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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...

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Sad Child


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. ...

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Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

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Advertise Here

She left the NYC salon on a high. This feeling only came along every so often, which was to say only as often as she could afford such a luxury. But a few hundred dollars infrequently dropped on this made …...

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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. ...

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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....

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That's a Mouthful

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Deadly Donuts

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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...

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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....

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Shocked woman

Filed Under , , on October 24th, 2015

Conditioning Drills

By Seth Kabala

She left the NYC salon on a high.

This feeling only came along every so often, which was to say only as often as she could afford such a luxury. But a few hundred dollars infrequently dropped on this made her feel worthwhile and beautiful, and retirement was never going to happen anyway, so might as well look good. She wasn’t a beauty that could make men walk into trees, but she could turn a head or two, even raise an eyebrow from time to time. That could have been the salon chemical fumes talking, but she thought differently.

She skipped along the sidewalk, timing her moves in rhythm with the pop tunes on her iPod, choreographing cuts and weaves to narrowly avoid other pedestrians at the last second. This hybrid strutting produced looks of disapproval from the older men. However, while the younger men looked up in surprise, they quickly transitioned to the eyebrow rise, acquiescent pooching of the bottom lip, and a nod that said, Yeah, bangable.

My hair is the color of red wine, she thought. Perhaps there is something to the notion of guys getting drunk on my look. Suddenly she had to lay down a juke to avoid strutting into the side of a delivery van. Cutting hard left, she ducked behind the van, feeling invincible.

* * *

The tardy baker burst through the back doors of his establishment, ass first, bopping the double doors into motion with his considerable rear, sending each door flying  with enough force to make the hinges groan before the crash against the walls drowned out everything. He was pulling a wheeled cart that held his future, his big break: a six tier cake for an emerging movie starlet of the latest YA drama, vampire, unrealistically-short-period-of-time-before-love-declaration bullshit story of the day.

But he gave zero shits about that; he cared about the four-figure paycheck, half of which he’d received upon accepting the order, the other a short ride away from igniting the lint in his pocket. He’d been dumbfounded when she’d placed the order, calling it in herself, citing his “Like, super cool website and stuff, man” as the reason for her selection.

Thank God I decided to spend money on a pro web designer, he thought. Money well spent. Good gig. More to come. He smiled. Life was looking up.

He spun around to face the back door of his delivery van, but his progress was arrested as he slammed into a woman. The cake, however, continued its forward momentum, folding itself around the head of the woman, fracturing into multiple wedges, and sliding to the ground.

The woman was beautiful, with hair a certain cranberry shade, at least as much of it as he could make out under the mess of flour, frosting, and sugar. One thing about her, though, was unmistakably clear: her look, which was frozen in a grimace of horror; his own eyes, speed-trip high. All logical thoughts fled his mind, so he said, “That’ll make for an interesting conditioner substitute.”

* * *

We ran out of leave-in conditioner. As a substitute, and to aid in my lifelong pursuit of all things cheapskate, I had been using regular conditioner to style my hair. Turned out it saved us money and worked well. So well, in fact, that I got overconfident in its location in the shower, and after getting dressed, I reached in while keeping my gaze upon the beautiful visage that was my reflection in the mirror, because what else is there to do when you’re in a bathroom with a counter-to-ceiling seamless mirror? If you said mug for yourself, you are right.

I felt the bottle, pumped some product into my hand, rubbed it into my hair, and instantly felt the build up of massive lather. I had reached for  the shampoo. Being fully dressed and, of course, late, I had to rinse my hair in the counter sink, which, as it’s about the size of an empty walnut shell, presented a problem.

But I got it done, redid the disrupted portion of my morning routine, and got out the door. The next time I have a hair delay, though, I’m going to run headlong into a cake and see what happens.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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