Poker Night - The Truth Shall Set You Free

I feel as if a an unjustice has been made; a little lie, the sin of omission has been perpetrated on this site. My dear Husband, while one of the funniest people I know, has taken some poetic license on a infamous night in our relationship - Poker Night.
I know its a ritual of men -has been and always will be. But married men - you have a different set of standards. And you dads, well let's not get into that here. I understand the bonding of drinking, cursing, spitting and other manly things that occur on these nights, as well as the importance in keeping these male relationships up-to-date. Its no secert that the women are usually in charge of the social calendar and very rarely does poker night come up on our agendas.
However, in the 12 years I have been with my husband, I have yet to see a poker night end well for all involved. We are all a part of a (rather twisted) circle of friends who make up the majority of our social engagements and therefore we all know who got into trouble at home for what digression. And get in trouble they do. I have to say we are a progressive group overall and have weathered bachelor parties, trips to Vegas and other assorted male debauchery with aplomb. But these guys always seem to fuck up poker night.
It seems innocent, but ends up with wives calling emergency rooms across North Texas to see why their beloved is 4 hours late getting home. With no phone call. These college-educated men (well, some went to A&M, but for the purposes here, let's go ahead and call that a "college") seem to revert back to their evolutionary counterparts and lose all sense of decency.
One such night, when Husband got home 3 hours later than planned, he had the nerve to tell me that not only was the phone at the house they were at broken, but none of the 9 other guys their had functional cell phones. To give him credit, he barely had the words out of his mouth before retracting his statement and admitting this pitiful lie. He knew he was in trouble and was wary of making it worse. But its not just him - they ALL were working stories like this at home, trying desperately not to sleep on the couch, much less be able to play poker again. Time after time - no calls, stumbling into the house, breaking glass, bumping the back wall of the garage with the car, laughing quietly enough to wake neighbors six houses down - all to find a crying-with-what-was-fear-now-is-anger tears-filled wife in the kitchen. In a robe, planning for widowhood, clutching wedding photos.
So Poker Night has been mostly disbanded, on-hold until they get new wives, or we get a fucking phone call.

Xbox Diaries--Mr. Foul Mouth

In my younger days, I may have had a slight problem with video game addiction. There was a time that I considered myself the Yoda of all gaming and would gladly match my skills against anyone in the known universe. Of course this was back when I had a Sega Dreamcast or a trusty Nintendo—the first one. Looking back I realize that even abstraction art looked better than the graphics that I had come to know and love.
Much time has passed obviously and my gaming skills have greatly detoriated in that time. Kids, marriage and a ghastly thumb injury has kept me out of the gaming world. My hopes of going pro have forever been dashed. However, I have decided to get back in. The main reason being that having kids is not conducive to having a poker night with the buddies anymore. I mean, I could do it I suppose and get back at 3 in the morning. Sure, and I could not be married anymore either. The last time I did that, I came home drunk with my brother in law. We thought we were being quiet but I suppose that tripping over the dog and screaming at him is not as covert as I had hoped. It didn’t matter though as my wife was waiting for me in her robe, tears and a look that would make Ghandi give up. Did I mention that I didn’t call her either? Thus, the poker night has been canceled henceforth and I don’t get to see the guys much.
This is where the Xbox gaming system comes in. I have the ability to play online at anytime! Against anyone! I can get just as drunk from my bedroom with my wife close by. She can closely monitor my behavior and recommend any changes that she wishes, such as the ever helpful reminding me that I am a dork.. She likes to do this a lot while I play my online gaming. Granted, the headset that I think makes me look very Star Trek illicits only a nod and I’m sure a thought reminding herself why she married me in the first place. But online gaming, I have learned, has enabled me to contact people wherever and get some dude time when I need it. I have a daughter, a wife, and 2 female animals. Me and the Dog, named after the Wrath of Kahn by the way, are a bit outnumbered with “America’s Next Top Model” repeats.
One of the premier games to play on line is a nice, jaunty little ditty called Gears of War. To call this game violent is to call the Mona Lisa pretty, it just doesn’t do it justice. The main, and most gruesome weapon, is your chainsaw equipped machine gun. Yes, you can come around a corner and literally saw someone one in half, vertically. And no, these aren’t the sissy graphics of yesteryear. The person getting the rather indepth root canal via chain saw will begin to twitch and scream as he is being introduced to Jesus. This is followed by blood being splattered on your viewing scream, but not so much as you can’t see each individual rib, kidney, spine and various other hungry man parts flop around on the screen with a still twitching leg. The detail is amazing. I wonder how many faces of death video’s these guys had to watch to get the detail right. But then I remember it is a Microsoft game, (insert big evil corporation here), and realize that this probably is just the Tuesday schedule for them. Hmmm, that was a pretty weak joke, but suck it, it’s my blog.
As this game is so over the top and violent, I automatically love it. I figure that since it is such a mature game, most of the gamers would be around my age—32. How the world has changed since my gaming days. I have had many shocks in my life, some good, some great, but I swear to all that is holy, none have really matched Mr. Foul Mouth Preteen. I have discovered my white whale.
Gears is my first online gaming experience and I am quiet excited to test out my old skills. In my lingo, I was once very dope at playing video games. This is now known, apparently, as “gaming” and being a “gamer”. Rock and roll bubba, I’m a Gamer hardcore. Even though I haven’t played in a long while, I’m sure that the other older gentlemen may just be getting back into it as well and I hope to chat about games and then tax deductions. I join a game being hosted by the online moniker of “Poop23”. Ok, that’s somewhat funny, and I’m guessing it’s a man in his late 40’s who needs a lot of Metamucil. My online gamer “tag” as it is called is Namssoh, which is Hossman backwards. Namssoh means business folks, let’s strap it on!.
No sooner do I join than do I realize two things: 1. My “gaming” skills are right were I left them with the Sega Dreamcast, king of Crapcity 2. I am the oldest guy on here, by a long shot. It’s not even close. I have at least a good 12 years on the next oldest. Somehow, I begin to feel dirty. Must take shower.
I also realize something else. Violent and gruesome games attract violent and gruesome gamers. Who knew? The personalities of the next 7 people that I am playing with are no different other than age. There is so much profanity being laced through the internet that I want to start ID-ing these little punks to see if they have permission to be on here. THE BOX SAYS “FOR MATURE AUDIENCES” YOU LITTLE DEVIL SPAWN! The kicker is, most are under the age of 17 so I have no idea where they learned some of this filth they are spewing much less why they are spewing it? This wasn’t just some playful teasing. This was down right, mother insulting, fighting words that were coming out of here.
Let me elaborate the worst of it for you, dear blogger. In this game, Gears of War, teams of 4 work against eachother to kill you as gruesomely as you can. You thus get points for every kill, but the over all objective is for the Team to win. However, the Gear Heads out there have a very different philosophy. DO NOT STEAL THEIR KILLS. In other words, if they are shooting at a guy, and you shoot as well and end up getting the kill, you get the credit. The person that did all the work gets nothing. No big deal right, the team wins?
This happened with me. Mr. Poop23 and I were actively hunting an opposing player when Mr. Poop23 starting shooting at him. I figure I’ll help out and start shooting to, but I get the kill myself. Mr. Poop then launches on a tirade of profanity that was like poetry woven by the devil himself. I’m not sure how much I can put here, but basically, my sexuality was put into question, the size of my wang was greatly insulted and I’m sure I received a couple of death threats in there as well as my mother and any other relative I had. It was terrifying. The great part of all this: THIS WAS A KID. He couldn’t have been more than 14. “You took my kill, namssoh you (*^&^%*^%*^()!” It only got worse from there.
I was shocked, so shocked that I didn’t know what to say. Now, I’m not a small man. I got some build on me, although most of it now is in the form of a Santa Like stomach. I’ve never been much afraid of a fight either. But an online fight? I was way out of my league. This little guy was basically telling me he was going to come to my house and have his way with my dog while I watched. So I said the grown-up response “excuse me?” I retaliated. Yeah, let’s see how he likes that, the little pecker head.
This did not go good for me as he then proceeded to theorize that I like to have relations with midget aliens. Seriously, most of it made no sense but I found myself instantly intrigued by the tapestry of insults he was hurling my way. I commented to myself “Well that just doesn’t make sense, how could I possibly poop in my own mouth?”
I would like to say that I called him out on it. I would like to say that I used my superior maturity and college learning to put the little demon child in his place. That all of a sudden, after hearing my words of wisdom, he decided that team work was indeed the best course of action and that he should eat all his vegetables as well and not ever do drugs. I would like to say that I did that. But I can’t.
What did I say. Absolutely nothing. Not a thing. Not a word left my mouth. Yes, a 14 year old intimidated me in the world of online gaming. I started questioning my own worth. Had I made some online gaming rudeness and not realize it? Have I offended the online community with my ignorance. I hate myself, why do I even get out of bed in the morning, I don’t know. The other players are laughing at me, I can hear it. Where’s my Prozac!
In short, it was humiliating, and I’m not even sure why. I guess it might have been because Mr. Poop23 had great stature at the game, I mean, the boy was very good. Maybe at that point, he becomes the more experienced one, and me the infant. Let’s see his ass pay a mortgage though!
The game ended with me be very quiet for the next ½ hour, letting my online player hide in a corner while everyone else seemed to be having a good time. Mr. Poop23 had to leave, and I quote “Time for bed” was heard over the headset. Mr. Poop23 had a big day tomorrow and needed to get his rest. However, as a final insult, he used some weird online voodoo knowledge to permentatly bar me from ever playing in his game again.
Where’s my whiskey?


Flat Tire

Today’s lesson is very, very important boys and girls, so please pay attention:
Ahem—The world is a very mean, very vindictive and unholy shitty place sometimes with a magnificent sense for the challenge of “Well, atleast it can’t get any worse”.

As with most days, I debated if it was actually worth getting out of bed this morning at 6:30am. My mind seems to convince itself that, fuck to all, we are going to not do anything anymore and stay right the crap here. It’s warm, it’s cozy, and maybe I’ll have another dream with sexy results. This goes on for about 10 minutes until Kahn, the uber tongue licking dog, decides to take action and give me a sponge bath thus interrupting any fantasy I had about going back to bed.

Ok, up and running, my daughter packed off to the sitters and I’m my car doing my usual routine of “what the hell did I forget” game. It’s fun, it’s like playing the lotto when the only guy who wins the superlotto megamillions is actually worth more than what was won. Good times. Car keys? Check. Wedding ring? Panic for a second, ok good, check.. Tobacco in some form? Nope, gotta make a stop. That about does it, I’m good to go. I drive halfway down my street when I realize what I forgot, my wallet. I smoky and the bandit back to the house, open the garage door, dogs are going crazy even though I have been gone less than 5 minutes, retrieve the wallet, play the game again and take off. This would be the part in the movie when the audience is yelling “don’t do it, go home, go back to bed, don’t risk it.” I’m a risk taker baby.

It’s overcast outside, figure it may rain a little later. That’s ok, “mellow day” I think and press on. I make it to my office a little before the crack ass of dawn before realizing that I need tobacco. Gotta have tobacco, my jobs really boring and the chicks love it. Turn around, go to the guy to get my tobacco. Mind you, this is the same guy that once asked me how to abuse his child without leaving any marks. Seriously. But hey, he gives me a good price.

Back to the office where I step out and fate decides to give me a swift one to the back side. It’s raining pretty good now, so I’m getting wet. Greatness. As soon as I step out of my car, I hear “Whoosh”. No matter where you are, that is never something you like to hear. What could go “whoosh” when no one is around me. Well, the smart guy answer is “check your tire.” But hey, the brain likes to believe everything is ok. No no I say, it’s just the wind. No no, it has to be the rain. Maybe a baby dove just flew by for the first time. Yes, that is what it has to be! Then reality sets in as I actually see my front tire going flat. In the rain. On a Friday. I stick my hand to the tire AND ACTUALLY FEEL the air pumping out like a Asian massage therapist. Good Christ, are you kidding me! I would like to say that not a single profanity left my mouth. I would like to say that I took this in stride. However, a lie of that magnitude would most certainly keep me out of heaven and I would at least like to make a debate out of it.

Ok, no big deal, got a flat on my 1998 Honda Civic POS. I’ll just use my cell phone and call for some help. Cell phone, cell phone, cell phone……..hmmmm, did I not play my remember game this morning? What I say now makes what I said before seem like a 5 year old talking gibberish. Yup, my phone is not with me but in some mysterious dimension that I put all my crap when I get home.

Finally in the office, I have to interview people all day for jobs. That’s what I do for a living, give people jobs. Normally, it is a very happy thing to do. Unfortunately, I decide that then and there that no one is going to get a job today. My misery will spread to everyone.

My last interview before lunch is supposed to be at 10:00 am. That should leave me plenty of time to go hitch a ride with someone for lunch, since I am currently sans transportation. It is a panel interview of 5 people, that I don’t really know. Around 11:30 is when I get pissed because all these “professionals” decide that now is the time they would like to show up instead of the appropriate fucking agreed fucking upon fucking time. I love the line “you don’t mind working through lunch do you”. What are you going to say? “Suck it shit head, of course I mind.” Nope, what comes out is “yea, ok, no problem.

We finish about 1:00pm, about the time when everyone is coming back from lunch. I’m starving and trying to kick myself for not eating breakfast like momma told me. I can’t go anywhere, I have not cash other than the 23 cents I dug out of my car like a homeless guy looking for used cigarette butts that may have some left. Luckily, my office is trashed. Today is Jan 12, which means that xmas was only 3 weeks ago, which means that somewhere I have stashed assorted candy canes, fudge or other office gifts that I originally didn’t think enough about to take home. What was once crappy homemade turd fudge now becomes life sustaining food, glorious glorious food. I eat it without the slightest bit of guilt.

I have three more interviews to complete, then I figure I will go out in the rain and change my tire and go the hell home looking like shit but still being victorious. I complete this and go out to the car. Pop the truck, look for the tire. Ah, there it is. The glorious donut tire. You know the type, it’s the midget of tires. It is the Umpa Lumpa’s of tires. It’s that sad little retarded tire that other tires don’t look directly at. It looks about a sturdy as my grandma’s replaced hip. Ok, got the tire, where the hell is the jack. Hmmmmm, it should be in the trunk. Hmmmm, it should be right here. Hmmmmmm……SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.

This is the part that I mention that my very loving wife decided to give me a treat and clean out my car, including everything that was in the trunk. Including my golf bag, that 2002 window flier, that one shoe that doesn’t have a mate, and my jack. Vein hurting in my head, blood boiling, vision getting blurry. So very very mad.

Back up to the office I go to see if anyone is still here. I work for a government agency. It is Friday. Monday is a random holiday. Anyone want to take a guess at what the odds are that someone is still here at 3:00pm? It’s like a town that the gold done run dry. People’s social security numbers combine and role through the halls like tumbleweeds. Birds have made nests in the filing cabinets that never get used.

I go to the one person that might still be here. As I work for a social government agency, which is another way to say that we have an 89% female work force, the odds of one having a jack or know where it is in their car is not good anyway. But fortune smiles on me. One other person is here and she does have a car. I have known her a grand total of 2 days. Perfect to ask a favor. It will probably mean some sexual harassment lawsuit, but fuck it, I’m getting desperate. To my amazement, she gives me her keys and I NOW HAVE A JACK!

Back to my car, in the rain. I hear now that the rain will soon turn to sleet and my destruction. The jack that I have matches the tire in my truck, the retard jack. This thing wouldn’t pick up my dinner salad that I wish I had to eat. But ever the boy scout, I try anyway. By sure good luck, the bad tire is parked directly in puddle about 2 inches deep. This is when I notice that my car is so close to the ground that I may not be able to do this. No sense on looking pretty now, I lay on my stomach in the puddle to position the jack. At this point is when I realize that I should call it quits, but screw it, I’m already wet and my pride ain’t going down today! As I position the jack, I then also realize that I can’t get that crappy gimp handle in there to push it up. After about 30 minutes of this, I give up. I cuss God, fate, whoever the hell is around and give the hell up. I walk back to my office looking like a wet yeti, complete with stink. I break down even further and call a tow truck who has the fabulous news that they may not get out here until about 7:00pm or so. I realize that this is going to cost me about 200 dollars or so. For a freaking flat tire. I drip road sewage with each step I take down deserted hallway, expecting with each step to have a some elected official come screaming at me from behind a corner calling me inefficient and that I am going to be investigated. Let’s see if I can get indicted today, then it would be perfect. Everything else terrible has occurred, might as well be that.

It’s now dark out, quite cold. I have eaten my last smushed Hershey’s kiss which was quite warm despite being in the back of my desk drawer for t he last two months. It was a delicious supper, no complaints. I have taken off my pants and hung them over my office vent. If someone sees me in my wet skivvies then they can have at it. I finally got a hold of my brother in law to come get me until the tow arrives. My shirt clings to me like I’m some 19 year old girls gone wild video. I’m headlightling like no ones business but I don’t care. So very cold, the state likes to keep the AC on in the winter, just to waste your money. Later, I’m going to try and make prank phone calls to orphans, maybe that will cheer me up.

Next time my mind says to stay in bed, I’m going to punt the dog and not move another fucking muscle.

The Margarita

I think that I have truly embraced this fatherhood thing. Of course, everyone has their doubts, but not so much me. I’m a pretty cocky guy on occasion and was sure that my common sense would win the day when it came to parenting. For example, I’m not going to take a baby to a rated R movie showing at midnight nor do I plan to allow my daughter to date—ever. So common sense wins again, right? The first year of my daughter’s life has ever so greatly humbled me, much to the pleasure of some family members. They are dying to say “I told you so”, you can see it in their beady little eyes. Communists, I am surrounded by communists. However, I’m sure I do deserve some humble pie.
The case in point. The hossman family ventured out for a nice evening of celebration for one of our friends. Our daughter was big hit as she was nothing but smiles and laughs. She didn’t scream, didn’t puke on anyone, and only a few times did she grab some ice and spit it back to where she got it. I decided that it was in everyone’s best interest not to mention it at the time. As our daughter is only a year old, the days of staying out until 1 am are long gone. Our goal was to be back at the home at 8pm, which is the parenthood version of “out all night”. As a result, we hit the restaurant a little bit earlier than everyone else. Nice place, plenty of balloons to keep the squirt occupied, and some light weight booze for mom.
Every parent knows that you have a “dinner ritual” when it comes to your young ‘uns. My wife and I are team Monica when it comes to this. We have duties, chores, rules that mesh in a way that looks like a finely tuned ballet of baby puke and cheesy poofs. One of my jobs this night was to handle the water and the sippie cup. Easy enough? Sure, no problem, I got this. The waitress, who we always leave a big tip for considering that we leave a path of destruction comparative to a nuclear blast of mushed hash browns, arrives at our table. She brings three waters. I thought she was very prompt and already see myself giving her a 20 buck tip.
I undo the top to my waters child proof glass, but when she is determined, she can wreck that slogan. I often wander if I should market her as a tester of child toys, so she can destroy toys as well as careers. I take a look at the three water glasses and notice that 2 of them have lemon in them. I decide to go sans lemon, thinking that she won’t like the bitter taste but lets be honest, lemon doesn’t do anything for water except making you think you are getting a 5 dollar drink for free. Not a big fan of the lemon in the water.
I take the third glass which looks clear to me, maybe a little cold, but good to go. I proceed to pour it into my daughter’s glass all the while cussing because I’m spilling half of it on myself. I’m going to invent a baby funnel for this sort of thing, I would use it all the time. Luckily, with a 1 year old, you always have plenty of extra towels on hand. Seriously, they have no sense of society norms when it comes to puking. I once saw my daughter launch a white gunky mess about a half mile at Bed, Bath and Beyond. There was a part of me that was impressed with the distance. There was another part that wanted to run and hide as I was getting the “judgment stare” from little Ms. Fancy Shopper, where the puke just happened to land.
Back to the story. Out of nowhere, I hear, in a very loud and public voice:
“SHANNON! WHAT ARE YOU DOING.!” My wife only uses this tone of voice and only calls me by name when one of two things have happened: 1. I have screwed up royally or 2. There is a dead rat in the bed, a gift or a threat from the cat, depending on who you talk to. In my head was my usual response. When threatened, I tend to back track to my deep southern roots and this case, I thought “What do you want WOMAN!” I don’t say this because I value my life. Should I ever say this, the cat that left the dead bird would get more respect than myself. Instead, like the calm and rational man that I am, I say “Yes dear, what ever could be the problem that you have decided to get everyone’s attention by screaming love tunes to me so that everyone has stopped what they were doing and are now looking at me with “Judgment Oprah Eyes”.” I use the term Judgment Oprah Eyes because I know that every female loves Oprah, and god woe to you should you piss off Oprah. At that moment, they all become Oprah.
“Why are you pouring my Margarita into the sippie cup.” Hollars my wife so all Oprah Judgers can finally shake their heads in disgust.
Uh-oh, that’s not good. In fact, that was pretty bad. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, worst father of the year, right here, come see the 8pm show where I will throw knives at her.
That’s right, I mistook the Margarita glass as a water glass, not realizing that my wife had ordered it and that is why there was no lemon in it. Worse than being judged by every mother, aunty, or midwife there, I judge myself. Yup, that was pretty god damn stupid. If my wife hadn’t caught me doing it, I would have given it to her, not realizing what I had done. Panic slowly begins to set in, which is even more entertaining when you are now the focus of 100 people who have seen your parent mess up. I thought I caught some torches being lighted by the mob forming by the changing table. Headline reads “Mob goes Oprah on father and drunk baby”
I quickly muter some sort of excuse, hoping that it will somehow bring the forgive me fairy out of nowhere and save my ass. The funny thing is that since my wife hadn’t been out in a while, I don’t know if she is more mad about the cup of hard liqueur that I’m about to give my daughter or the fact that I just wasted half of her margarita at 6 bucks a pop.
For future reference, that common sense doesn’t work so well at times. In fact, I plan on being uber protective parent from here on out. Any sharp corner will get a dose of the belt sander. All animals that I encounter will be de-toothed and declawed. Bubble wrap will be bought by the ton. And of course, only virgin Margarita’s go in the sippie cup.



This is where it all starts - we are now one of "those people". Here we will discuss, with little to no shame, the goings-on of our family - near and far. Family fights, friendly drama, poo and kids.