After the minions leave the nest: A father’s to-do list 

Welcome back kids. Please grab a metal folding chair and do not THINK about making yourselves at home…

Kids, I have a to-do list that I’ll begin taking care of when #3’s lease expires on his 18th birthday. I believe all subsidized housing should have an end date, and our house will be the headquarters of the model program. At 18, this is no longer your nest. 

1. Refinish the wood floors. You kids have ruined them. Scarred, scratched, scuffed, and scraped, beneath our very feet you’ve tattooed your childhood disrespect for building materials. 11 coats of polyurethane and one of mother nature’s hardest natural woods were no match for your combined 54 years of domestic flooring abuse. You left your mother and I with what looks like a cow-shed floor, and now you must pay. 

Take your shoes off and help yourself to a complimentary pair of fleece bunny slippers. You’re never touching our floors again. 

2. Institute a no-food policy. If you want something to eat or drink when you visit you can go out, get it, eat it, drink it, and then you may return. I’ve found food and dried up Capri Sun spills in every square foot of this house. Never again. 

For that matter, don’t bring ANYTHING here. Throughout your childhood we spent half of each passing year acquiring things, and the other half trying to get rid of them. The cycle stops here. 

3. Buy new furniture. ALL new furniture. Every. Damn. Thing. I’m going to burn any object that’s ever been sat on, slept on, or had a sticky juice glass rest upon.  No exceptions. And now when you visit, your butts won’t be touching anything except a folding chair.  And not just any folding chair, but the metal kind that they use for AA meetings in church basements. 

4. Institute a family visitor cover-charge. Recovering from raising you three lunatics comes at a price, and each time you want to visit we’re going to collect a piece of it at the door.  Don’t worry, you only have to pay when you visit. So you do have options to avoid the toll, if you catch my drift. 

5. Remodel the kitchen. By that I mean basically replace the whole thing. You’ve ripped every cabinet door off the hinges at some point, and as toddlers, somehow managed to pull the drawers down to your level each time you wanted to get your grubby little hands on a spoon or fork or garlic press. 

Now we’re getting a new kitchen and no one is going to touch it. Not even us. It will be like a museum piece. From now on, your mother and I are going out to eat. 

So come on in! It’s so great to see you kids again! 

Ahem… Twenty dollar cover. 

Father’s Day Wish List

The minions asked me what I want for Father’s Day. It’s simple:

I want to spray Roundup on the driveway weeds. Since my first born, the cracks have come to life. I want to deforest.

Without anyone bothering me.

I want to do a full forensic analysis – a genuine crime scene – and figure out which of my spawn put their mits all over the LED flat screen.

Without anyone bothering me.

I want to cut wood things with saws. Even if for no reason. Tree limbs and boards. Then nail and screw them back together.

Without anyone bothering me.

I want to patch the hole in the wall. Hahahahahaha I have three kids – I mean patch the holeS in the wallS.

Without anyone bothering me.

I want to have a beer. Just to kill some time until my second beer.

Without anyone bothering me.

I want to mow the lawn. Mow the lawn? Yup, mow the lawn.

Without anyone bothering me.

And I want to poop. And remain upon the perch in pooping position for an extended period of time even after pooping.

And without anyone bothering me.

A thought on the nobility of policing

We are rightly critical of journalists and members of the public who misrepresent the work that we do as police officers.

Do we not therefore owe it to ourselves to be equally critical of fellow police officers who, by their actions, misrepresent the work we do?

Internal integrity is just as important as controlling misinformation. 

Coincidence?

Sometimes you come across the damnedest coincidence.  Today while riding the train I ran into a young lady who, several years ago while at college, had a frightening accident.  While biking down a steep hill, she rounded a curve and crashed head-on into a man riding a golf cart up the same side of the road.  That’s right, a guy in a golf cart.  She went flying, landed on her head, and was knocked unconscious.  She suffered a large cut to her head and lost most of her front teeth – in addition to sustaining a concussion (I’m not exactly sure what that is, but think it’s like an accident-hangover).  Her teeth were replaced with some sort of implant/veneer things.  They look fine.  Anyway, when she returned to her college campus she had trouble getting around from building to building – something to do with the post-surgery head pain that became worse as she walked.  So what did the school do to help her?  They gave her a golf cart.

That’s awesome.  There’s nothing else to the story – it’s just funny. No?  I think so.

How many Silver Alerts does a man need?

Don’t let previous blog posts or commentary about the in-laws fool you, I love old folks just as much as the next guy.  They’re like cute, lovable, excessively wrinkly babies – except they need a special lift to get into bed.

And just like kids, they wander.  I don’t mind looking for them either.  But every time I drive through New Jersey I see the same damn Silver Alert for this missing old fart.  How many times do we have to look for the same gray 1993 Pontiac before someone just hides the keys from this coffin-dodger?  I mean c’mon – it seems like each time they wrangle him and bring him back home he just jumps in his car again and heads for the Jersey Turnpike.  Stop putting out the all-points bulletin. The man likes to step out – who are we to stop him?

They have Amber Alerts for kids – no argument here.  But creepy men in vans are not scooping up geezers from playgrounds.  So can we please do without the state-wide manhunt?  I should think if this old bag made it to the century mark without incident that we could probably look the other way on his midnight joyrides.  If you must restrict him, just disconnect the battery to his car –  at least you’d find him napping with his head on the horn in the comfort of his own garage rather than in a Denny’s parking lot in Delaware.

I’ll tell you right now – if I see this guy out and about I’m pulling up next to him, rolling down the window, and shouting “rock on you old blue-hair you!”  I think four generations on God’s green earth earns you the right to take to the highway without looking back.

Viral YouTube NYC Subway Slap Video: Etiquette lessons learned

Recently, an another viral YouTube video was born after some debauchery aboard a subway train in New York City ended with a girl getting slapped clear across a train car.  Who was it that said there is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action?

Now, while previous lessons were geared toward you girls, as of a few days ago it became became clear that we should include your brother.  Because… now you have a brother.

Let’s provide a lesson just for him.  It’s about hitting girls.

Conventional wisdom suggests a man should never smack a woman.  We’ll maintain that here – why break with tradition?.   Call me old fashioned, but a lad should not be laying the smack down on a lass. So, while today’s lesson doesn’t preach raining down crushing blows upon women, it does suggest that there are instances where rules can be bent a little.  Ouch.  I apologize for not warning you about that plot twist – yup, daddy likes the fact that this fella in the video biffed that girl.

Here is why this guy was right on the money:

1. The girl in the video can barely be called a girl, and certainly not a lady.  She is contributing nothing to society with this type of behavior.  If she wants to claim immunity from manly hay-makers, she needs to act like a lady.

2. She hit him with a shoe.  To avoid having a bloke slap the soul out of you, do not strike him first.  Seems simple.

3. He’s a big dude.  Nothing says barking up the wrong tree like a guy three times your size wearing an 8 ball jacket and fur hat riding the NYC subway. He swatted, and she got decked – fair deal.

4. She was provoking a stranger.  It’s one thing to irritate your brother or your boyfriend.  The men near and dear to you are more likely to stick to the above “men shouldn’t hit girls” rule. Shame on her for heading into uncharted waters with the weird guy on the train – she deserved to get beaned.

Keep in mind this is a rare example of where this rule can be broken.  If your wife wallops you with a frying pan because you got liquored up a the pub and missed your daughter’s piano recital, you take the lump and keep it moving.  Likewise when you get slugged in a case of mistaken identity having come between a wacko and the young lady’s back end that he just pinched – you forgive and forget.  I could go on and on.  When it comes to the opposite sex, restraint, chivalry, and etiquette can pay huge dividends.

There is a term we sometimes use in law enforcement: justification.  Son, there are rules – and then there are rare instances where the rules should be broken.  This video is a great example.  Someone called it karma, but I would call it justifiable lady-smacking.

Lesson 1: Don’t hit girls.

Lesson 2: Some rules were made to be broken.

Glitter allergy

When contemplating fatherhood (read: when your wife tells you she’s pregnant), you expect certain hurdles. You hear things like “good luck getting any sleep” and “if I ever see another dirty diaper again…” These things are hardly surprising, but there are some things that sneak up on you.  They’re not in any book, and most parents don’t seem to put them on the priority list when griping about their own offspring.  So here’s one: the damn glitter is enough to drive you nuts.  I’m not kidding – it actually bothers me, and enough to write about it on an otherwise fine Saturday evening.

When it comes to parenting, most of the basics are summed up in any normal conversation with a parent or a what-to-expect-when-you’re-expecting book.  For example, it wasn’t a total surprise when, after bathing my oldest daughter and getting her all dry and laying out her jammies she stops, smiles, and proceeds to piss a stream clear across the room.  You go into it thinking you’re fairly well prepared for all the crazy things that children bring on.

Not glitter though.

Maybe it’s just my compulsiveness.  It’s bad enough I’m forced to have other people in my house – like the wife, kids, and water treatment system maintenance guy.  Not to mention they touch things and move stuff and even use the bathroom (not so much the water treatment fella – he comes and goes).

Little known fact: glitter is permanent.  It’s like the Sharpie marker of the confetti family.  You can barely see it – in fact I’m pretty sure it’s microscopic – I think the only thing you see is the reflection off of it.  Forget about sweeping it up – it laughs at brooms as it slithers its way through the bristles to remain where your little rug rat put it.  And any single bit of glitter (a glit?) that does get caught in the broom long enough to make its way toward the dust pan just slides right underneath it.  So go ahead and put your finger on the glit – think you can pick it up?  Nope.  Doesn’t stick.  Now lick your finger and try it.  I’m serious, you know that’s the next thing you want to try – go ahead – do it.  Still doesn’t work. Glitter only sticks to stuff you don’t want it to.  It’s in it’s DNA.

Try the vacuum you say?  You’re so silly.  You may as well play the dust pan game.  The vacuum wind at the heart of the vacuum suctioning process is not nearly enough to catch glitter and bring it along for the ride.  Glitter is immune to high wind speeds.  And don’t forget the microscopicity (new word) of glitter like I said – if the vacuum does catch it, it will just go through the filter and be shot across the room and land on the already glittery sofa.

I’m sure it’s impossible to ban the stuff too.  First of all, kids will be kids – and glitter is part of the program.  Secondly, it’s everywhere.  Forget about kids for a second – you buy an anniversary card for the missus and there’s glitter in there.  Hallmark has a piece of the action, so it’s not going anywhere.

So this rant really isn’t about solving this problem, it’s about petitioning to add glitter to the list of things-to-expect-when-you’re-expecting.  Give everyone a fair heads-up, that’s all I’m asking for.