“First, Do No Harm”, a Career in Podiatry and My Upcoming Nobel Peace Prize

First and foremost I must apologize. It’s been some time since I’ve kept you all up to date on my thoughts and adventures as of late.  I know that many of you stake your mental well being upon my posts and I beg you to please understand that it’s nothing personal. I’ve been on vacation and while I look forward to regaling you about my adventures that is for another time.

That said let’s get started.

Many, many years ago, shortly after college as I was floating through life and a pool, a friend of the family gave me some advice.

“Podiatry,” he said in that slightly condescending manner the privileged and wealthy have when imparting some bit of wisdom to a member of the younger generation. I smiled politely and later seduced his daughter, after of course, his wife seduced me.

Then again he may have said, “Plastics”. It was altogether a confusing time for me and the nation at large.  Some blamed President Johnson, others the hippies, I myself blame Simon and Garfunkel for the affair.

Anywho some fifty years later I’ve been thinking about a new career or, let’s be honest, a career period and I think podiatry might be the way to go. It’s not that I have a particular affinity for feet. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor and as I was mulling around one of the tenets of the profession “First do no harm” I landed on podiatry. After all whats the worst that can happen?

Sure there are some hurdles to overcome. There is the small matter of my grade point average as an undergraduate, specifically the fact that it is so low I couldn’t get into a cooking school in Korea. Even if I gave them with a pack of sled dogs.

Fortunately we live in a global economy andI can purchase a top notch education for a few hundred thousand dollars at one of the finer medical schools in South America! The wife is on the fence on the subject but I’m sure her concerns about blowing our life savings on a dubious degree from a third world country will fade once I’m able to present myself to society as a bonafide MD.

In my vast experience it’s not where the degree is from so much as the fact that I’d have one that matters. That’s what they told me when I received a BA in English Composition almost 20 years ago and look at where I am now!

Aside from the significant bump in social standing my attraction to the field of podiatry is threefold.

First and foremost I have a raging foot fetish. I lied earlier. After handling peoples’ feet all day and my motor will be ramped and ready to take my wife into an orgiastic level of pleasure that has, so far, been unknown.

Secondly, coming from a family of overweight German and Irish descent, I think that I’ve seen the worst that feet have to offer. I’ve taken a belt sander to quite a few yellowed talons and massaged many a bunion in my youth with nary a complaint and perhaps most importantly, minimal gagging.

Of course I’ve spent a goodly amount of time in therapy but I choose to believe that it had nothing to do with the time aunt Agnes had a toe curling orgasm as I shaved the mountainous callouses on her massive right foot.

Thirdly, and finally, I’ve always wanted a career where I can help people, command some measure of respect and not screw things up so terribly for anyone other than myself. A bad day as a podiatrist beats the living hell out of a nasty time at the NICU or an “oopsie” as a neurologist any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Put another way I’d much rather be on the receiving end of the phrase “Holy shit I’ve never seen that before,” from a podiatrist than just about anyone else in the medical profession.

The only catch is selling the wife on the project and, in my own subtle way, I’ve started my campaign. When Laura complains about the price of groceries I tactfully mention that the cost of living in the Dominican Republic has got be two thirds less than where we are now. “Maybe even three thirds,” I say knowingly

To date these comments have yet to elicit the desired response. I can talk about how great the citrus is in the Bahamas or how great the climate is in Puerto Rico for people our age until I’m blue in the face.  Usually I get a look from my wife like she’s sizing me up for a straight jacket and while an offer to check out a life in Jamaica has yet to be forthcoming Laura has purchased a crate of grapefruit and a vat of skin cream so I’ve got that going for me…which is nice.

Clearly however more overt means are required. Just what those might be I’m not sure. I hear that a license to practice medicine and a full background can be had for around $50,000 on the open market.  Unfortunately I’ve got my scruples and lack the imagination necessary to explain to my wife as to how or why I’ve kept my degree from Stanford a secret for over a decade.

I could always, of course, rise to a level importance in society and have a degree bestowed upon me.  Compared to the challenges I’m facing going the standard route it might be easier to reconcile the issues facing Israel and Palestine than finding a way into a, or really any, medical school.

I can see it already. After I’ve accepted the award for the Nobel Peace Prize I’ll be bombarded with offers to impart my wisdom from almost every institution of higher learning in the country in return for substantial monetary compensation and an honorary degree.

Of course I’ll only accept invitations from the finest. Yale, Harvard, Michigan, and the University of Santa Cruz. Just imagine the look on the president’s face at Dartmouth as I receive my degree, lean over and mention “I hear you’ve got a great medical school. What can you tell me about podiatry.”

 

 

15 More or Less Comprehensive Bits of Advice for My Daughter

This evening in a moment of whimsy I was thinking about the sort of advice I’d be able to impart to my daughter in the event of my untimely demise. I have to admit that the desire to give Darcy the benefit of my accumulated years of wisdom didn’t strike me like a bolt from the blue.

It occurred when I realized that she had been quietly hiding behind a chair in the living room for a half an hour or so putting the rocks in her mouth.

Apparently Darcy has become a connoisseur of sorts with rocks, and had been up to it all day. She’d carefully lined up four or five of the damn things in no order I could easily discern. Other than the fact that all of them appeared to be in her mouth at one point or another I could only assume that they were organized according to taste.

It was as I yelled “get those goddamned things out of your mouth” when I realized that the phrase encompassed every bit of wisdom I hoped to impart to my daughter. It was a sad moment for both of us.  After nearly forty years you’d think I’d have something more profound to say but there it was. “Get that goddamned thing out of your mouth”.

I’m certain those words will haunt me for years and, I will most likely,  utter them again in different circumstances that propriety forbids me to mention.

The incident brought into relief the fact that I really didn’t have much in the way of tangible and pertinent advice to give my daughter. Sure there’s the usual stuff that most people know.  Never engage in a land war in Russia. No one has ever contracted syphilis from a tractor seat. A rash is never just a rash especially when genitals are concerned.

After a few drinks and a few minutes of introspection I came up with a list of fifteen rules for my daughter.

  1. Take any bit of advice with a grain of salt. Think for yourself. This does not apply to your mother or father until you are in your mid twenties
  1. Stand up straight. You will most likely be tall. There is nothing more heartbreaking than a woman who hunches over to fit into the crowd and no better way to announce yourself as a target to any predatory asshole looking for a good time and a free meal.
  1. Be who you are. Let your freak flag fly. Dress up like a princess or go Goth. Paint, write, or play football. Do not let anyone make you feel uncomfortable about being yourself but always be aware of how your appearance and actions will be interpreted by others.
  1. Do not put anything on your body that you wouldn’t want to see in forty years. This includes tattoos and men.
  1. Put on your pants before your shoes. Your father forgets this piece of advice on a regular basis.
  1. Know that you are beautiful, not perfect and understand the difference between the two. Be comfortable in your own skin and understand that it is a vehicle, not a means to an end.
  1. Read. Always. Read deeply and broadly. Most importantly read opinions that differ from your own. In order to truly disagree with a point of view you must understand it first.
  1. Be kind. Stick up for the underdog, the little girl in braces and ratty hair wearing second hand Osh Kosh clothes in middle school just might turn out to be your best friend, invite you to join her startup company after college and provide you with the financial means to take care of your parents in their golden years.
  1. Girls between the ages of seven and twenty one can be the nastiest people on the planet. Please feel free to kick any one of them in the pussy if they make you feel like you are less than yourself. Your mother and I have money for bail.
  1. Understand that bullies generally come from shitty families. This does not excuse their behavior. Have some measure of sympathy for them and, if they assault you verbally or physically, ask them if their daddy still touches them where they pee from when they go to sleep.
  1. When confronted with aggression strike the last blow, not the first. We don’t start shit in this family. We finish it.
  1. Never quit. Persistence is the key to success. The most successful people in the world do not simply fall ass backward into money and fame and notoriety. More often than not they have tried and failed and tried and failed again and again and again. What separates them from the rest is that they get back up, dust themselves off, determine what they’ve learned and continue on.
  1. Learn when to quit. Some causes, people and pursuits are just not worth the effort.
  1. Understand that the habits you start now become habits for life. One of your father’s cousins started smoking and became a chronic masturbator in his teens some twenty years ago. We haven’t seen him since,
  1. Above all know that your mother and father love you but we are not your peers. You will have enough friends. Our purpose is to train you to stand on your own two feet. That said we will always have your back. Anytime. Anywhere.

Another Workout with the Elderly, Embracing My Geriatric Peers and a Blatant Plea for Corporate Endorsement

As I drove home today at a stately from the geriatric workout facility that is our city’s local recreation center I concluded that I should stop berating the elderly. It’s a minor epiphany I realize but an important one and punctuated by the fact that I was tooling down the road at a stately 25 miles per hour in the middle of the day.

I’ve got a lot more in common with the octogenarians at the gym than most of my sprightlier middle aged peers. The only difference between myself and the over 80 set is that by the time I’m in my golden years I’ll probably be sucking pot roast through a straw and passing my brief periods of coherence groping the nurse who turns me over for keep the bedsores at bay.

The truth is that I have a number of similarities with my elderly brethren. I despise most  teens for their youthful idiocies and firm supple bodies, I haven’t had a bowel movement in three years and am beginning to develop an unbridled hatred of technology.

I am truly a man ahead of my time and I mean that in the worst possible way.

For starters I hate my new car. It’s possible that I could have gotten past the fact that a Korean engineer welded a fucking boom box to my dashboard, I may have even been able to cope with the email my car sent to notify me that it didn’t need an oil change just yet, but when it denied me friend request  on Facebook I took the matter personally.

Old people are always talking about their sleep habits, a topic often on my mind whenever I can get anyone within yelling distance. My sleep habits are deplorable, largely because I have difficulty sleeping, it’s a confusing and vicious cycle in that way. Given the chance I’d go to bed around eight o’clock in the evening and wake up at four after a restless and generally unsatisfactory sleep.

Instead I drift off most nights around midnight or one in the morning, hoist myself out of bed three or four times to take a leak and then fall into an agitated slumber for an hour or two before waking around five a.m. haunted by the grim specter of death and ready to make the most of the day.

Once I’ve taken Darcy to school after a heaping sized bowl of Bran Blow I generally forgo a nap and then spend the next hour in an attempt to remember if I’ve taken my medication before heading out to the recreation center for my mid-morning constitutional.

Upon arriving home I turn on the schlock that serves as daytime programming to provide myself with the illusion that I am not alone at which point it’s time for a nap and I conk out on the couch to the soothing stories from the talking heads at Fox News.

Fifteen minutes later I wake up in a cold sweat convinced that Nancy Pelosi has hatched a plot to place the herpes virus in infant formula and do what most people over eighty do and wander somewhat aimlessly around the house.

I say somewhat because there is usually a goal in mind and a reason not do do it or, at least, not do it well. There’s always laundry to be done (which would be easier to do if the washer and dryer weren’t in the basement and I didn’t have a pathological fear of breaking a femur on those rickety stairs) or dishes to do (the detergent is doing a number on my hands,. Thank God for Palmolive dish detergent. Colgate, the makers of this fine product can contact me through unfitfather@theunfitfather.com  for an endorsement) or clean up in the yard (my allergies are always rough this time of year. Producers of Allegra please see the above note for Palmolive dish detergent for an unique marketing opportunity.)

Occasionally I’m able to get a few things done when Darcy’s at school. Maybe a bit of light dusting around the stacks of newspapers and National Geographic magazines piled four feet high in the living room or flush a few gallons of Drano down the toilet to keep the C.H.U.D.S away but those are the good days.

The truth is that after going over the bathroom with a few hundred Clorox wipes or Febrezing the shit out of my I need another breather.  I’m not twenty for shit’s sake and these old bones don’t work they way they used to.

After a few minutes on the couch I give some consideration to the health of my prostate (courtesy of Fox News) take in the latest infomercial on Hip Hop abs and then race to the shower upon realizing that I have thirty minutes to pick up Darcy up from school.

Inevitably I slip in the tub, make a mental note to put down the bathmat for the 18th time, draw up plans to have a safety bar installed in the bathtub and head outside to pick up my daughter in a bathrobe.

During a brief moment of awareness weigh the trauma Darcy may incur when I show up at school in a bathrobe versus being ten minutes late, run back into the house and change into pants and a shirt of mixed plaid patterns, make a note to have a safety bar installed in the bathroom, toss it onto a pile of other notes to have a safety bar installed in the bathroom and then race off to pick up my daughter at school.

Forty minutes later through three miles of light traffic I have Darcy in tow and pretend not to see the amused looks at my choice in dress from the catty, and frankly whoreish, 50 year olds.

Darcy usually gets a bit peckish around 4:00 but I like to have dinner a bit later and hold her off for a bit.  Once 4:30 rolls around we hop in the car to take the hour long drive a few miles down the road to the local cafeteria.

The two of us go through the line, I pick up a plate of steamed and wilted looking steamed vegetables because of my cholesterol and encourage Darcy to have some fried chicken (which she eschews) and a bowl of mashed potatoes (which she also eschews) the size of Mount Vesuvius in the spirit of plausible deniability.

We both pick up a pair of Jello cups with enough whip cream to cover the naughty bits of every stripper between Texas and Chicago and settle down to a nice home cooked meal.

After the hour trip home Darcy is exhausted and I must say that I am as well. I nag her into changing into her pajamas for forty minutes, read her a story, remember that I should have given her a bath and then fall asleep in the bed as she uses my unconscious frame as the backdrop for the mountain scenes in the movie “Frozen”.

Upon waking fifteen minutes later and covered in stuffed animals I usually find Darcy asleep next to me and, on the few occasions she’s not, I bellow at her to turn off the latest episode of American Horror Story and until she comes upstairs. She’s only four after all and there are some things a child shouldn’t see  until she’s at least nine or ten.  I guess I’m just old fashioned that way.

Once Darcy is in bed I manage to make my way back downstairs, put a piece of meatloaf from the cafeteria in the fridge for Laura (forgetting that my wife hasn’t eaten red meat in five years) and proceed to yell at the television until she comes home.

The Movie Frozen; An Amateur Interpretation and a Confusing Message for Children and the LGBT Community in 18th Century Europe

Like most parents with a young daughter I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Disney hit film “Frozen”. The movie was just released on DVD this past week and I conservatively estimate that I’ve seen the film 147 times.

For the three people who haven’t seen the movie I congratulate you on escaping this piece of mainstream culture and look forward to reading your rambling manifesto regarding the Jewish plot to mandate fluoridated drinking water in an attempt to give us all prostate cancer.

For the rest of us I will forgo a lengthy plot summary. Suffice it to say that Frozen is the time tested tale of girl meets girl, girl freezes other girl’s head, trolls wipe away injured girl’s memory, girl is locked up in a room…you know typical Disney fare.

Of course the tale is a little more complicated than that.

The two girls are sisters, the eldest has magical wintery powers, their parents die at sea and the youngest wants to marry a guy she just met which is understandable having been shut off from pretty much any human contact for fifteen years.  There’s also a mentally impaired snowman named Olaf with a death wish that I’d cheerfully push into a woodchipper. And a love interest that’s probably into humping his reindeer.

Anywho.

I watched the film the first fifty or so times and tried to think of a happy place. it didn’t work and in order to cope with the next twenty five viewings I ransacked our medicine cabinet until I found a bottle of muscle relaxers a bit past their prime. After a blackout and an intense period of vomiting I brought my considerable analytical capabilities to bear upon an analysis of the film

While I’m not a licensed psychiatrist I have dated my fair share of emotionally insecure shut ins with magical powers, an experience that has caused me to be something of an expert in this particular field.

And so, under the influence of an ancient bottle of muscle relaxers while the chorus for “Love is an Open Door” rattled around my brain as I watched the movie Frozen for the 108th time I came to a few conclusions about the movie “Frozen”.

The first is that Disney has a pathological fascination with killing off family members and abandoning small children. This minor epiphany prompted me to call DCS in Los Angeles and, for the record, I have yet to hear back from them.

Secondly, and still under the influence of a finely aged bottle of muscle relaxants, it occurred to me that Elsa’s powers are a metaphor for her raging libido and the condemnation of a woman’s sexuality in 18th century Europe. There’s also a creepy bit about incest but I’ll get to that shortly.

Note that Elsa’s powers are wintery powers. They are cold, and while I won’t go so far as to say that Elsa is sexually frigid being shut in a room for fifteen years probably doesn’t do wonders for a young woman’s confidence in her sexual prowess. Then again she could have spent the bulk of that time exploring her taught and supple body. I couldn’t say.

Elsa’s powers grow as she ages, progresses into puberty, and then explode once she is outed during her coronation. Anna, Elsa’s younger sister, sparks the event when she announces her intent to marry a prince named Hans whom she has just met which is something of a curious coincidence.

After living alone for years and only speaking to Anna every once in a while through a closed door Elsa has naturally developed an…interest in her sister. Knowing that incest is frowned upon Elsa attempts to hide her growing lust, as symbolized by the gloves she wears on her hands and the phrase she constantly repeats as a child, “Conceal it. Don’t feel it,” a thinly veiled reference to masturbation if there every was one.

Upon discovering that her sister Anna intends to marry the first man she has presumably ever spoken to outside of the palace, Elsa loses her shit in a jealous rage. She shows her icy powers i.e. her forbidden desire to bang her sister like a gong and runs off into the hinterlands. Whilst fleeing into the mountains Elsa “lets it go” in an orgiastic display of her power and channels her vast reservoir of untapped sexual energy that plunges the kingdom into winter while she creates an icy palace far away from home that is an obvious reference to her hymen.

For the lack of a “foot massager” the kingdom was lost.

The first to breach Elsa’s icy nether regions are Anna and her companion new found companion Kristoff, a Norwegian hick who shares “carrots” with his reindeer Sven when the two are all alone hauling ice in parts unknown.

Irritated by the intrusion of her sister who has paired up with yet another man Elsa inadvertently lets loose with a wintery blast that strikes Anna in the heart, a blow that will eventually cause her to freeze to death. In order to expel Anna and Kristoff from her special place Elsa creates a giant and bulbous headed snowman that clearly represents a dildo or a penis. I’m not sure which because I never made it into grad school. I did, however, spend the past night in a Holiday Inn.

Anna’s fiancée and a crew of troops are the next group to violate Elsa’s frigid pudenda. She responds by attacking them with the aforementioned penis snowman at her “gate” but a few troops slip in, intent upon striking this vile incestuous lesbian down for the good of the kingdom. In the midst of the attack Elsa is clipped by a falling chandelier, an ice chandelier of her own making that may or may not symbolize a clitoris, and rendered unconscious.

Meanwhile Anna and Kristoff race off to a haven of trolls to cure her from the icy blast she has received from her sister. After a quick and lively tune about how the two should settle for each other we discover that the only way that Anna can survive is through an act of true love.

To be honest at this point in the film I was hoping that Disney would reach out to the LGBT community and treat us to a deep soul kiss between Anna and Elsa. Unfortunately society isn’t “enlightened: enough to have small children watch two sisters engage in lesbian incest but that’s another topic for another time.

After consulting the trolls Anna and Kristoff hop on the back of Sven the reindeer with Olaf in tow and race off to find Hans, Anna’s presumed true love.

Elsa, incarcerated once again, blows up her prison cell in a flurry of unbridled icy “magic” and makes a run for the mountains again over the frozen fjords.

Upon coming home Anna realizes that her fiancé Hans, the 13th in line for the throne in his own kingdom, turns out to be a social climber and something of a douchbag. Once they are alone Hans announces his intention to let her freeze up like a virgin on prom night and do away with Elsa in order to obtain the thrown.

After dropping off Anna Kristoff becomes torn between living a life alone and humping a reindeer and slipping it to a member of his own species. Prompted by his reindeer Sven, whom is presumably tired of Kristoff’s advances, Kristoff races back to the castle to proclaim his love for Anna.

With the help of the ambulatory snowman Olaf, a symbol of the playful innocence the two sister’s shared before Elsa became enamored with her sister,  Anna escapes the castle and crosses the frozen fjord to meet Kristoff and save herself from her sister’s violent love.

In the meantime Hans tracks down Elsa and lets her believe that she has killed her sister Anna. Elsa stumbles to the ground in despair, Hans whips out his “sword” (a double metaphor for a penis and society’s intolerance of lesbian incest) to make a killing blow.

Upon seeing that her sister is in danger Anna uses the last of her strength before she turns into vagina ice and places herself between Hans’s “sword” and Elsa, an implicit approval of her acceptance of Elsa’s alternative lifestyle.

Hans’s “sword” shatters as Anna turns to ice, saving her sister through the very bonds of incest that caused the problems in the first place. Once she has seen that Anna accepts her deviant lifestyle and saved her life, Elsa throws herself upon her sister, thawing her and the kingdom (i.e. her vagina) in one shot and a resounding blow is struck for the LGBT community.

Hans is deported. Kristoff and Anna share a kiss. Elsa creates a skating rink to endear herself to the townsfolk who presumably look the other way as Anna, Kristoff, the reindeer Sven and Elsa engage in unconventional sex for the duration of their live and live happily ever after.

Daddy I’m High, Get Your Mouth off of that Pole and Other Phrases from Children and Parents that Could be Misinterpreted

A few weeks ago on a dull and gray winter morning I received the following text from a friend whom I will call Max Headstrong because, in reality, that should be his real name.

“Looking forward to seeing you in ballet class”

“WTF? I never thought I’d say that.”

Max is a good guy, a man’s man. He hunts when deer is in season, owns around 20 or so firearms of various calibers, lengths and lethality and is one of my best friends. I responded with the ubiquitous LOL (ubiquitous means ever-present. I know because I just looked it up) and met up with him at a ballet class his daughter Tianna and my daughter Darcy had attended for the past few months.

The two of us spent the first fifteen minutes of class as we usually do, cajoling the kids into the classroom, directing them to pay attention to the instructor and then telling them to have a good time. Despite the last two seemingly mutually exclusive statements the girls generally seem to enjoy themselves. They prance, twirl, and leap like two like miniature ballerinas  in pink leotards and tights with a severe inner ear infection.

Once the girls are cheerfully flouncing around the floor Max and I usually spend the next 45 minutes slamming beers at a bar a few miles down the road as we go over the various events of our respective weeks.

I kid of course.

We don’t leave the premises to swap stories over nine or ten beers in less than an hour. Instead we share our parenting and marital experiences over the past week as we split a twelve pack and chase down a few ruffies. It’s a bit unconventional but neither of us feel comfortable breaking the promises we’ve made with our spouses about what we can talk about and what we can’t and the ruffies provide a nice bit of plausible

Max may have told me that he’s dribbled his twins like basketballs up and down the stairs  for all I know. I trust that this hasn’t happened.  Max is a good guy but it’s nice to have a place to vent, guilt free, and if he likes to relax by by pounding four inch nails into his scrotum who am I to judge?

Anywho.

Max and I swapped many a hilarious and uncomfortable story that day if memory serves. The topics ranged from the typical questions any father must ask of his daughter at some point  “have you wiped your vagina?” (a question that is only appropriate when addressing a toddler and not a girlfriend in college) to the more…unusual phrases uttered by both parents and their children.

“Get your mouth off the pole” was a sentence I never thought I’d hear my wife utter to me or anyone else. Taken in context it’s a bit less dirty, we were having breakfast, Darcy slid out of her seat and licked the legs of the table as if they were lollipops.

“Daddy get me off,” was another phrase I never thought I’d hear outside of some really bad pornography. Yet there it was. My daughter straddled the arm of our couch, I lifted her up and proceeded to have the exact and precise opposite of an erection.

“Get me high,” was another favorite. Both Max and I had heard our daughters’ say the phrase a few weeks ago as they were on a swing at a local park, with luck and some water boarding we won’t have to worry about that hearing that request again.

As our time came to a close and the girls ran out of class. Max’s twins both settled on my lap. I helped his wife wrangle them into shoes and coats as my wife did the same with Darcy.

It was only on the drive home that I realized that God or fate or Whomever does answer some prayers, if not in the spirit of the law then by the letter.

My own sense of propriety and well being kept me from mentioning my thoughts to Max, it’s unusual I know but occasionally I do show some consideration for others.

As I drove home with Darcy in tow however I couldn’t help but think that I’d prayed to have a set of twins on my lap for two decades. I just never thoughts that they’d be my friend’s toddlers.

A Legal Separation, My Brain Rupert, and Why I Hate Geese

So I’m thinking about getting a legal separation. Not from my wife.  Laura and I are looking forward to irritating each other into our salad days.

Sadly it’s my brain that’s been causing the trouble.

I’m not considering anything rash mind you. Once Darcy is self sufficient by the age of eight or so I think I’ll be in a good place to explore the relationship objectively and contact an attorney or two. Granted there are some logistical issues but I’m willing to keep an open mind.

Don’t get me wrong we’ve had a…decent run. Almost 40 years in fact and I love the bastard. Rupert (I like to think of my brain as a he but I could be wrong) and I have had our problems but he’s generally held up his end of the bargain and kept my consciousness at a continuum which is, really, the least that can be expected.

In all fairness I haven’t been that kind to Rupert since my adolescence. I always forget to take my ginkgo biloba and the most mental exercise I’ve had recently was translating  the assembly instructions for Darcy’s balance bike last Christmas.

Still I believe that Rupert does bear some portion of blame. I know that according to popular belief laying fault in a situation like this is generally thought  to be counter productive and I get that, I really do. The blame game does have one enormous benefit in that it provides me with a scapegoat . Instead of focusing on my own crippling inadequacies, a situation that would render me unable to leave the bed and most likely incontinent to boot, I’m able to live a marginally productive and ambulatory existence.

The fact is that I don’t recall asking for neurons that sucked up serotonin like a Hoover vacuum cleaner instead of throwing them around like a hot potato in the way God intended. It doesn’t sound all that bad I admit and most of the time it isn’t thanks to medication, liberal doses of alcohol and a rigorous schedule of self gratification.

Sometimes however things aren’t so hunky fucking dory and I get a bit…wiggy.

At the best of times Rupert compels me to perform various rituals in an attempt to maintain some delusional measure of control over my environment. It’s usually something innocuous like counting the number of cars in a parking lot until I find a a row with an even number and an available space.

Other times Rupert requires me to step on the seam between concrete slabs on a sidewalk with my left foot when my right has, previously, trodden on another or tap my right thigh with one hand if the other has insolently brushed against the left.  I might look like I’m having a controlled seizure or a bout of Turrets but I’m still able to function, more or less, on a daily basis.

I should mention that these actions don’t provide me with an immense sense of satisfaction. It’s more like I’m throwing myself back and forth on a teeter totter in an attempt to maintain an equilibrium that is doomed to be thrown out of balance.

For the most part I go through life with a general sense of unease but then again I imagine that’s the case for most people.

During the worst of times there’s no amount of thigh tapping or car counting to hold off a panic attack which is really what it’s all about. If you’ve never had one I cannot recommend the experience. Imagine bonging a gallon of coffee spiked with a few grams of crystal meth and then base jumping off the Chrysler Building with a bungee cord that was measured and cut by Andy Dick’s retarded brother.

It’s a real treat. The problem is that panic attacks are like potato chips and you can’t have just one.

I’ve managed to adjust as best as I can. Still at those moments and sometimes days when I’m primed for terror I can imagine the absolute worst in any situation, real or hypothetical.

Consider the following scenario: A beautiful day in June, a walk in the city garden with my wife, a family of ducklings on one side of a pond, a goose, a gander and a gosling on the other.

It sounds sublime doesn’t it? Peaceful? Transcendent?

It wasn’t at least not for me. Given the chance Rupert and I can screw up just about any moment.

As my wife and I rounded the pond my we gave each other a small smile and watched five or six ducklings follow their parents into the reeds. I remember thinking that life was so fragile, how it consists of little islands of joy like the one Laura and I were sharing that carried one through the doldrums before the bottom dropped out.

I immediately pictured us in a horrible accident on the way home, some multiple car pile up that left me relatively unharmed but Laura clinging to life in an ICU. I stayed by her bedside day and night as she remained unresponsive, the only sound between us the harsh gasp and suck of the ventilator.

The doctors, at first kind and understanding, would become more insistent. The phrase “vegetative state” would eventually be thrown into the ring. I would be reminded of the instructions in our trust, Laura’s wish to avoid extreme measures to prolong her life. Finally I would acquiesce and Laura would pass quietly, anticlimactically into the great unknown.

I would survive her by 70 years, living alone in the home we shared together briefly, subsisting solely on Golden Grahams cereal, and storing my urine in mason jars in a tribute to each and every worthless day I had spent since my beloved wife’s death.

Of course nothing like that every happened. We finished our walk and drove home without incident.

Before we left the park however I experienced one of those delightful little ironies reaffirms my belief, if not in a higher power, then in a universe with a profoundly screwed up sense of humor.

By the time I was on the brink of an emotional collapse from our summer walk the aforementioned ducks and ducklings had paddled off to the side of the pond staked out by the geese. Once mama and papa duck realized that they’d gotten into unfriendly territory they tore ass in reverse with all their ducklings in tow. The gander raised his wings, took chase and then proceeded to peck the last duckling in line to death until it was nothing more than a mangled piece of yellow fluff floating on the water.

I was horrified, like most of the other witnesses but also filled with a profound sense of relief. I know it sounds strange, even sick. There is really no rationale behind it, but the fact that something awful had occurred freed me up to enjoy the rest of the day.

By the time we got home I wasn’t exactly jubilant but a lot less “edgy” as Laura likes to say. I waited until she went to sleep before I threw six or seven boxes of Golden Grahams into the trash as well as a few dozen mason jars, slept for a few hours and then woke up at four in the morning to obsess over another day.

…and Thank You For Spamming

I’d like to thank everyone out there in the world wide web for reading but I’d also like to give a special shout out to the spammers.

As some of my more observant readers may have noticed I don’t post comments. This is in no way due to the fact that I don’t receive many legitimate comments, have a dearth of readers, or have yet to figure out the nuances of the backend of this site.

Let’s face it. I could spend an hour or two reading posts in chatrooms about banning spammers and posting comments or continue to enlighten the public at large with my various witticisms.

The other, and more pertinent reason I don’t post comments, is that there are just so many worthy causes to address. To be honest I didn’t feel as if my response should be limited to one or two strings. Why limit the audience and deprive my countless number of readers from the pleasure of my thoughts? And so for your reading pleasure, and the edification of the spammers, here we go.

For all those concerned about my site’s searchability, thank you for noticing that I have not made my site optimally searchworthy. I would point out that you have found me without much trouble at all. While I would dearly love to have three million followers on Facebook I’m somewhat dubious of your claims. When I get around to adding metatags and keywords please know that you will be the last person I would ever contact.

All relatives of an African Prince. I am sorry that your cousin/father/brother/post op tranny wife has fallen upon hard times. While I appreciate the investment opportunity I’m not clear on precisely how my contribution of $1499 will alleviate the situation. I encourage you to contact/bribe the local authorities or come up with a scam  that has an outside chance of fooling a retarded sixty seven year old shut in with four hundred cats in 1996.

To all those who are offering VI@GR@  at ch$$p prices I appreciate your concern about my failure to achieve an erection. For the record it only happened once and I’d had a lot to drink. On a related note please let me know if my wife gave you this address. I’ve been under quite a bit of stress lately, not that it’s anyone’s business.

For those who feel compelled to advertise in a language that is not English please attempt to find a translation. I appreciate the international attention but my Dutch, Japanese, Mandarin and Esperanto isn’t up to snuff these days. It’s really just common courtesy. I wouldn’t blast your site with twenty solicitations about “happy Joy FUN FUN TIME!!! LOVE the dog sense pleasure me SITE!!!” Find a decent translator and know that I have reported you to the authorities for bestiality.

Finally, as a man of advancing years I’m not immune to the charms of an occasional come on but please target your audience. I am happily married but even if I weren’t I have no need for a “Super dog dirty anus double plus bonus bonus”, a “young Vietnamese hairy cat wink wink” or a “hot Ukrainian labia extra cheap.”

As always thank you for reading and please keep spamming.

Anxiety Disorder, Depression and the Pleasure of Being Me

OCD, that’s obsessive compulsive disorder for the un-anointed, is a real treat. I should know. While it is accurate to say that I suffer from OCD it’s even more accurate to say that my friends and family suffer as well. Whether this is because of OCD or another quirk in my shining personality remains to be seen and is peripheral to this particular post.

The upshot of OCD is that I can focus on many potential irritants in my environment while never giving any particular one the attention it deserves. It’s like multitasking but instead of drinking, driving and using the phone I juggle my numerous neurotic tendencies.

As I write this post I’m also considering reorganizing my shirts according to the colors of the visible spectrum as well as changing the placement of the implements in my dishwasher for optimal cleanliness. I’ve even started a spreadsheet demarking the best places for coffee cups, dinner plates, glasses and silverware as well a a lengthy note to my wife on how to stack the dishwasher in an appropriate fashion.

Fortunately I’m on the low end of the OCD scale although it may not be apparent. I don’t wash my hands a few hundred times a day, wait for a song to end in the car in tandem with an even digit on the clock. Those are fairly extreme cases and, from my limited understanding, not the typical way that this joyful condition presents itself.

According to recent debate my need to place my right foot squarely on the joints in the sidewalk at every third step is due to a delightful mélange of neurotic disorders. Experts such as myself on OCD believe that this behavior is prompted by an underlying condition involving anxiety and inventively named General Anxiety Disorder.

From my loose understanding of the subject my anxiety about the world at large sparks my OCD as a coping mechanism and when all the toe tapping counting fails to reconcile the real world with my own expectations I tailspin into depression. It’s like three getting disorders for the price of one!

The ostensible culprit for this vicious cycle is undoubtedly my mother. She told me once that I had “sexy feet” when I was fourteen. She also flashed me, inadvertently I should add, when I came home hammered at two in the morning and startled her awake but that’s an issue for another time.

Illnesses, like people, snowflakes or bad trips are usually boring to hear about. They are also unique.  One of the hallmarks of my own condition is the need to repeat lyrics and jingles pretty much ad nauseam in the background of my mind until something more irritating comes along or I have a stroke.

According to the latest doctrine the reason why the chorus of “Sweat From My Balls” rattled around my brain for the last 48 hours is due to an imbalance of serotonin, specifically (and my OCD made me add this part) the inability of certain neurons to absorb the hormone in appropriate amounts.

That’s all well and good mind you but it doesn’t get “Heart of Glass” out of my mind without copious amounts of medication, alcohol or sometimes both.

There’s no rhyme or reason to what will get stuck in an almost infinite loop inside my tiny little mind. This afternoon featured the first few lines of a jingle Nabisco used to sell Oreo cookies back in the 1980’s.

            Ice cold milk

            and an Oreo cookie

I couldn’t remember the rest and, for a good three hours, those two lines repeated over and over again until I was humming the song and Darcy asked me to stop because “her ears hurt”. In order to maintain some semblance of sanity I came up with some alternate lyrics for the jingle and tucked it safely away behind the facade I use to perpetrate a, more or less, rational member of society.

            Fellatio

            And an Oreo cookie

            If you’re not a Wookie

           I’d like a little nookie

I’m not saying that Nabisco will be knocking down my door anytime soon to come up with their next as campaign but it was the best i could come up with at short notice. Still it was nice to have a piece of my own creation to bounce around  my brain instead of two lines from a commercial that last saw airtime when Reagan and Rex came up with the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Forgive me for leaving abruptly but the chorus of “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” has just begun to cycle in my thoughts and I need find the bourbon.

The Wreck, Thirty Seconds and How I Thought I’d Lost My Wife and Daughter

For 30 seconds today I thought my wife and daughter were dead.

Laura and I were our way to Darcy’s ballet class and intended to stop at a car wash to have both cars cleaned beforehand. I was following behind them as we pulled off the interstate and merged onto a four lane road. I was maybe 200 yards behind them.

Laura, in our SUV made her way through the underpass. I had a moment to notice that the light holding traffic at the exit ramp was green and by the time I glanced down at the radio and up again it had blinked to red.

I could see that Laura was going to head through the intersection, that she didn’t see that the light had changed. Traffic began moving from the right exit ramp for eastbound traffic. Laura swerved to avoid one car and I thought, believed, that was the end of it . I’d even constructed a half a sentence about how I’d tell her that the light had changed in the blink of an eye when an SUV slammed into the back passenger side of Laura’s car, the side where Darcy was sitting.

T-boned, Laura’s car was plowed sideways until it hit a curb, flipped over, smashed into the pavement hood first and crushed all but a few inches of windshield.  As I watched the car rifle up in the air a hole opened up in my gut and my entire body, heart, soul and stomach sank into my midsection. I remembered reading something maybe twenty years ago about how fatalities in car accidents increased exponentially when a car turned turtle and as I saw the car slide to a thought I knew that my wife and daughter were dead.

It took me 30 seconds to get to them.

I laid on the horn and stomped on the accelerator, plowed over bits of metal and glass before stopping some twenty feet away. The driver side of the car was closest. The frame was irrevocably bent and I remember thinking that I might not be able to pull open the door.

I could see Laura through the airbags and the cracked glass, she was moving, and I knew that she was conscious. I yanked open the door, pulled her out of the car onto the concrete and then bolted to the other side of the car. I could hear her crying ,which I took to be a good sign, but she was suspended upside down from her car seat.

I had just unlatched Darcy and was trying to remove her as gently as possible when a nurse, coming home from work, stopped and helped me secure my daughter.  Darcy appeared to be all right. I didn’t see any blood, she responded to a few questions from the paramedics as best as she could and I ran back to Laura.

She was sitting by the car and hadn’t moved. A firefighter from another county, also passing by, had already put Laura in a neck brace and was updating her about our daughter’s condition.

It was when Darcy complained about a pain in her knee, the same one she had skinned just an hour earlier on the sidewalk in front of her house, that I knew she was most likely all right. Shell shocked and dazed but all right.

The other car was driven by the husband of a young family. He, his wife and their two children (both younger than Darcy) were unharmed and declined medical treatment.

Aside from a bruise on her knee Laura appeared to be fine. Our car, a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe was totaled. There isn’t any way it couldn’t be. Despite being T-boned, flipping over onto its hood the engine was still running. Looking at the wreckage, the crumpled hood, exposed engine block, busted glass and twisted metal I couldn’t imagine how anyone could have survived such violence.

We did though or more specifically they did, Laura and Darcy. They were both shuffled off into an ambulance. I raced to the hospital and waited for them to arrive.

Some friends of ours were kind enough to come by and bring their children which was greatly appreciated. Darcy ran around the ER with the two other girls in a whirlwind. David, their father, kept an eye on me and Roxanne, his wife, tended to my wife before Laura and Darcy were released.

We went home, ordered a pizza, and watched Dora the Explorer before it was time to go to bed. I decided to buy two more Britax car seats the next day and the biggest fucking vehicle I can afford as well as a few more guns for home defense.

I could make some flip comments about how I was glad we didn’t gas up the car in the morning or get it washed before the accident. I’d be lying if I didn’t have those thoughts or that I didn’t mention them to Laura once I was certain that we were going to be all right. It’s my way of coping and it garnished a short laugh from my wife.

I could write something pithy about how these sorts of things are never happen when you expect them and strike like a bolt from the great blue beyond on a cloudy Saturday morning on the way to a ballet class.

I could tell you to hold your wife or daughter or son or husband at every chance and let them know how precious they are, how vital they are, at each and every opportunity and you should. You should do all of those things every minute of every day at every chance.

I love those two girls more than life itself and it shouldn’t take a moment like this for me to come to that understanding. The sad thing is that I do, every day, every minute Laura or Darcy is out of eyesight I worry and twelve hours later I’m still waiting for the hammer to drop.

I can picture everything in that wreck with such horrid precision, the impact of the two cars, the blackhole in my gut as I watched our SUV skid against the curb, flip and then hammer into the pavement…that half of a minute when I believed that I had lost my wife and daughter.

The Lost and Found, Rock Salt Displays and Reciprocal Beatings

I’ve been thinking about setting up a lost and found area for our house these days, nothing special mind you, just a box by the fridge and a piece of paper above it to detail various items the family has recovered or parted ways with.

In time it might involve a newsletter to keep my family up to date about our coming and goings. It’s always nice to put out something in print that someone might actually read but, in the meantime, I see the piece as something more simple and pragmatic. Here’s an example of what it might look like this week:

LOST: Half of one Crayola Crayon. Color Red. Answers to “Lollyfossa” If found please contact distraught three year old.

LOST: Short term memory. Last seen in 2009. Call father if found IMMEDIATELY.

LOST: Desire to shower regularly. Family requests that if found please return to Dad ASAP

LOST: 3064 hours of sleep. BIG $$$ if found. Contact father or have him hit by a car. COMA welcome.

LOST: Short term memory. Last seen in 2009. Call father if found IMMEDIATELY.

FOUND: One unflushed turd in toilet. IMPRESSIVE Size!!! Complete with half red crayon. Name unknown. Cannot return to owner. Please contact father to flush next time.

FOUND: Extra ten pounds during Academy Awards and subsequent ice storm. Owner: Father. If needed please inquire about a fat transfer.

FOUND: Rock salt display in coaster. Tastes DELICIOUS. If not claimed within three days will be donated to art museum under ANONYMOUS.

FOUND: One lump on daughter’s head. SPECIAL REWARD to provider of lump and parents in the form of a reciprocal BEATING and LAWSUIT!!!

FOUND: One fart in the tub. HILARIOUS. If found again please notify either father or mother for pictures.

LOST: Short term memory. Last seen in 2009. Call father if found IMMEDIATELY.

This concludes the weekly lost and found. Please stay tuned for further updates.