Friday, December 21, 2012

Always Remember - Roles & Responsibilities Issue.

Of the many roles we men play in the relationship...

The role of walking garbage disposal is one of our most underappreciated functions.


For the record, I don't even like ginger flavored cookies all that much. Now that you've had your fun here, why not go over to Sprocket Ink for my latest post there. Believe me when I tell you this one's to die for.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And Then Comes The Calm.

The ceasefire was declared and just like that, the noise and chaos that had constantly made itself a part of my every day stopped. For the first time in weeks, there was peace. But now there was this silence. It seemed so unfamiliar, so unnatural.

I squeeze myself from beneath the pile of rubble that was my post. In the weeks of seemingly endless battle I only dared venture from beneath it to find food or check on my comrades. During those long days and nights, I thought constantly of my friends and family. I have to admit, the idea of deserting my post came to my mind more than a few times, but in the end I stuck it out. Not out of some sense of duty, though. It was because my failure would come at too great a cost. To my loved ones and especially to myself. So I did my job. I held the line. Maybe my reasons were selfish, but sometimes doing the right thing for the wrong reason is good enough.

Now, it was over. At least, for now anyway. Those of us who took part in this war all knew this was only going to be a temporary respite. There would be only a little time to mourn those who had fallen, enjoy what time we could with our loved ones and prepare ourselves for when war was declared again. We prayed the next battle wouldn't be as brutal as this one. The next time we were called to arms, we hoped we'd be ready. But we knew we would have to fight again and sooner than we'd like.

I turn again and take a last look at my makeshift bunker. I hope the next one is stronger and better equipped, but this one managed to stand the test. This pile of books, scribbled notes from classes and printed handouts that had been my place of refuge these last few weeks.

This battle, this semester is over. And I survived.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And Yet I Survived To Make It To Adulthood.

I'm not much of a fan of chewing gum. Never have been. I'll chew it, but only on rare occasions. Even when I do I don't keep at it for very long. I think it's because, ever since I was a child, I always considered gum to be pointless. It doesn't build up to anything. In fact, with gum it's the opposite. You start off with something that's sweet and tasty and eventually it looses it's savor and you end up with this sticky, tasteless, wad of saliva that's merely a shell of it's former self. There's no conclusion to speak of, you just chew it until you decide you're tired of it. Now that I think about, maybe gum is a metaphor for so many other things in life...

Or maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing.
I'm sensing a bit of sarcasm here.
Anyway, while I'd love to examine the meaning of life through a stick of gum, that's actually not what I'm here to talk about. While I considered this to be the reason I'm not a chewing gum fan, something reminded me of another reason I may not be such a big fan of it.

Now, what I'm about to tell you is to remain between us. Okay?

You ever have one of those moments you look back on and ask yourself, "How the hell am I still alive today?" I mean, we all do dumb things, especially when we're younger, but there are some things I remember doing that make me wonder if I should be wearing a helmet for my own safety.

The other day I was chewing a piece of gum. Some company was giving out free samples of some new flavor and my wife brought it home. She was tired of it so she left it rest at home, so I decided, "why not?" Somehow some of it got stuck to my upper lip. No real problem. It came off easily enough, but that incident is what brought the memories flooding back.

(Cue wavy background and harp flashback effect)

I was young. How young, I can't really remember. I do know it was back when we only had one TV station. That TV station showed a lot of very, very old reruns. things like Get Smart, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. I'll remind you at this point that I'm only in my mid-thirties. We just had a lot of really old TV shows on back then. Nothing better to watch, I guess.

Anyway, as I said, I was very young. I remember I was chewing a piece of gum and just like the time in the present, a piece of it got stuck to my upper lip. Only that time in the past it was really stuck on there. I think it was a really cheap, local brand and the darned thing wouldn't budge. Not all of it anyway.

Then I remembered something I saw on one of those television shows. "Which show?" you may be asking. Why, The Three Stooges of course.

I don't remember the scene exactly. In it, I think the stooges were up to some carpentry mischief when the one called Moe somehow got glue in his mouth. Curly, the bald one, grabbed a kettle of boiling water and said, "Hot water melts glue!" Then, before Moe could protest, Curly pours boiling water on Moe's face. Moe screams and that's comedy!

This is what I remembered during that moment when I, an impressionable young boy, stood there with gum stuck to his lip. Did I remember Moe screaming in pain? No. Did I remember him assaulting Curly afterwards? Uh-uh. Did I remember that hot water is... well... HOT? Somehow, it must have slipped me at the time. All I remember is hearing Curly's words of wisdom: "Hot water melts glue!"

So I went to the kitchen. There, my parents had a thermos that they usually kept hot water in for my baby sister's formula. And, just my luck, it was just filled too.

With boiling. hot. water.

I was also lucky enough to totally undisturbed while I implemented my gum removal procedure (I don't know why my parents ever left me in a room alone either).

You all can guess what happened next... Yes, I'm pretty sure I screamed just like Moe. The scar on my upper lip lasted for months. My parents' joked about it for even longer. It was all a constant reminder that I couldn't believe everything I saw on TV (and that pain is only entertaining when it's inflicted on others).

And that I'm an idiot.
Look at their faces. Even can't believe I did something so stupid.
But I'm sure I'm not the only one. Like I said, we all do dumb things when we're young. I'm sure you guys have stories of stupidity on a similar magnitude. Right? Guys? I'm not alone on this. Am I?

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