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.
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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
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