“Add a couple more to make your post easier for others to discover. Some suggestions: apple of my eye, lovely child, energy reserves, and mother fucking.”
I just got back from the war. It was brutal and terrible. I have scars that will never heal. Lives were not lost but some sanity sure as fuck was…and it happened in my three-year-old daughter’s bedroom.
This was not the first, and it won’t be the last. See, when I enter that room with my daughter in tow at 7:45pm every night, it becomes the mother fucking Gaza Strip…and the shelling begins shortly after.
My daughter is the sweetest princess of all the land. Ask her, she’ll tell you so. She is the apple of my eye and holds my heart in her little hand like any daughter does with a loving father. My daughter is also the hellspawn demon known as Melboza. Ask her, she’ll tell you that too. Or something along those lines when she is screaming and clawing and raging in what can only be garbled satanic verses. You see, my lovely child does not believe in sleep. At least not regulated, scheduled sleep. She’s perfectly happy running through the house like beheaded chicken until she collapses on the couch in a sluggish stupor for a couple hours…as long as it is on HER terms. But an actual, instituted bedtime that some other entity other than herself sets up and enforces? This does not fit in her little view of the world.
This nightly war begins by first herding her into her bedroom and into her bed. This process alone takes up about 70% of my energy reserves and about 50% of my tempered restraint. During this incredibly short walk up the stairs and down the hall, she will, without fail, find some single object on the ground and demand to know what it is and what its back story is. Of course this is all knowledge she already possesses or doesn’t really want to know, as this is only “phase one” in her toddler-stalling strategy.
“Daddy, what’s that?”
“What? That? It’s a freakin’ shoe. It’s Daddy’s shoe.”
“But….but….why is…why is it….Daddy why is your shoe on the ground?”
“Who cares? Get in your room. It’s time for be-”
“Daddy, I want to bring your shoe back to its other shoe so it won’t be lonely-”
“Stop, it’s a shoe.”
“But, I want to help the shoe-”
“GET IN YOUR BED NOW JESUS CHRIST! STOP PRETENDING YOU CARE ABOUT THE SHOE!”
As we pass the hall bathroom I pointlessly ask her if she needs to go potty now. No, of course she doesn’t. Why would she waste that ammo now? When I finally get her into her tiny, pink, Disney Princess bed and get her tucked in as tight as legally allowed, I quickly pick out the required three bedtime story books from her shelf-focusing on the least amount of pages and words (let her teachers worry about fuckin’ reading comprehension, I got Fast Five on pause downstairs). After the third book is finished, but before I turn the light off, she quickly announces that she NOW needs to go potty. Well played. As she walks out of the room towards the bathroom she, in passing, remarks that she suddenly wants her favorite stuffed dog too. I ask her where he is….she does not know, but will NOT go to sleep without it. Fuck. Another brilliant play. I’m now scouring the upstairs for her beloved stuffed animal that she hasn’t given a fuck about in like two days while she sneaks out of the bathroom and down the stairs. When I finally locate the dog mysteriously stuffed at the bottom of the clothes hamper, I realize my daughter has gone AWOL and begin the threatening chant of “when I FIND youuuuu, I’m going to BEAT your little fanny ’til sitting is no LONGER an option!” She is unfazed when I finally locate her down in the living room, watching Fast Five. “GET UPSTAIRS NOW! AND DON’T TELL ME IF VIN DIESEL DIES! DON’T! That man is a saint…”
Finally she is back in her bed. I’ve tucked her in for the fifth time and I’ve now given her three glasses of water-pretty much ensuring a future bathroom visit within the next twenty minutes. In addition to the earlier books, I have now made up about six stories from scratch that contain the essential elements of princesses, rainbows, “horsies” and balloons- each story regressing in complexity as I increasingly tire until the final story consisted of a balloon trying to put a rainbow to bed because the balloon was really starting to worry about keeping Fast Five on pause this fucking long…like maybe it would break the player. And the balloon cannot afford another Blu Ray player…
Finally, having exhausted her bag of tricks and seeing no other alternative, she begins the final “self destruct” sequence by issuing the inevitable phrase: “I want mommy”. Dammit.
“No, Mommy is downstairs and you are staying in your bed and you are going to sleep.”
“No! I want….MOMMMMMMYYYY!” It has begun.
The next twenty minutes are a truly horrific ordeal and not for the faint of heart. It consists of her continuously launching herself from her bed toward the bedroom door like a rabid monkey, with no regard for her bodily safety, screaming in tongues and cursing in other long-forgotten languages as she attempts to guilt her mother into saving her from this wretched sentence of dictated sleep. The time for reason has long passed. I can say nothing that will calm her. No bargains to be made. I can only stand in front of the door, blocking her constant attempts at escape, gripping the frames of the door and denying her any exit like I’m fucking Gandalf the Grey (YOU SHALL NOT PASS!). Layers of skin are lost. Likely internal bleeding. But I stand strong. I’ve trained for this. I’ve been bred for this. I am…a parent.
Finally, her last sugar reserves exhausted, she collapses in a heap. I slowly relax my white-knuckle grip on the door frame and gently scoop her up, give her a kiss on the cheek and ease her into bed while she quietly whispers “I want to go to bed, Daddy”.
She is asleep now, but my mission is not yet over. You see, our house was built in 1927. It’s a fine house, but one thing it is not…is quiet. While the distance from my daughter’s bed to the hallway is only about eight feet, ever single step-every single movement-releases maddening creaks from the ancient floor boards. Her door, if moved any faster than a snail’s pace, will squawk like a drunken parrot. It’s suddenly Ocean’s Fourteen in her room as I slowly negotiate ever step and movement like I’m ducking lasers, terrified that one wrong move will wake the demon from her precarious slumber. I’m effectively pop-locking in the dark…and I’m not bad.
Eventually, I make it back to my bed and collapse onto my covers, too weak to pull them over my shaking head-Fast Five long forgotten.
“What was that all about?” my wife asks while leaning into the bedroom.
“You weren’t there, man,” I whisper. “You weren’t there…”.
“Whatever,” she says. “Vin Diesel died by the way,” and then she is gone.
It is only as I drift off that I hear the quiet whisper emanating from my daughter’s room: “Daddy…can I have a drink of water?”
Do people really not know if they’re idiots? I mean, we all have our personal bias-blinders on when assessing ourselves to some degree, but if you’re taking your husband’s credit cards behind his back and maxing them out one by one in order to add to a massive collections of useless consumer goods…do you really NEED some schmuck to sit you down and tell you you’re being a fucking retard? Are you really that unaware? And do you really need that schmuck to do it on national television? And does he have to have a Texan accent? Are these truly essential elements that certain people have to have in order to finally slap themselves in the face and say “Holy shit….I really am a fucking idiot.”.
See, on my days off I pretty much just let my roots grow deep into my couch and become one with its fabric while I hand my eyeballs and mind over to the television. That makes it sound like some cultist religion, and maybe watching TV for hours on end could actually qualify as one (but without all the cool group-sex stuff), but my wife doesn’t mind ’cause it keeps me out of trouble. And I watch a lot of shit. Tons. You give me a choice between Citizen Kane and Maury Povich, I’m the guy yelling “OH….it is SOOO your baby and you know it! Maury! Maury!” Fuck Rosebud.
But my latest guilty pleasure, or perhaps torture, is mother fucking Dr. Phil. This bald, self-righteous, brick of a man with an IQ-dropping southern accent. I am truly baffled how this guy has become a millionaire by basically telling idiots that they are idiots. No brilliant, layer-peeling therapy. No truly original insight into the modern mind. He just tells wives who steal their husband’s credit cards and drive their families into bankruptcy that, yes, you are a fucking idiot. And these people are then somehow enlightened in that moment. It’s as if then, and only then, being spoon fed by some texas twang with a studio audience staring, do the kindergarten-sized puzzle pieces truly come together for them. “Oh…oh my God. I’m selfish and retarded. I can see that now!” Cue crying, cue family hugs, and cue the audience applauding like he just cured cancer.
When did stating the obvious become a viable and very lucrative career path? How does one proceed to make millions by regurgitating common sense?
“You and the wife aren’t getting along ’cause he gambles too much and she likes to fuck the mailman? Well how about you stop gambling and how about you stop fucking the mailman. How’s that sound?”
“Thanks, Dr. Phil…I don’t…I don’t know what to say. I think we can work this out now….”
Man, I try this shit at the office, and I have to say, no one’s given me a dime for my opinion…or even a smattering of applause.
“Hey John, I bet your ex-wife would get along with you better if you finally paid her that twenty thousand in back child-support.”
“Fuck you, Rick”
See? Now where’s my million dollars? I mean, my wife teaches common sense to 8-year-olds at school and they pay her like shit. Apparently she’s hitting the wrong demographic. She needs to start telling adults not to throw pencils at each other and do it on a stage in front of cameras and we’d have our own island in the Caribbean by year’s end.
But enough of this shit…Maury’s on.
I have stated before, I am somewhat internet savvy. I use email. My wife has a Facebook account that we kinda use as a family. And by that I mean I stole her password to go on it and play some Farmville and try to find old girlfriends. I was unsuccessful at both but that still counts, I think. Through my years I’ve scanned many a pages of porno. I know what pop-ups are. I am aware of viruses. I know I shouldn’t send my social security number to anyone in Nigeria – royalty or otherwise. I’ve surfed the rough, silicon waters and I consider myself net-literate. I couldn’t build a website or any shit like that and if YOU can, well you’re a fucking nerd. I am the internet equivalent of someone who can do basic household repairs but couldn’t add on a new bathroom or whatever.
So when Dave tells me he wants me to write these little online journal/blog entries for him and others in our parole program to read online, I go along with it. Not happily, but if the alternative is sharing a cell with some creepy fuck who likes to watch you get undressed “real slow like”….I’ll write, I’ll write. But the key here is that our probation officer/WANNABE therapist gave us the clear impression this was a private site. That this WordPress site can be set up so your posts are only seen by people within our group, a few other national groups, and no one else. He said he would set it up and even designed the page, showed me how make entries and shit and assured us that every post would be private and password protected. No worries. See, we trusted Dave. Dave said he wanted to be our candle in the dark (his words). Dave wears a tie with a short-sleeve button down, what’s not to trust?
So I find it absolutely knee-slapping fucking hilarious that I am standing here at a mall internet kiosk reading my blog entries as an unregistered guest on WordPress on an extremely fucking public computer. Meaning any fucking asshole on this planet can read every goddamn thing I and others in our probation groups have posted. Including my mother. Yes, my mother somehow found my fucking blog and called me in tears about how I killed office plants with coffee and worship giant worms and punched the mailman in the face. See, Dave forgot to show us all about the little “visibility” selection when posting your blog. How to enter it as a password protected post. In fact, I don’t think he even GAVE us a goddamn password now that I think about it.
Dave, there are fuck ups and then…there are FUCK UPS. But you know what? I don’t want to be too rash here. Maybe I will take a step back and just catch my breath. In fact, maybe it would be best if I let some other people out there give their take on this little mishap. They can actually talk directly to you, Dave. I think that would be easiest, don’t you Dave? You can reach Dave Hallison at 585-556-2871 or even stop by his fucking house on 574 Appleton Street in Rochester, New York. That’s an apartment complex. He lives in apartment 3D. He lives alone. He is small and weak. I’d bet my left nut he keeps a spare key under a mat or fruity potted plant or something. I think you should all…ALL OF YOU…ALL OF YOU ON THE FUCKING INTERNET…should feel free to give him a call or just…stop by. Anytime of the day or night. He loves company. He likes it best when you just walk right in!
Have fun, Dave. I have to call my mother back now to explain that I don’t worship worms.
Dave wants me to post more about my “feelings”. He wants me to really show him “how I got to now”. To explain how I arrived at certain states of high emotion so he can better understand them…and perhaps we can use them in future plea deals. But before I could counter him with a perfectly timed, witty and vulgarity laced response, he reminded me that my next probation hearing is coming up in five days. Okay, Dave. Feelings.
Lets start with 2:30am this morning when my near-nocturnal three-year-old daughter apparently levitated into our bedroom and stood next our bed, about four inches from my face, and stared at me until I was awoken by her toddler-telekinesis and I found myself gazing into small, human eyeballs surrounded by a mopish pile of dark hair. As I sprung from my bed and screamed like a teenage girl who just brushed up against Beiber, I realized those Japanese film makers that create those “Ring” and “Grudge” movies must have had young children of their own. As my wife rolled off the bed in fright due to my hysterics and I clung to the bedpost like a horny monkey defying gravity, my child- who had apparently just wanted a glass of water- understandably went into a paralyzing shrieking fit which set our dog off into a fucking barking chorus ’cause, shit, she never turns down the chance to add to the chaos.
About an hour later, we got our child back to sleep, realizing this incident would only add to her future therapy costs that we have already set aside a savings account for (more important than college in our book) and I attempted to salvage at least one more hour of precious slumber before the alarm did what alarms do. But my time left consisted mainly of me staring at the ceiling fan and begging my wife for “boredom” sex. Neither was productive.
As the alarm came on to the soothing vibes of AM static (that little tuner switch broke off), I oozed out of bed and crawled into the shower, knowing my day was already fucked. I washed myself with strawberry cocoanut bodywash and almond-enriched pomegranate shampoo- as this all my wife ever fucking buys- nostalgic for the glory days of a bar of Dial. As I finished my shower, I had to stand there soaking wet behind the shower curtain smelling like the backstage of a beauty pageant because, you see, we only have one bathroom in my house and my daughter had chosen this time to come in and use the potty…while she recited to me her thesis on why Yo Gabba Gabba is soooo funny. I try to politely tell her to hurry up and finish her business so daddy can get dressed but it comes out more like “Just…I don’t care….get out…GET OUT…LEAVE!” This garners me accolades from my wife and undoubtedly earns me another note in my kids late-teenage rant on why I was such a shitty parent. After she leaves, I reach for my towel that I had placed out prior, only to find our cat planted squarely on it, coating it with her hair and rubbing her dirty, filthy cat-ass on the fabric before I can slap her away.
Now dry with a fine coating of feline hair covering my skin and smelling of strawberry cat’s ass- a scent that most likely will follow me the entire day- I make it to my bedroom to dress myself while my wife announces from the other room that our daughter has decided NOT to and wants to go to daycare wearing only a tutu. I quickly throw my work clothes on, which are now covered in cat hair as my wife’s beloved feline decided this was the next-best place for her ass, and we begin the now well-known “Dance of the Defiant Toddler” as she screams, twirls, arches and goes limp all to avoid any possibility of wrenching a single layer of clothing on her. We contemplate rolling her up in several blankets and delivering her to daycare like a human burrito but don’t really want to deal with Child Protective Services at our door later (they don’t take bribes-trust me on that one). After a lot of hard work (read as: me throwing up my hands and saying “fuck it”, leaving my wife to deal with the child jujitsu seminar) my daughter was clothed and her and my wife were out the door and I quickly followed- only to soon find myself sitting in my truck, mired in a dead-stop traffic jam on 590 with a broken heater on a cold-as-a-witch’s-tit five-degree fucking morning. It was about then that I remembered that I had the day off.
Now are you really going to tell me, after all that, that I had no business punching the mailman in the face because he dropped my Crutchfield catalog in the snow and then asked me why I smelled like a cat’s ass?
‘Cause that’s what I “felt” like doing. ‘Cause that’s my “now” and that’s “how I got there”. Hope you enjoyed the ride.
So I had this dream last night. I was going to be in a friend’s wedding and I was very late to the rehearsal. Of course I walked in, realized I hadn’t taken a shower, was holding a machete, everyone was looking at me…typical stress-dream shit. And yes, I arrived without any pants on, but that is typical in all of my dreams and in many real-life situations (another story). But the interesting thing about this wedding was that, during the rehearsal, I realized my friend belonged to a very odd and off-the-grid church. Basically, this was the Church of The Worm Lords; giant worms that apparently once ruled the earth and now these crackpots still worshiped them for fear of their wrath returning. It was actually pretty damn fun. We all had to wear white and do these weird dances and processions where we kind of shimmied like worms or something. The priest, or whatever the hell he was, was constantly reminding us that if we didn’t perform the marriage ritual correctly the Worm Lords would rise up and consume us all…and that the deposit was non-refundable in that case. I remember my friend and many others actually rolling their eyes and basically smirking at what was supposed to be their own belief system. Kinda like people today chuckling when some evangelical claims that Jesus will come down and smite you for looking at donkey porn or something (I checked that out…Jesus never showed). My friend actually apologized to me for “all this stupid worm shit” but his parents wanted to go traditional.
I never made it to the actual wedding, but the fact that he was going through with the tradition that he didn’t even believe in or respect kinda stuck with me when I woke up. And I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, he’s gonna say religious belief is so fake and atheism is the way to go.” No, asshole. And stop putting words in my mouth. It’s fucking rude. I actually woke really pissed at my dream friend for not realizing how fucking cool a religion he had! Worm Lords? Threats to consume you entire civilization if you don’t bow down? Now THAT’S a fucking religion. That’s why so many people don’t believe in most of the religions they grew up in anymore…they’re lame. The Jews and Old Testament lovers used to get this: their God was a fucking blood-thirsty warlord who wiped out entire cities for like not washing your hands before dinner. But then the whole Jesus thing? A hippy who loves everyone and turns water into wine before getting his butt nailed to a cross? Ruined it. And Buddha? Please. Just span the globe today and you’d have a hard time finding anything approaching Giant Worm Lords waiting to erupt from the earth and swallow your Toyota for not saying grace. “But what about Hinduism, Rick? They have crazy gods with like Elephant heads and 13 arms.” Yeah but what do they do with those arms? Nothin. The threat there is “Be good or you’ll be reincarnated as a fly.” What, so I buzz around smelling like shit and annoying everyone? That’s called “Me at 15”. Big deal.
My dream friend was an idiot. I would be so thankful to belong to a religion like that. To be able to yell at the guy who takes my parking spot at Target like “OH! The Worm Lord is soooo gonna kill your children tonight! You are fucked! Hail Worms!” If that was our national religion the president could go on television and tell Iran to stop with the nuclear stuff or the Worm Lord would eat his women and blow worm-shit all over his capital. That gets results. FEAR gets results. Results get respect. You want respect? Fear the worm. Hail Worms!
My wife likes to watch a lot of those reality TV shows even though they’re all scripted. I’ve tried to convey the thick-as-butter irony of calling scripted shows “reality” but she tells me to leave her the fuck alone and go fix something. Well I got a better idea. I’ve watched a few of these shows she watches. I’m pretty confident I can totally write for these assholes. I think a retarded, no-armed monkey with advanced Parkinson’s could write for most of them so why not me? I beat a monkey at a chess match one, but that’s another story. Those writers make some freakin’ cash, or so I’m going to assume. So I’m giving it a whirl. I’ve noticing now that I can usually watch only a few episodes of something and then just totally nail it. It’s a gift and I’m gonna share it. And then I’m gonna get some cash for it. Please enjoy
Un-submitted TV script: an episode of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”:
Setting; Some fancy fucking restaurant with fancy shit everywhere. The women are all sitting at a table pretending to eat expensive food but really are just drinking a shitload of wine and trying hold their ass cheeks together cause the laxatives are kicking in.
Wife 1: I just don’t understand why you women don’t understand me.
Wife 2: I don’t know what you mean….what are you talking about?
Wife 1: That! That’s what I’m talking about.
Wife 3: Oh, are we gonna fight again?
cut to confessional shot of Wife 3 talking to camera : Oh we are definitely going to fight again. I hate these whores.
Wife 4: *holds temples with hands* Please girls, lets just have a nice dinner.
Wife 5: Oh, you know what? Fuck you! I’m sick of you judging me!
Wife 4: I wasn’t judging you.
cut to confessional shot of wife 4: I was TOTALLY fucking judging her!
Wife 2: I’m sick of this. I don’t need this. You’re all just fake! I’d stand up, but I’d probably shit my myself!
Wife 1: Me? You’re fake….waiter, can I get another glass please?
Wife 3: Your friends are all whores and I just think you need to know that!
All other wives: Who are you talking to?
Wife 3: Does it matter?
Wife 1: So just because I had sex with all of your husbands this season behind your back, that makes me a whore? That is just so judgmental. I think you really need to look into yourself and see what kind of person you are. I can just feel your negativity…
Wife 2: You slept with my husband? Which one?
Wife 3: Does it matter?
Wife 5: Whores! All of you fake whores! (stitch falls out her forehead from recent brow lift)
Wife 6 enters late: Hi girls! Sorry I’m late…what did I miss?
all the women stop and stare at her with cutting, judgmental looks while sipping their wine and smoking electronic cigarettes.
cut to confessional of Wife 6 speaking to camera: And I just thought “they TOTALLY can see that extra three pounds that I gained this morning. I just KNEW I should have purged after breakfast. Dammit. Now I’ll have to sleep with one of their husbands to feel better.”
See that shit? I’m gonna be rich.