Sunday, May 29, 2011

Identical twin

We recently visited the girls great grand father, Big Pop.  Although Big Pop's house has more than one bedroom, my family always seems to end up in one room and more specifically in one bed at night.  As the girls have continued to grow, even a king size bed is no longer accommodating for four people.  The last trip was finally the deal breaker.  It was finally time to kick out the little folks.

You may be asking "How bad could it be?"  Consider this, every time you rollover to change sides waking up to see if you are not going to squish, crush or otherwise maim the person beside you.  And although not as bad as tent camping sleep, it is not the one of the most restful nights sleep one can get.  The big commotion must have started about 2 AM.  Least this is what I was told at breakfast the next morning.  

Mom: "Girls y'all are not sleeping in our bed tonight.  It is time for you two to graduate to the sofa bed/hideaway bed.  I did not get much sleep from being kicked in the gut and slapped in the face." 
The girls responded with concern as would anyone would when presented with change.  
Girls: "We do not want to sleep in there; it's scary in that room." 

Negotiation strategy is all about providing the bad guys something they want, or better yet something they have not thought of.  Either way the goal is to distract or provide an alternative prize.

Me: "Girls there is a TV in the extra den with the sofa bed. You can watch TV." 
Girls: "We can watch TV!"  They ran back to the extra den right then to check out their new pad.
Mom: "Why haven't we thought about that before?"
Me: "They have never kicked you in the gut or slapped you in the face while they were sleeping before."

We spent most of the rest of that day on the golf course.  The girls love the golf course.  They run up and down the hills, through the sand traps ("Hey get out of there!"), but most of all they love the golf cart.  There favorite part is when we let them drive steer the golf carts.  There is something intoxicating for kids, and those that feel like a kid, driving an electrical vehicle around on a paved path with the wind blowing in your face.

Later that night after we settled down from our golf outing and dinner I was given instructions to set up the sofa bed for the girls.  I went to perform my duty about 9:00 PM and found a surprise.  Big Pop had made up the sofa bed with his magical powers.  (Grandparents are so tricky.  Not sure when he did it...maybe when we were watching Swamp People on the History channel.  Swamp People, have you ever?)

We finished watching the last episode of Swamp People for the evening and sent the girls to their new bedroom.  They were so excited.  They turned on the TV as soon as they arrived.  They found Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel.  They even shushed me when I tried to tell them good night.  However, I was able to lay down the law provide instructions to KJ, she being the oldest. 
Me: "KJ it's 10:00. It is already way past your bedtime.  As soon as this show is over, I want you to turn off the TV.  You got that?"
KJ: "Yes Dad."
Me: "Don't loose your TV privileges the first night."
KJ: "We won't.  Goodnight Dad."

Because of all the restless sleep the night before, I slept like a log.  Walking into the kitchen for some breakfast the next morning I was greeted with "Do you know what time your children went to bed last night?"
"Considering I feel asleep shortly after..." 
"1:30 Kipp.  They were still watching TV at 1:30."
"I told KJ to turn if off at 10:30."
"Well at 1:30 I woke up to Squirt running down the hall to go to the bathroom.  I checked on them and they were still watching TV.  You need to go talk to them, cause I slept really good last night, other than putting them to bed at 1:30, and I do not want them back in the bed with us."

I go back to the extra den to find my juvenile delinquent children.  I put on my disciplinary dad face.  With a parental speech on disobedience prepared, I find KJ stretching on the sofa bed trying to wake up.  

Me: "How did you sleep last night KJ?" 
KJ: "Fine."
Me: "What time did you go to bed?"
She shrugged her shoulders and grunted I don't know.
Me: "Mom said you guys were still up at 1:30".
KJ continued to stretch sensing nothing wrong at this point.
I have learned as a parent this is the best time to drop the proverbial hammer.
Me: "I thought I told you at 10:00 to turn the TV off at 10:30 when the show you were watching was over."
KJ sensing danger, suddenly sat up on the sofa bed.  She was on her knees in a instant.  With her hair a mess and her eyes as wide as saucers she starts talking as fast as humanly possible, "But Dad you did not say '10:30' you said when the show was over.  She stretches out her arms as far as she could, "It was a Good Luck Charlie marathonSo the same show kept coming on over and over.  And you said when the show was over to turn off the TV, and I was going too, but it kept coming back on."
Me: Laughing out loud I responded, "Well played.  Your mother may not understand, but I get you loud and clear.  O my - you are just like somebody I know." 

I can see teenage years are going to be...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mystery meat

Sunday after church we usually go out to lunch.  This week was an unusual selection.  We rarely go to Morrison's cafeteria any more but Kipp Jr (KJ) was in the mood for blue Jell-O.  Morrison's is the only place in town to get blue Jell-O.

It's not that we do not like Morrison's, it's just there are so many other selections it often gets pushed down the list.  Morrison's has good food, a great wait staff, a clean restaurant, no wait other than going through the line (cafeteria style).  Typically you have a wait for a table at other restaurants, but at Morrison's the wait is a lot more enjoyable.  What better way to get in the mood for lunch than the lunch food preview.   

As we entered, to our excitement the line was non-existent.  We were greeted by the staff, "Good morning, would you like some dessert?"  They were not asking me or my wife about it, they were asking the kids.  Kid friendly indeed, more like used car salesmen.  Luckily we already made up our mind on what dessert options we were prepared to purchase before entering the showroom restaurant. 

Your taste buds send messages to your brain about strawberry pie, carrot salad, cole slaw, some fruity congealed salad mushy stuff that for some reason makes you want to try it, then the turkey and dressing, fried chicken, talapia, liver and onions, hamburger steak covered in gravy...wooo whooo!  I was more excited than a kid going down the big slide at a water park.  

No this post is not about my food selection at the Morrison's. 

As we approached the drink station, the line behind us had increased quite a bit.  I will not go as far as to say the senior adult clientele were pushing us through the line, but I will say they seemed to already know exactly what they wanted.  When we slowed down to dispense ice in our cups the machine whined and groaned for several moments before it dropped one cube of ice into the cup.  "Looks like the machine is out of ice." My wife announced to me.  Being the supportive husband I am I responded accordingly, "Well what do you want me to do about it?"  No of course I did not say that with my outside voice.  My outside voice said, "Why don't you ask that lady right there if she will refill the ice machine."    

From behind me in line the restless natives started in:
Guest 1: "Hey what's the hold up son?"
Me: "The ice machine is out of ice."
Guest 1: "Why are you telling me about it."   
A little stunned I said, "Excuse me?"
As the sweet mature lady behind me looked across the sneeze guard she raised a finger and her voice and called out, "Hey Gertrude, get us some ice will you?"
I looked at the old bag sweet lady behind me and with a smile said "So you come here often?"
With a no-nonsense look of a school teacher and her finger now pointing at me she said "Young man....She is my daughter, between my senior discount and her employee discount I eat here for nearly nothing."
Me: "Well that's nice."
Guest 1: "Hurry up Gertrude my food is getting cold."
Me: "Enjoy your meal."

We made it through the rest of line without getting pushed into any add ons or super dilly packages by the staff.  We stuck with the regular dilly and made it out of the line as planned.  Staying focused on our budget helped us make it out of the line very satisfied customers indeed.  I also made it out of the line before Gertrude's great-great-grandmother stabbed me with her fork.

Selecting a table is another fun adventure at Morrison's.  Because the wait staff is not serving your food, they carry your tray to "your" table, take away said tray, then refill your drink in order to earn a tip.  As you might imagine you are taken to a table in their section of the restaurant.  Sometimes you get a single option on preference once you are in their section 'booth or table'.  Mostly you are told where to sit.  Again it's all part of the Morrison's cafeteria style experience.   

We chose a booth as our preference to keep the kids under control.  When we sit at a table the kids tend to get up more often.  There have been "accidents" by the wait staff walking around with overloaded entrees' when we sit at tables.

The next few seconds baffle me.  For some unknown reason when you get to the booth/table everybody wants to unload their food from the tray as quickly as possible.  Tempers flare, elbows are thrown, feelings are hurt, dirty looks are expected... I mean is there somebody trying to steal our booth, no.  Are we racing to see who can unload a tray the fastest.  What useful skill set is that good for?  Are we trying to make sure our food is not touched by another member of our own family because that is mine and you can't have it...possibly.  Anyway for about 10 seconds there is shear pandemonium with dishes clanging, the waiter/server asking if they can get us any thing else, threats shouted at children, yet a sweet smile and cordial response is issued to the waiter/server "Yes, some silverware and ketchup would be great, thanks." Then a sudden quiet returns to the table when after the waiter/server steps away and a soft voice says "Dad - can I say the blessing?"  What is up with that?

When the waiter/server returns with the silverware, KJ unashamedly blurts out, "Something smells".  Why our oldest daughter decided this moment to speak up and out loud the very moment he returned with the silverware is beyond me...why was I concerned about this statement from her you ask.  The smell I picked up on that very moment was one of three or four day old B.O.  That's right the smell of a man that has been working some long hours and may not have had a chance to clean up around the out house if you know what I mean.  As my wife is shushing KJ, the waiter/server man looks at me and says, "Is there a problem here sir?" 
"No, no I think we are good.  Wait did you bring the ketchup, oh there it is...yep were are good.  Thank you."

As soon as he is gone my wife looks at me and says "Kipp the smell is still here, I think it's the booth.  Maybe we should move to the table."   "I am not sure it is the booth but OK."
Moving our food without the help of a tray took a lot longer than the first a whole 15 seconds.

The waiter/server returned to check on us.  "Is everything OK?" 
"Yeah the girls thought the booth smelled funny so we moved over here.  We hope it's OK."    
"Sure." he says quickly red faced and walks away quickly with his hand on his upper lip.  
I tell my wife, "Poor guy is getting emotional.  We have to hurry up and get out of here."
Her: "Do you think it is him?"
Me: "I smelled it again when he was just here."
She responds, "We need to leave him an extra tip, he may need some extra hygiene products after he leaves work today."

We managed to choke our food down in record time.  Even the girls cooperated.  The waiter/server guy did not return to our table.  We got up and got in line to pay for our meal.  As we are standing in line the waiter/server passes by us inadvertently.  The smell was worse than ever.  I guess we had made him even more nervous changing tables on him like that but blaming it on the booth.  The people ahead of us in line turned and looked at us like "Oh my word, do you guys smell that?"  I returned a look of "It's that guy over there.  Can you believe they do not send him home?"

We finally make it outside and we all take a deep breathe of fresh Sunday afternoon air as we walked back to the van.  When we get in the van my wife says, "We can not go back in for a long long time.  If that man is still there working it would be soooo awkward."  
"I have to agree with you honey, did you see the look he gave me when KJ said 'something smells'?  I thought he was going to ask me to step outside.  Dang that was the worst smell.  Do you think he pooped his pants?  
"Yes about four days ago.  Let's not talk about it.  I think I still smell it.  Let's just stop talking about it."
"I think I still smell it too.  Did you see him touch me?  Did he touch me?  Why do I still smell that smell?"
"Kipp the smell is in the van!"  How did it get in the van?!"
"I don't know.  Is he in here?"

"EWWWWWWW!!!! screamed KJ
"WHAT IS IT?! I asked KJ
"There is something on the bottom of my shoe."

As I turn to look at KJ, I am face to shoe with the worst odor I have ever smelled in my entire life.  KJ had lifted her shoe up so I could see what she had found.  My face being less than an inch away; I gagged from the smell.  If my driving skills were not stellar we could have crashed.  ;)
"Mom what do I do?" 
"KJ put that down!  Wait!  Not on the floor.  Take it off.  But turn it up so the "stuff" does not get on the carpet."
We were already moving down the road when the discovery was made.  Several things suddenly took place.  First the windows were immediately rolled down.  The speed of our journey home increased exponentially.  Red lights were simply ignored.  One whiff and any officer would have understood.  My wife had her head out the window, literally.  I am not kidding, out the window.  
Next we interrogated said daughter on where she could have possibly stepped in something so foul.  
KJ: I don't know.  
Mama: Did you play outside at Church?
KJ: No we stayed inside.
Mama: Did you stay on the side walk on the way to the van after church?
KJ: Yes.
Mama: Did you step in anything in the church parking lot?
Me: Honey we do not have dogs roaming the parking lot.
Ignoring me completely she continued...
Mama: Did you walk on the side walk to the restaurant?
KJ: Not the whole time.
Mama: Ah ha!  Did you walk on the grass at the restaurant on your way in?
KJ: Yes, maybe.
Mama: That's where it was!
Me: Very nice Agatha.
Mama: Hush.
Me: O you hear that...

We finally slide the van into the driveway and bail out of the van opening all five doors wide open.  As we all stared through the blinds at the van through the window of the kitchen door, Agatha spoke up.  "We have to sell the van." 

Agatha: "What should I do with the shoes?"
Me: "Hose them off."  
Agatha: "You know what, they did not cost that much I will buy her some new ones."
KJ: "Good.  Cause I was not going to wear those shoes ever again."

The girls left the kitchen window to go take a bath.  They actually asked to take a bath to get the stink off.  You know it was a bad smell if kids asked to take a bath.  

My wife changed clothes and goes back out the van. "Kipp I don't think it is dog poop.  Come out here and take a look." 
Me: "You know what, I believe you."
Her: "No you need to come out here and see this."

I will just say it was not dog poop.  Matter of fact I am not sure it was poop at all.  It was clear and gel like.  If was an animal, it was an internal part.  Which part I don't know.  If was not an animal I really do not want to know what it was...ever.  We bagged up the shoes and threw them in the big trash can. 

Agatha spent the next 30-45 minutes using every cleaner we owned getting the substance out of the van.  When she came in the house she was laughing.  "What's so funny?" I asked. 

It occurred to us about the same time, it was not the waiter/server.  It was not the man we had left a handsome tip for personal hygiene products.  It was not the emotional unstable man holding his upper lip in embarrassment.  He was probably appalled to see a father that would embarrass his daughter by making her eat lunch in a restaurant in soiled britches while he blamed it on a empty booth.  It was not him, it was us!  We were the ones that smelled.  We were the ones the people in line were looking at wondering which one of us had pooped our pants.  It is us that can never go back to that restaurant as long as that waiter/server works there.  We were the cafeteria mystery meat.

The moral to this story...if the stink on somebody else is following you...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We will return in a few moments

Hey everybody!

There have been several events since my last post.  Natural disasters, a famous wedding, victory in the most wanted category, political/celebrity scandal, and a few thousand other stories.

I have been out gathering some more material, but just have not been able to sit still long enough to write them all down.  Hopefully some of my latest adventures will bring back some sanity around here and maybe even a few smiles. 
Thanks to those of you I have seen over the past few weeks expressing your "When is your next post?  I finally read the one about _____ and laughed till I had tears in my eyes" comments.  Talk like that might get you a cameo in a new post. :)

I just wanted to post a post about some new material on its way in a few days.  I'll be back.  No, wait, I shouldn't use that phrase...

Come see me again in a few days.