Smoking Charges Ignite
Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...
Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...
Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise
When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...
Toki has been our cat since 2012. He’s a ragdoll breed, which means he’s docile to the extreme. You know when cowboys ride bulls in the rodeo? Our kids used to treat Toki as their bull, and he dutifully complied, …...
Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...
A Reasonable Explanation
Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....
That's a Mouthful
Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...
Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right
I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...
The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...
When Did I Become a Pushover?
I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...
As I Approach 30
I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....
By Seth Kabala
Toki has been our cat since 2012. He’s a ragdoll breed, which means he’s docile to the extreme. You know when cowboys ride bulls in the rodeo? Our kids used to treat Toki as their bull, and he dutifully complied, although in recent years, I’ve spotted him crawling toward the edge of the ring, if we find him near the ring at all. He’s been a good sport in many ways. I’m no animal lover, but I like Toki. His litterbox habits? Not so much.
Go in there, do your business, COVER IT UP–that’s not too much to ask, right? It’s not like I’m asking him to become Mr. Jinx from Meet the Parents, get on the toilet, finish his paperwork, and flush whatever papers would have gotten him in trouble with regulators. I just want him to cover his shit. But he won’t do it. I still come inside after enjoying some fine Northwest air, the mountains still in my nostrils, and it’s like I walked into a morgue where the air-conditioning broke down–a week ago.
At this point, Toki is seven-years-old, so I’ve given up on trying to change reality. He’s a great cat, but with defects. I might not be able to change reality, but I can sure as hell change my fantasy world. I’ve decided to imagine what life would be like to enjoy putrid smells like cat shit.
* * *
Think about the best smell in the world. What comes to mind? Hot-buttered popcorn? Freshly sliced watermelon? Pot-roast coming out of the oven? Cinnamon buns on a cold Sunday morning? A crisp wheat ale straight from the keg? Maybe it’s not food. Maybe it’s nature. How about fresh-cut grass? The breeze of a cool summer evening? The smell of pine and sheer cleanliness standing on top of a Northwest mountain peak?
Whatever your chosen smell, whatever your memory, hold onto that. You’re lucky. You don’t love the smell of cat shit. I do. I can’t help it. I love the smell of cat shit. I’m not weird; I actually love it, because to me, it doesn’t smell like shit; it smells like roses. Unfortunately, this opposite sensation perception happens with other smells, too, and it’s complicated my life. For example:
My first date.
Me: Hey, you wanna catch a flik?
Girl: Sure. There are tons of new releases out.
Me: Great. Let’s stop first so I can buy you flowers. Ooh. Here’s a sewer grate. I’ll pop down there and talk to the florist.
My wedding day.
Me: This cake smells amazing. What is that? Buttercream?
Baker: Yes, sir. Buttercream.
Me: Outstanding. What I don’t understand is this: why are you storing your buttercream frosting in your cat’s litterbox?
My big promotion.
Me: Thank you, Ma’am. I will safeguard this office and leverage my newly-awarded authority with pride and prudence.
Boss: I’m sure you will. You were always our top choice.
Me: It’s reassuring to hear that. If only everything were as reassuring.
Boss: How do you mean?
Me: This restaurant served us bacon-wrapped turds.
* * *
We just purchased a subscription to the Kitty Poo Club. No shit. That’s what they call themselves. It’s brilliant. So simple and understated. I wish all businesses would just say what they do and use that as their name, e.g., Wall Street firms circa 2008 would be Fuckers of the American Taxpayer, Inc; Amazon, Freaky Fast Deliverers of Unnecessary Shit. That borrows from Jimmy John’s, I know, but come on. It’s Amazon. If they don’t own it, they soon will. Hey! Another name: If We Don’t Own It, We Soon Will; Subway, Not Gonna Lie, We Serve Shitty Food, But It’s Cheap.
The Kitty Poo Club has a special kind of litter, scientifically formulated to keep smells down, blunting their assault on the sensitive nose. It’s actually a pretty good deal, roughly comparable to what we normally spend on litter. Every month, they send you a new box with new litter. Like Casanova working at an ice-cream shop, just scoop and dump. So far, it’s working okay. I’m hopeful for a future where I don’t make unexpected trips to the HVAC-challenged morgue office.
People say you should differentiate yourself. Be the kaleidoscope of color in a sea of black and white.
But I’ve never mistaken bacon-wrapped anything for turds.
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Tags: air-conditioning, Amazon, assault, bacon-wrapped, Boss, breeze, bull, buttercream, buttered popcorn, Casanova, cat, cinnamon buns, circa 2008, complicated, cowboys, date, defects, docile, fantasy world, florist, flowers, fresh-cut grass, HVAC, ice-cream, Jimmy John's, kaleidoscope, keg, Kitty Poo Club, litterbox, masses, Meet the Parents, morgue, mountains, Mr. Jinx, new releases, Northwest, not so much, paperwork, pot-roast, ragdoll breed, regulators, rodeo, scientifically formulated, sewer, smellfungus, Subway, Sunday, TFF Issue 22, toilet, Toki, Wall Street, watermelon, wedding, wheat ale
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