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...
The American male conjures a home improvement project, draws plans, creates a budget, stays within said budget, and finishes the project with a final product that neither exceeds nor diminishes from the original plan, but instead exactly resembles the mental …...
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
The American male conjures a home improvement project, draws plans, creates a budget, stays within said budget, and finishes the project with a final product that neither exceeds nor diminishes from the original plan, but instead exactly resembles the mental conjuring.
We’re trying to sell our house. After an unsuccessful FSBO attempt, we listed with a realtor. The first few weeks were super busy with showings, but no one’s interest progressed to the buying phase, and soon after, activity slowed and then flat-lined. I can’t stand sitting around waiting for things to happen; I like to take action and be in motion, being the driving force behind the tsunami of action as opposed to the shanty town leveled from its power, helpless to do anything but accept whatever happens and deal with the aftermath.
This isn’t to say I have world-domination ambitions, but, you know, whatever it takes to sell my house. If that means embarking on a new career as a despotic dictator, so be it.
Our house is nice on the inside, but the exterior left a bit to be desired, as in, if you had tragically ingested cooked broccoli and needed to vomit, and you had a choice between taking Ipecac or looking at our house, the miserable, vomitous mass results would be similar, and you’d have gotten your Princess Bride fix on, so, yay.
Last Monday, I decided we would paint the porch railings and install flowers in the existing flower beds. That was the idea kernel. What happened next quickly spiraled into something else, bringing sanity to the brink of disassociation from reality.
1. Paint house–We only need a step-ladder for a two-story house, right?
2. Create new flower bed–Removing sod will be the same as cutting the crust off a piece of bread, right?
3. Create backyard gravel patio–My back is strong enough to lift 50 bags of rock, right?
4. Paint shutters–Painting angled woodwork won’t give us dripping problems, right?
5. Re-paint kids’ rooms–People don’t like murals; they like neutral colors, the better to create their news-clipping carpeted stalker walls, right?
6. Re-purpose trellis into front-yard landscaping installation–Getting scratched by chicken wire is like brushing a feather pillow over your skin, right?
7. Mulch everything–A thin layer will look just as good as a thick layer, right?
8. Dispose of earth from new flower bed and gravel patio–Don’t worry. We’ll find an inconspicuous place for all the dirt, right?
9. Re-carpet porch–Oh, I’m sure the dimensions in my head are just as reliable as taking measurements, right?
Since even I get sick of me after a while, I shall endeavor to stay within my word-count range for this column and focus in on and express deep, expansive sarcasm about only one of the above projects: the porch carpet.
Observations about porch carpet tiles:
1. Oh, the old carpet is just stuck down with tape. That’ll come right up easily, right?
2. Oh, even though the mudroom has the same crappy, old carpet, not changing that won’t bother us, right?
3. Oh, if we mess up the placement pattern of one tile and put it down with the wrong orientation, we’ll never notice it, and it won’t make
Seth us grit his our teeth and feel as though Seth is we’re about to explode with OCD rage, right?
4. Oh, it’ll take 30 minutes tops to stick down all the new stuff, right?
5. Oh, all-nighters are super fun, right?
Thus, I am the rimshot in the lead.
And the house looks great.
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Tags: American, broccoli, budget, carpet tile, chicken wire, columnist, conjure, despot, dictator, disassociation from reality, explode, feather pillow, flower beds, FSBO, gravel, home-improvement, house, humor writer, humorist, ipecac, macho, male, measurements, mudroom, mulch, OCD, orientation, paint, patio, plan, project, rage, rimshot, rock, sanity, sell, shanty town, stalker, step-ladder, super fun, TFF Issue #6, The Princess Bride, tsunami, vomit, woodwork
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