I love my Coldplay and I took a leap of faith that I would continue to receive a fairly regular, two or three gigs from The Daily Herald on a monthly basis, thereby paying off Chris Martin in hopes he didn’t send out one of his goons to break my kneecaps. Luckily for my legs, I did so and proceeded to squirm and squeal in anticipatory joy for the weeks leading up to the concert.

 

The concert was at the end of July and I would be in the second row between the stage and one of two runways. He would probably have to sit in my lap to perform a couple of songs as I intended to be in his way. My hope was that I would have my face splashed on the evening news: Local Woman Arrested After Chris Martin Incident.

 

Sigh. I dreamt of it nearly every night, knowing that this would end my losing streak and begin a new age of delight and peacefulness if I managed to ignore the conventions and subsequent elections.

 

Unfortunately, and apparently Chris Martin caught wind of my upcoming intent to violate my probation and removed the two ramp, replacing them with one ramp down the middle of the floor. The following ensued.

 

One week before the show I got a letter from Satan AKA Satan. Dammit, Spellcheck, I’m trying to write Satan and it keeps changing it to Satan.   Hang on. Ticketmaster is the accepted term, but, just for the record, I agree with Spellcheck.

 

So, the letter was from Ticketmaster, telling me, due to a production change and I was now sitting in the 24th row, unless I wanted to return those tickets and try to do better, which I did. I ended up choosing 12th row floor tickets, which seemed to be stage right, but turned out to be stage Southern Illinois.

 

Yada, yada, Big Storm, yada, yada $49 parking, yada, yada, jumping kids obscure any view I might had in the steam bath that was the floor of Soldier Field. One more yada, yada, huge storm, buckets of cold water. Concert is cut short, or so I heard as I was in a cornfield in Springfield.

 

My friend and I muddled our way back to our car in a deluge and it took three days before ducks stopped following me, thinking I was a lake.

 

So, suffice it to say, I am less than cured of my 2016 malaise and am open to ideas of how to get past this year without having to live through autumn and Satan. Winter. I meant winter. For the record, Spellcheck is on a roll.

 

By the way, I still haven’t received my refund from Satan. (Ticketmaster. Not Winter.)

 

 

 

Why You Should Get Married.

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Why You Should Get Married.

There are many benefits of being married: companionship, shared resources, the understanding that someone else will plunge the toilet if you wander off, pretending you aren’t aware. Oh, and the whole love thing.

Love is something that takes many forms during the life of marriage, starting with sitting outside the bathroom door while the other takes care of business because you can’t stand to be away from each other to–I love you, but do you really have to chew on a regular basis?

I could go on and on about the many benefits of marriage and those of you who read my blog are fully aware that I can and do, but wait! Come back! Just one more thing, and it’s mind boggling! If practiced as it was intended, marriage is a natural deterrent to dating. BANG!  I’ll wait until you dust yourself off before continuing.

Dating, which is the tedious shuffling through human beings to determine which of the species will not drive you into a mental institution over a prolonged period of time, is like mining for diamonds in your back yard; you may find one, but it’s most likely attached to the severed hand of a previous homeowner and you have to turn it over to the police anyway as it’s evidence.

A prolonged period of time is, of course, subjective and can seem much longer than the actual time passing if the person who seemed fabulous when you both separated to your own abodes after making kissy face, now makes you wish your beloved was a serial killer to, at least, put an end to your suffering sooner rather than later, which is probably what happened to the former diamond owner in your yard.

Here comes an adage: It’s better to live alone than to wish murder was an event wherein the murderer gets one oops before suffering jail time.

Having said that, dating is worse. No, it really is. I barely remember the activity because since June 3, 1978, I have repeated the phrase every married person should memorize when asked out for an evening of dinner and bouncy-bouncy: “My spouse frowns on my dating.” You’re welcome.

Now, I’ve never actually asked my husband if dating is OK, but it seemed implicit when I spoke the vows in front of friends and family. I don’t exactly remember what I said because it was so long ago and I was wearing an unusual outfit that made it hard to concentrate, but I got the gist, which is more than I can say about most cultural figures.

Dating is something so bad, however, that even watching other people go through the ritual is wince worthy: the awkwardness, the anxiety, the horror of finding that your coffee companion thinks the moon landing was faked. Jumpin’ Jehosophat! (I heard Katherine Hepburn say that a few days ago and made a note to throw it into casual conversation.)

I remember one discarded candidate of my youth, who considered it a charming and debonair to ring my doorbell in the morning, knowing I was asleep, so I would finally come down at yell at him. Another considered the word, “no,” to be in the same category as a yellow light; speed up and hope not to be stopped by the authorities. That person was the inspiration for the following Jeopardy answer: Your brother’s reputation as a badass who will kill anyone, even innocent by-standers, who even accidentally bump into his baby sister if she whimpers lightly after arriving home and relating the story.

Anyone want to ring in? Oooh. Sorry.  The question is: What is better than birth control? I knew many boys who chose the relative safety of Wheel of Fortune to the well known-consequence of making me tell on them.

Of course, dating has become an entirely different kettle of stinky fish since I was a teenager and we all watched fish grow legs and learn to walk on land as part of the evolutionary process for fun.

Now, in the time I can injure myself while shampooing, you can be rejected by a dozen or more people you never would have considered dating before social media was invented. Not only that, but if you do find your temporary true love, you can be treated to a first row seat describing how much happier your ex is having unfriended you.  Add to that the troubling idea that, while your snookieookums claims to be studying, a seemingly unending stream of photos of your beloved featuring alcohol induced tongue displaying and duck faces, testifying to the fact that your honey bunny is a douche.

So, how do you find someone to marry? A dilemma inside of a dilemma. Figure it out and then get married or agree to abide sharing an abode. It will either save you from the agony of flipping through hundreds of photos of ostensibly available mates or it won’t. I make no guarantees. Whatever works for you. But, for the love of the remote control, don’t marry someone who will drive you to disastrous acts in the future, (unless they pass that oops law, then just take your best shot, one way or the other.)

Why My Mother Wins

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Why My Mother Wins

If you’re like me and let’s all bow our heads and pray you aren’t, your mother engrained certain behavior, preferences and prejudices into your supple, young psyche—two adjectives which describe nothing about me at this point in time.

I’m not talking about manners as your family saw them, because, aside from please and thank you and stop hitting your brother even though he started it, most manners are created by societal guy named Norm.

Family dynamics rule the day when it comes to customs and regulations in every household. My mother, for instance, considered using the word “Pop” the Midwestern term for soft drinks, instead of the vastly superior term “soda” to be déclassé and forbade us to use the noxious term. My mother had grown up in Pennsylvania where the term soda is the preference. The trouble is, we grew up in Chicago where I the word pop on the streets.

I went along with my mother because, when we’re living in a closed environment, we figure our parents know what’s up, given the amount of time they’ve spent on earth compared to you, as a child who sprung from the parental loins.  Yes, I found that term slightly nauseating as well and will forbid my son to use it in the future.

When we’re about 12, we realize parental superiority is nonsense and that we, at 12 measly years-old, know everything important that needs to be known and consider our former concept of normal to be —how to be diplomatic?—A steaming ball of crazy, a conception which usually vaporizes at about 21-years-old, but, in my case, is right on.

For instance, my mother and her mother called green peppers mangos throughout my childhood.  I don’t remember when I realized this was wrong, probably when I learned to read the sign over the peppers at Jewel which clearly stated “Not Mangoes”.

But, I digress and return to my original premise which is; my mother is more peculiar than your mother and I can prove it.

When I was a child and my mother monitored my bathroom habits, she felt the need to create words other than poo-poo or pee-pee, et.Al. for feces and urine because, in her eyes, what our body considered waste, my mother considered rude to talk about, even during potty training, which, in the real world, necessitates discussion when you’re two.  (I probably didn’t need all those commas, but I have nowhere else to put them, so I’ll just leave them there for now.)

So, the words my mother created, much like mangos for green peppers, had a definition outside of the context used by the majority of society.  (Did you get my societal norm joke yet?) When I came out of the bathroom, my mother asked me if I had wet or done something special.

I know what you’re thinking, talk about creating a sense of accomplishment far beyond what is necessary, did she also keep little trophies in the cabinets which were bestowed upon you for breathing and sleeping?

Nope. My mother was neither touchy nor feely. My mother was and is a no nonsense woman, unless you call referring to green peppers as mangos nonsensical, and why wouldn’t you?

Still, while I was young and impressionable the phrase “something special” meant what the rest of the world called poop, nonsensical or not

So what? I’ll tell you so what. Some time ago, a major religious figure died in Chicago. I am not a practitioner of his faith, but this is Chicago, so Catholic news leads, even ahead of cat videos.

I was half watching and half updating my Facebook page in a way that would make me appear more normal than I am, when I fell into peels of laughter, proving my quest for the norm was unsuccessful.  Why? A priest was discussing his last conversation with the soon-to-be-late religious figure just before the fellow, who usually wore a decorative hat, found out if God is what he expected or is, instead an angry woman with a celestial rolling pin.

At that dramatic point in time, according to the non-hat-wearing religious figure, the dying leader requested that the aforementioned priest, do something special for him.  Get it?  It was hilarious!

I laughed so hard that crossing my legs became a necessity and my husband demanded an explanation which consisted of him glancing at me, raising his eyebrows and going back to what he was doing because me amusing myself is not an unusual occurrence in his life, and my explanations never seem to justify my level of my mirth…to him.  My son gets the same treatment.  We’ve contacted Amnesty International and we thought they’d be more sympathetic as they laughed as well, but nothing has come of it.

I live in fear of sitting through a eulogy where the speaker makes a comment such as “Hubert brought a little something special into every home he visited.”  I’ve also shamed myself when servers have told me they have something special on the menu.  Even Oprah would send me into peels of laughter when she announced the show was sponsored by a certain airline whose slogan was, “Something special in the air,”.  That probably should be Dave Matthews slogan as well.

Now, I’m making a pretty big assumption when it comes to family weirdness and I’d love to hear your stories as well, I’m sure you all have something special to share or maybe you don’t. Maybe your family is the one and only normal family in the land.  In any case, until you are further notified, my mother wins.

Having said all of this, I want to apologize for the included sentiment at the top of the page.  It is an example of why my life is more difficult than yours and not representative of feelings about you, my valued readers, or reader, as is often the case..  You’re not something special. You’re welcome.

Why Baby Boomers Are Lucky (to be alive.)

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When I was a kid, my father whipped me with a cat-o-nine-tails outside of my house if I even looked sideways at him. (I’m not sure why sideways was an issue for him and I certainly wasn’t going to ask).  I walked to school with paper bags on my feet, which may seem less than helpful, but it happened when I was a kid so it was character building.  My parents would play bowling

strict-1950swith kids by setting up pins in the back of a station wagon, and then making quick lane changes on the Eisenhower Expressway and we didn’t die. I disappeared first thing in the morning and didn’t return again until long after all the cops had gone to bed and my mom never even noticed I was gone unless I left uneaten liver on my plate and then it was back to the cat-o-nine-tails.  I thank God for them everyday because it made me the parent fearing, paper bag wearing, bruise displaying, former missing child I am today.

We’ll be back in a minute with our program: Why the Boomer Generation is Lucky to Have a Single Representative Left Alive after this message from Sugar Drops!  Candy Coated Sugar!  It’s what for breakfast!

Those were the days, weren’t they? We faced danger straight in the face and continued to not die.  We were lucky and brave and unaware of what was lurking in the various bushes and all station wagons.

Nowadays, (I guess that’s a word because spell check ignored me), kids are wimps, seat belt and helmet wearing wimps, brought up by simpering parents (our kids and grandkids) who don’t appreciate the lessons we strived to teach them; primarily, making it out alive is good enough for us and should be good enough for the little buggers we produce.

Every kid who runs into trouble does so because his or her parents didn’t take a good swing at them from time to time.  I’m guessing those ISIS characters (and by characters I mean M!!@#  Fu!@#$  A!@#s who should die in a pit of their own mucus) were raised by a bunch of Spock reading ninnies who gave them “a time out” rather than beat them, but I can’t vouch for this as I was raised by a pair of people who harbored within themselves a mix of every European identity and thought reasoning with kids was the devil’s therapy session.

We lived on the South side of Chicago, where all of the European mixes of the day congregated and apparently held meetings on how to deal with youngsters who misbehaved or behaved in developmentally appropriate ways, because most every kid in our neighborhood was very familiar with the dreaded bouncey ball paddle sans bouncey ball.

And I don’t mean to imply or say outright that I felt I was in danger throughout my childhood because, unless I walked between my father and the White Sox on TV, I was either pretty safe or completely unaware of the abundance of hidden dangers.

I rarely did anything apart from my parents that I wouldn’t do in front of them except riding my bike along break neck paths in the nearby woods, dating boys (men) who were far too old for me, trying and casting aside cigarettes, being myself, and watching TV with my friends by way of the kitchen phone.

How’s that life threatening you may ask?  Well, the phone was attached to a cord and could have been a deathtrap if someone had tripped over it as I watched Cat Stevens on Midnight Special in the den, with a phone that began its life in the kitchen. But I was willing to do that, because I was wild.

I was also the youngest and the only girl in my family and my parents either found this adorable or terrifying because I was never spanked despite my transgressions.

My brothers, however, behaved as if they were members of the Hell’s Angels and that was in the first grade, from that point on, my brothers made the Hell’s Angels look like Pat Boone’s family reunion (remember him?  Doesn’t he seem creepy to you now?).  They were spanked plenty and this seemed to encourage them, so who knows?

I spanked my only child three times, and by spanked, I mean swatted the piles of padding on the back of his butt.  I’m pretty sure that’s why he doesn’t remember it.  I spanked him once because he ran out in the street, another time because he chased a squirrel after I explicitly said these words, three times, “Don’t chase the squirrel” and the third time because he ran out in the street while chasing a squirrel.

At some point, I asked myself why hitting the person I loved most in the world seemed to be a good idea when, as a preschool teacher, I controlled an entire classroom full of kids by giving them my patented “I don’t think so,” look.  And it worked.  Still does. There’s something about my face that makes small children freeze in their tracks and comply and don’t think that hasn’t come in handy at restaurants.

So, I gave up making myself feel bad by swatting him with such a light touch that he didn’t feel it and, as a result he has never listened to my directives a day in his life.

I’m exaggerating and embellishing for comic effect, of course. My son grew up without incident and went to college where he began to misbehave by completely ignoring my specific directions that he become a rock star rather than study psychology. And yes, I’m probably the initial reason for his choice of majors.

Studying is not his only focus, however. He also teaches music to ruffians-in-the-making at School of Rock.  (Yes, there is a real School of Rock and no, Jack Black doesn’t teach there,)

He has hobbies too! Like worrying that I’m disappointed in him because he didn’t become a rock star which is balderdash, if balderdash means kind of true. (Not really, Jesse. Find another hobby…like rock stardom!)

Yet, if I met him at Starbucks today and we struck up a conversation I would try to figure out a way to make him my BFF, whatever that means, because, if you leave out the rock star part, and I don’t, he’s turned into the kind of adult I could like very much, because loving him might seem creepy given the age difference between him and me, although I think his devilish good looks might make it understandable.

And not to toot my own horn (and as David Letterman says, “I would if I could”), I think he’ll probably raise my future grandchildren in a similar way so, I’ll probably like them too.  If not, I’ll just give them the face.

All of which goes to show, I molly-coddled him and, as a result, he defied me in the most important ways. No rock stardom for him!  He could hit his unprotected head on a microphone stand or not wear a seatbelt in the back of a limousine, causing him to fall across the laps of girls of disrepute and who knows (or wants to know) what could have happened.

So, new parents, feed your kids too much sugar and surprise them with a spanking now and then, followed by the words my dear old dad used to say, “That was for nothing. Think how bad it will be if you do something.”

Those were the days.  Thank goodness they’re over.

Why Parents Should Be Particularly Wary of This Immigrant

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Why Parents Should Be Particularly Wary of This Immigrant

Sometimes an issue is so overwhelming that it can be hard to clarify a position on the subject. That’s why I’ve created a very short list of questions designed to help you, the reader, come to a conclusion on one of the most difficult subjects of our time. The other issue is how to use your electrical devices once your kid leaves for college, but that’s for another time.

So, answer these question yes or no.imagesYou don’t have to keep score or write anything down, just answer yes or no and don’t wander off and I will tell you where you stand.

Ready?

If an immigrant were to cause grievous harm to you in order enter the country would you still want this person to be allowed to immigrate into the USA?

If upon arrival an immigrant were to rely on you for food, housing, and all of his or her basic necessities would you want this person allowed in?

If this person had no knowledge of the English language?

If this person expected to go to school on your dime?

If this person had particularly dirty habits?

If this person were to loudly disturb your rest?

And finally: If this person were drooly and poopy and cried incessantly for no apparent reason, then what?

If you answered no to any of these question it is not time for you to have a baby. If you answered yes, you’re an empty nester and have ordered tissues straight from the manufacturer since school started in September.

Pretty close, wasn’t I?

If, once you had completed this test, you were on the verge of painting signs and standing next to the Post Office protesting, this the wrong site for you, but thanks for up-ticking my counter.

Now, I realize there are some of you who are feeling nit-picky because the questions were formed to make you think we were talking about immigration. For those people, I have a question: What’s the second thing most babies here after an announcement of their gender, and aren’t you glad you don’t have to go anywhere where that’s a custom?

And your answer is? If you answered “what were we talking about?”, welcome to my husband’s world. If you answered Welcome to the World! Bingo! A baby is an immigrant.

Let’s go over these questions once more. Many of you who encountered the painful arrival question thought ‘that’s why we have drugs’, but some of us didn’t get the drugs and some of us got a broken Coccyx instead and some of us only expecting a little gratitude and the return of our babies immediately because 26 is just too young for this wild world.

Next? Obviously your baby can’t make demands that you care for him or her for 18 plus years but it is the custom and dropping your baby off with the nice lady next door and heading west is frowned upon. So, pony up!

As far as not speaking English, that’s kind of cute for the first two weeks, but if you’re going to summon people to your bedroom at 3am with an ear piercing screech you better be able to at least make up a story on what’s wrong. Imagine someone screaming on your porch at 3am, waking you from a lovely dream, causing you to put you nice warm toes on the ice cold floor. When you fling open that door would you begin to guess what was wrong with this person or chase him away with an object lifted over your head? How do I know what kind of objects you have at your house? Fill in that part yourself.

As all parents know, kids expect to be sent to school without complaint, especially not concerning your hard earned money for “school supplies” or “shoes”. And this is before college! Start saving when you’re a new immigrant and you may have enough to send your money hungry eating machine away to school causing the price of tissues to soar through the roof at home.

As far as dirty habits, I know of more than one child who used excrement as a medium to express their angst about whatever babies are upset about, mostly Target from my experience. But if your creative baby does this sort of thing, rejoice! He or she may grow up to an artist! Or a musician! Or an actor! Or a worker at McDonalds! Same thing!

So, there you have it. If you are over 25 or 30 and younger than Hugh Hefner if you’re a guy, you too can own your own little bundle of immigrant and watch helplessly as they steal your time, rest, money, ability to talk like an adult, (First two years only. Seriously.) and heart. Did I mention that?

They’ll steal your heart and never give it back. So plan accordingly. Have all of your fun now because you’ll never have a moment’s rest from worrying about them and the place where your heart used to be will ache consistently when they leave, taking that particularly valuable organ with them as well as your extra crock pot and mismatched place settings. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s what happens when you have open immigration.

Why You Should Still Be Good For Christmas

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Why You Should Still Be Good For Christmas

Well, Christmas is upon us and, I guess we’re all wondering the same thing,

unless you’re a child, in which case,

Santa is real. Now go hang your stockings and don’t be

creeped out by the idea of an old dude watching your every move. I’m sure it will turn out all right no matter what your parents told you about stranger danger. After all, they put you on said old guy’s lap despite your piteous protestations and everything turned out all right. Didn’t it? Now, go watch TV or what the new age equivalent is.

Are they gone? Good. Let’s talk about the subject each and every adult has discussed at some point in their life, usually when they are drunk: Does Santa keep watching even after I quit sitting on his lap? The answer is, that sounds creepy as well. But back to your/my question. Yes, Santa is also watching you, only instead of coal, he enlists his buddy Karma to dole out what we deserve.

I know what you’re thinking; Holy Crap! He’s been watching me sleep all this time. Yep. Even when I…Yep. But try not to think about that or you may need pills of some sort or another.

But back to Karma, which everyone knows is from the Sanskrit and means: He who is hoped to return bad behavior when truth and justice seems to have been texting. (Maybe that’s Superman, but you get my drift.)

Here’s how it works. Santa watches everyone, year round, (which, in any other circumstance would be recognized as stalking) and judges adult behavior by a point system ranging from: Hey! to Forget Karma. You’re going to hell in a hand basket.

Because I have made the good list every year since 1985, (never mind) Santa has shared his rating system with me and I, hoping that Santa is being distracted again by Grand Theft Auto, will now share some of the behaviors which will bring you precariously close to smelling sulfur rather than ginger snaps this Christmas.

Minus Five Points

Avoid Passive/Aggressive behavior during the holidays. Example: That’s a lovely Christmas sweater and in no way does it make you look like a squashed tomato that has been kicked around on the floor of Santa’s toyshop.

Minus Three Points

Be charitable about other’s taste in Christmas decorations. “It looks like someone threw up Christmas” is not acceptable commentary and there will be consequences.

Minus Seven-Ten Points

Do not hit anyone with any form of electronics while shopping for gifts for your loved ones. Even if a Samsung 50 inch TV is on sale for $2.99, if you wallop your fellow shopper, you will lose points. (Double negative points are deducted if this behavior occurs on Thanksgiving and the person sporting the colorful black eye is a close relative or friend that has their slimy hands on your future Samsung….or your children’s. Yeah, it’s a present for them.)( (Lying will get you nowhere. Santa knows about the Super Bowl.)(

Minus Nine Points

Giving a gifts which are an attempt at pointing out the givee’s flaws is an absolute no-no. Books which discuss the folly of another person’s religion, politics or personal hygiene are completely banned unless you’re absolutely correct.

Minus Five Points
Part A: Sharing baked goods is always a good idea to add points to a sagging Karma score unless you add an ingredient to which the recipient is allergic in order to prove it’s all in their heads.

Part B: Eating all the cookies yourself before your family arrives home and masking the smell of those with the Hershey’s Kisses inside with Lysol is an egregious transgression. Plan on baking your next batch in the oven-like atmosphere beneath the earth.

Part C: Putting a few cookies aside for Santa absolves the transgression.

Minus Seven Points

Dressing your pets in outfits. Stop it. Just stop it. Santa doesn’t like anyone impersonating him, his elves or reindeer and, as a side note, your cat is plotting your death.

Minus…meh…let’s say 2 points.

There is absolutely no swearing while putting up your Christmas Tree or helping Santa’s negligent and lazy elves by putting together a toy which boasts, “More than 1200 pieces!”

Santa understands that these activities can be stressful, but as Mrs. Claus always says, “It’s
Christmas! Cheer the $%^ up!”

This list may put me on the naughty roster, but I love you all just that much and am willing to risk Karma’s black claw of Justice, (or is that Batman), to make your Christmas the holliest, jolliest of them all. Merry Christmas and Don’t Worry About Me!

Attention: This list is not affiliated with Santa Claus, St Nick or any of his industries. All rules and persons are fictional (except the part about leaving Santa cookies) and no character is intended to refer to any real person, living or dead. Caution! This list has been closely associated with a scam intended to procure Christmas gifts for the writer. Also, Karma is not a person.