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...
Amy and I have been looking at properties with land, something on the order of 1-5 acres. One of these properties had several out-buildings (or outhouses, as Amy continues to misidentify them. Never at a loss for where to drop your …...
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
Amy and I have been looking at properties with land, something on the order of 1-5 acres. One of these properties had several out-buildings (or outhouses, as Amy continues to misidentify them. Never at a loss for where to drop your drawers on our property!). These out-buildings weren’t run-down, falling-apart, used as dual-purpose animal houses/scenes for a horror movie; they looked decent. With a little TLC, we think they could add to the appeal of the property. One or even two guest houses are a possibility.
But all those plans went out the emotional window when our kids would not stop fighting while we were looking at this property. Minecraft–”Don’t you dare build on top of my tree.” Watching funny videos–”Cat and dog videos are so boring.” *turns swivel chair around to cover laugh* Fortnite–”Stop shooting me in the head! Stop shooting me in the head!” Example quotes of the Mad Hatter theme running 24/7 in our house. So screw the renovations. Screw the guest houses. If we get the property with all the out-buildings, we’re starting a mockumentary show called Barn Kids.
* * *
A MOCKUMENTARY SITCOM
BY SETH AND AMY KABALA
1. EXT. FRONT PORCH. DAY.
PA and MA KABALA both sit in wicker rockers, enjoying cocktails. It is obvious from their slurred speech that they’ve been heavy into this bottle of Jack Daniels (visible on the table between them) for some time. They break the fourth wall by looking into and talking directly to the camera, as though responding to an interviewer’s questions.
All scenes will follow breaking-the-fourth-wall format.
We had no choice, really. The commotion got to be
more than we could take.
He’s right. I mean, they’re good kids, but we didn’t
want to get run out of town on a rail.
Neighbors have been complaining to the City
2. INT. CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS. EVENING.
Council members are seated. The meeting is about to begin. Already, it is abuzz with fidgeting audience members and murmured conversations. There is a palpable sense that this won’t be your normal City Council meeting. The first item on the agenda is citizen testimony. Five CONCERNED NEIGHBORS have signed up to give testimony on the growing noise nuisance problem at the Kabala farm. COUNCIL CLERK announces the testimony lineup. MAYOR invites CONCERNED NEIGHBOR 1 to the dais.
Good evening. Please keep your remarks to three
minutes or less, as we have many folks testifying.
CONCERNED NEIGHBOR 1
It’s madness over there at the Kabala property. I
walk out my front door to get my paper, and before
I know it, I’m sliding on my butt down the front
steps, bumping along like my skin is sticking to a
slide. Thought I heard a coyote. Here I am getting
ready to meet my maker, and I look over there, and
it’s just their kids, howling like they’re about to go
werewolf or something, which
CONCERNED NEIGHBOR 1′s voice drops to a whisper.
I tell you, is a distinct possibility you should investigate.
3. INT. OLD BARN OUT-BUILDING. DAY.
WILL KABALA is sitting on a bale of hay, sketch-pad in hand. ANNA KABALA and ELLA KABALA are in the background taking turns swinging on a rope that’s suspended from the rafters in the barn. WILL is in a mellow mood. ANNA and ELLA are howling with glee, like they’re in the midst of issuing war cries and slaughtering enemy troops with bayonets and machetes.
WILL keeps his eyes trained on his sketch-pad at all times.
We didn’t mean to scare the old lady. That’s how we get
ideas for art and for survival. Mice aren’t easy to catch.
ANNA and ELLA.
Getting kicked out of the house was the best thing for me.
I’ve picked up cat clan training skills.
And flash roasting by siphoning gas off of the propane
tank. That keeps them super crispy.
4. EXT. FRONT PORCH. DAY.
Responding to a quote from the interviewer.
“[T]he best thing for me”? Wow. I call that successful
With tears in her eyes and a choaked-up voice.
* * *
Barn Kids. Coming to a parenting seminar near you.
Followed closely by a Netflix original series.
Leave a Reply
Tags: Amy, Anna, art, Barn Kids, bayonets, breaking the fourth wall, butt, cat clan, catching mice, city council, clerk, cocktails, commotion, concerned citizen, coyote, crispy, drop your drawers, dual-purpose, Ella, emotions, episode one, flash roasting, guest house, horror movie, howling, interviewer, investigate, Jack Daniels, Kabala farm, land, Ma Kabala, machetes, Mad Hatter, mayor, meet my maker, Minecraft, Netflix, Netflix original series, old lady, out-buildings, outhouse, Pa Kabala, parenting seminar, propane, properties, rafters, rockers, rope swing, run out of town, shooting, siphoning gas, sketch-pad, slaughtering enemy troops, successful parenting, survival, testify, TFF Issue 22, TLC, training, videos, werewolf, Will
0 Comments Load Comments
Little Meth Lab on the Back 40
I told a colleague that you could buy 12 acres in rural Iowa, plus a private lake, forest, and a decent house for $325K. He mentioned something about using all the extra savings to catch the backwoods economic wave in Iowa and start up a meth lab operation. This colleague has lived his whole life in...
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...
Shortly after moving to Portland, I asked our office administrative specialist to order me a footrest. I asked for the footrest for a practical reason: lower back pressure relief. I have a stand-up desk. This works well to get my stand hours in during the day--Apple faithful, you know what I'm...
Let there Be Devices
We have over a dozen devices now, and the number is only going to grow from here. ...
Phil wasn't sure what caused his muscles to dehydrate and shrivel up into jerky encased in skin, but he understood the aftermath. His career was over. ...
We were talking around the dinner table about what it means to get a college degree. I said you pass a bunch of tests, and then they give you a piece of paper that says you're smart. I finished my explanation saying employers can rely on that piece of paper as evidence that you're smart. Anna, 11,...
Madre > Padre
A couple weeks ago, Amy diagnosed and changed out all three fuses that controlled electrical flow to the outlets in our car. Super sexy. Super cool. When I say that Amy did it, I don't mean that I was standing on the sidelines, guiding hands and helping words coaching her to a successful solution. I...
An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)
Acceptance and Current Events ...
Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack
"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...
Time Traveling Titan
At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...
I feel like the brain-training app Peak is a walking, talking (or, more accurately, a clicking, screen-time bloating) irony. The stated goal of this app is to improve your lifelong mental processing potential in several categories, like problem-solving and memory. The irony is that you Peak quickly....
Dr. Dove Bee Gee Cage
My house may be haunted. ...