The High Five

I realize that my daughter is going to Harvard. I would take a Yalie, but I prefer Harvard. No Oxford though, I don’t trust the Brits around her.

She is continuing to learn a great many new things at 1 year old. In fact, I believe that she is creating havoc at a 3 year old level. She’s a genius that no doubt takes more after her mother than her father.

I say this because my wife has a very freaky ability. She’s a speed reader. I have seen my wife go through a thick paperback book in less than 4 hours. When we go on a plane, we have back several books just to last her the ride. It can get very expensive. The Barnes and Noble’s discount card is by far the only discount card that has been worth it. When she reads this blog it takes less than 30 seconds per story. This irritates me because she is somewhat my editor and I wish to know what makes her laugh.

I think that my daughter takes after these traits of my wife. She seems to be able to adjust and learn very quickly.

We both take an active role in teaching her, but we seem to take slightly different roads on what we should teach her.

My wife has taught my daughter the word no, although when Little Hoss reproduces the sound it comes out more of a “go” but she gets the jist. For example, a couple of days ago Little Hoss thought it would be funny to go through the paper trashcan that we have in the living room. Hossmom said no and Little Hoss looked her, then started crying. So she knows what this means.

Hossmom has taught our daughter the following: how to eat solid foods, how to splash in the tub, how to SOFTLY pet the dogs, and how to get your “brand” out there in a very competitive baby market.

I have taught my daughter how to growl.

I have followed up this great feat of teaching instruction with another necessary and classical form of communication: The High Five.

You must remember, I live in a house of women. Normally, this strokes my ego to no end. Everyone runs from a mosquito hawk, calling for dad to bring down the righteous hammer of justice. I am the hero every time. But there is, on occasion, when I need a few dude qualities interjected into my household. Namely, when my sports teams play.

It is rare now that my brother in law has moved away that I am able to watch any sporting events with any other guys. To do so requires nothing less than a UN Security Council meeting to verify that, yes dear, I will be home at midnight. I also feel a little guilty leaving her alone with the kiddo all day when she is pregnant as well.

This means that most of my sports watching comes either in the form of late night Tivo or when I just through a satchel of books at her to keep her distracted. It’s like giving the steak to the lion so that you can sneak past, something has to be sacrificed.

When my daughter was born, it was the day before the superbowl. My daughter’s first introduction to TV was the Steelers vs. the Seahawks. It was greatness and I knew that we would do this every year, or at east until she became to embarrassed to hang around with me.

Our first week home also just so happened to be the first week of the Olympics. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am an Olympic freak. I will watch anything, anything, with a US team competing. Combine that with Tivo and 24 hour cable and we had roughly 98 hours of Olympic coverage at anytime. My daughter and I spent every waking moment watching the Olympics. It was the only month that I was happy that she woke up at 3:00am because then we could catch a nice curling match vs. the hated Canadians. (We won).

But I have been unable to express my excitement over these events. If you watch sports by yourself, you realize that you look like an idiot when you jump up and down by yourself. You look even worse when instead of yelling like you want to you are whispering “yes, yes, great catch, yes” because god help you if you wake the baby.

There was no one to hug, there is no one to relive the moment with and there is no one to High Five, the pinnacle of manly sports watching. My wife can’t stand the high-five. She hates it and absolutely refuses to do it. I have to beg for it. Begging for a high-five totally takes out the meaning of the high-five. She just shakes her head and goes back to the book. She may be a Communist.

And then it happened. But not during a sporting event. Like most great things in our life, it happened during another episode of Star Trek. I owe so much to that show.

The Enterprise had once again averted disaster while my daughter and I watched on. Playfully, I put my hand out and said “high five”. To my astonishment, she put her hand up to. Is this going to happen? Is this moment going to actually freaking happen? Do I finally have someone in my house to High Five!?

Yes. Yes it did.

I clapped my hand with hers and the father/daughter high five was born. She loved it, I loved it. In fact, we scoured the cable channels for any sporting event or Star Trek that we could find.

“Look Little Hoss, some guy just landed a radical jump on a motorcycle, High Five”

Smack, her little bear paw hits my big bear paw.

“See that Little Hoss, the Klingons have been defeated!”

She growls and gives me a high five.

Tears are in my eyes, I have found someone to give me High Fives.

So the next time my college team is on and they drive 99 yards to win the game in the closing seconds I will jump for joy and scream. Your damn right that I’m going to wake the baby.

Cast of Characters--The Hippies

I suppose it’s about time to properly introduce some cast of characters that you will be reading about in this blog. It is always difficult writing about someone you know. Will they be flattered? Will they get pissed? Is there some family contention or secret that I am about to reveal? I’ve thought about this and decided screw it, the art just flows from where it flows.

Let’s first visit my wife’s brother. He’s married and I have a neice and nephew from this union. None are related by blood to me which is to their shame. My family came over in 1632 on the Good Ship Betsy, we are practically Mayflower People. My wife’s family is from Chicago, not really Gatsby material if you ask me. But we love them anyway. They were our confidants, our best friends and our future babysitters until they decided to move away.

Right before my daughter was born they decided that they had enough of the big city and would be moving to the sticks. I would write the name of the town, but you couldn’t pronounce it. Think Green Acres with Humvee’s and you just about have it.

They will deny that they are Hippies, but you can be the judge. Because we all know that we love to judge others, just not ourselves.

They have a two children of their own and their reasoning for leaving was to be able to raise them in a different way, far from the big city. It was a family decision. If I was a man that read into statements, I might take that to mean that raising MY daughter in the city is downright foolish and that I must be a bad parent. But I leave that kind of stuff to my mother in law.

So they up and left with my niece and my future nephew to be raised in a commune. Ok, it’s not like that but it’s funnier if I say it is. In my head, I just can’t help imagining them running from Nazi’s in Austria, singing as they go along. Except that my sister in law is not a nun and to my knowledge never was. I suppose it is a possibility though, she’s a quite one that has some secrets.

As evidence that they are new age Hippies, I supply the following:

1. They have no Xbox. That’s hippie if I ever heard of one.
2. They have a compost heap and a special barrel thing that makes it compost. I don’t know exactly how this works, but I’ve seen it. All I know is that it turns like a big Bingo Wheel and poof, you get compost. I want to tell them that dirt worked fine for me, but this must be the Hippie way.
3. An above ground pool. How is this Hippie? It’s next to the compost heap.
4. I’m pretty sure my brother in law is a communist or a socialist. I’m not sure which, but he’s suspect.
5. They have a Bear Bell. What is this? It’s a special bell to wear out in the woods so that bears hear you coming and don’t eat you for lunch. Granted, I gave it to them as a gift, but what was I supposed to do? That’s my niece and nephew out there, they need to be prepared.
6. Driving 20 miles takes only 20 minutes. What kind of Hippie traffic is this. Everyone knows that you need to live somewhere that takes you a good hour in rush hour traffic to go 20 miles.
7. The word “Hemp” to them implies more to them than just one use. Only Hippies find a way to make pot more than pot. No, I don’t want a hemp rope, but thank you. Look, it’s never going to be legal, give it up. Just keep pretending you have glaucoma and be done with it.
8. She’s not a natural red head and believes in colonoscopies.

I could go on, but I prefer to stop there. The point is, my wife and I were abandoned. We had just had our new kiddo and our safety blanket left us. And they took my niece and nephew, very inconsiderate.

When my niece was first born, she hated me. Couldn’t stand me. Everytime I tried to pick her up, she would scream like I was a Republican. It took 6 months of this before she finally realized that I was actually related to her. Six months of bribes, money, the offer of credit cards. And when they left, they took her with no regard to my feelings and hard work what so ever. What if I had gotten her a pony, what was I supposed to do with that now? Give it to the glue factory? The Hippies are responsible for the demise of Tinkerbell the pony, I hope they can live with themselves.

But more than anything we had lost our friends, our one true compatriots in the art of ripping on people. No one could understand us like they could. And even more important, all Hippies are pacifists so I was sure my daughter would be safe with them. No one can beat up a pacifist, otherwise, that just makes you a bully. Didn’t they watch Ben Kingsley in Gandhi?

And who would my daughter grow up with now? She and her cousins could have ruled the school. They could have been the new Justice League with faboulous Wonder Twin powers. It would have been great until the Hippies decided to cut and run and ruin my dream with their compost heaps.

It took my wife and I a long time to come to terms with this. Many nights were spent in the Hossman family bed, wondering why they had forsaken me. Was it a better life? I don’t see how it could be without me involved, but to each his own. We came to terms with our shunning and regulated ourselves to being the leper colony in their friendship wheel. Sure, we get letters and once a care package. But make an effort, we’re lonely for our friends. Let me know that I look good, ask me if I’m working out. A compliment wouldn’t be to much to ask would it?

They are doing good in Hippie land and live a nice, isolated life. My neice grows about a foot everytime I see her and my nephew is the new Fonzie. I’m sure that their hydroponic field is growing well and they are keeping tabs on K-fed. I know that it won’t be long before they get a car that runs on corn-oil and we wish them the best. We have visited a few times and hopefully will again soon. Tinkerbell II is about ready to travel.


Titlelist III

I suck at Golf, but I love to play. Go figure.

My golf game vaguely resembles a monkey flying an F-16. If it gets off the ground then everyone’s surprised but no one expects it to go straight. But I try to play when I can, which isn’t much. This is a good thing, because I actually don’t have to much interest in actually improving my game. This would take effort and I just don’t wanna. Other golfers out there are probably shocked by this. Hey, I am the guy that would prefer to believe that the reason that my golf game sucks is that I don’t have good clubs, not because I close my eyes and swing like it’s a piñata. I would buy a club that advertises itself as “graphite extra long distance big bertha” and assume that when it went only 25 yards that I have a defective club.

We went and played this last weekend. It’s good for me to get out of the house and do this type of thing. It recharges my manliness and lets me vent a little bit about something other than diapers and butt paste.

We were supposed to play with 3 guys but one canceled, so it was just me and my brother. This is always awkward because that means that they will pair us up with someone we don’t know. I can’t play with people like that. I am self conscious about my game and it just gets worse when people judge me. So we are paired up with a single retired guy. He’s got the golf hat, golf shoes, nice khaki pants. Crap, this guy can play. This is when I think that I will do nothing but slow him down and he will curse all that he got stuck with us. I would rather play with a homeless guy chasing squirrels.

His first swing goes roughly 280 yards, straight down the fairway.

I hit the beer girl’s cart. Time for the trusty Mulligan. O, how I love you, Mr. Mulligan. I hate the first hole. Everyone’s watching and it feels like I am doing a tap dance instead of the ballet that everyone paid to see.

My second shot goes past the women’s tee, so I am a happy camper. My brother and I jump into the cart and go down the course. Our third is walking the course, another sign that he is a much, much better golfer than me.

My irons are my strong skill in my game. I can usually hit them pretty good. By usually I meant that I get it up in the air. This one went into the trees, which will be a reoccurring theme today. I am the Lumberjack going through the woods. However, I also don’t care enough about my score to spend any real time looking for my ball. I figure if I can’t see it within 10 seconds, it’s lost. I get my balls from Walmart, so no big deal. It’s also proper golf etiquette to not waste a whole lot of time and keep those behind you waiting.

I finish the first hole with my usual 8, ending this production of hackery with a nice 3 putt. The call me the Snowman on the course. But we are already having a good time and our third guy enjoys talking to us. I am funny and have no problem making fun of my game.

We have two other groups ahead of us, a 4 player of weekend golfers with their wives driving and then another 4 some of girls ahead of that. This delayed our game, but I don’t care,. I’m in the sunshine and I know t hat now I have someone else to blame for our slow play. I can look for all the balls I want now.

But when you are playing with a lot of people around, you have to look out for Mr. Dickweed Rule boy. Everyone has seen this type of player. He is the guy that will not use his Shoe Iron to kick his ball away from a tree. He is the guy that will never allow a Mulligan. He is the guy that will insist that the player farthest away always hit first, even if I am already standing at my ball and he has to catch a taxi to the next fairway to hit his. I hate this guy.

In golf, you keep your own score and I usually play against what I made the last time out. I have no problems not assessing a penalty stroke for that wicked slice that killed the duck in the pond. I am cheating myself. We had a conference and it was decided that I had no problems cheating myself. I have to buy a new duck on occasion, but hey, that’s just the cost of playing golf.

Above all though, Mr. Dickweed hates to be stuck behind people. He is under the mindset that he should be the only one on the course. He is that kid that had the only basketball in the neighborhood and wouldn’t let anyone play with it.

We offered Mr. Dickweed to play through us, explaining that we were waiting as well for two groups ahead of us. He declined. Which surprised me because these people are very strict on golf etiquette. Ok then, we will all wait at the tee-box together then until we can go.

Around hole number nine we see a ball coming flying over our heads. There was no “Fore” yelled, no “Heads up”. Mr. Dickweed just decided he would hit it. This is a big, big no no on the course. We let it slide though and keep playing. I am not in the woods as much anymore and actually made par, so I am happy.

We are on the 13th hole when Mr. Dickweed shows up at the teebox. We are all waiting to tee off behind the family affair ahead of us.

“Did you hit a Titlelist III back there” Mr. Dickweed asks my brother. He was pissed.

“Nope” we say as we both hold up our balls, a Nike. This is Tiger’s brand which helps my game in no way.

“Are you sure.” He says accusingly.

We again assure him that we did not and again show our balls. Like I said, I’m pretty lax on the rules but I am very aware of those around me. I don’t want my poor 90 play to get in the way of their PGA tour stop. But the truth is that most everyone who plays golf sucks it hard. So usually, everyone is pretty understanding. This guy, although not good based on his drives that I saw, was one of the rule nazi’s. Considering that he didn’t hit me once in the fairway, and he took a lot of shots, he sucks balls. We again offered to let him play through, pointing at the traveling circus ahead of us. He again declined.

However, the rest of the day his balls continued to land over our heads. One time I almost did hit one of them thinking that it was mine until I saw the maker, Titlelist III. That means that his jackass was hitting when I wasn’t even to my ball yet. You don’t do this because people can get killed. Golf is a very dangerous sport.

Besides dodging crocs and drunk golf cart drivers, a ball to the back of the head is the worst case scenario. Take this series by my brother on the 15th hole.

He hits a very hard shot from the rough. It just so happens to hit a tree that was about 10 feet away. It makes a large gash in the tree as it ricochets 90 degrees to land on the other side of the fairway. He is pissed. He takes his next shot. I don’t know how he did this, but it again went 90 degrees to where he was standing back to where he started. That ball was going a good 300 miles an hour and if I had been next to me, I could have been killed. It was like being in Nam and I’m sure that when I talk to my father, who is a vet, he will agree with my assessment.

I don’t know why, but bad shots are funny as hell to me. I am merciless in my laughter to my brother. That’s when Mr. Dickweed hits another shot over my head. Ok, I’ve about had it.

We go to 18 and finish the round. I go running back to my brother telling him that we need to go, now.

In the final cup, the one where Mr. Dickweed will finish his day, he will find a Titlelist III ball. I hope that I ruined his score and knowing his type, gave himself a penalty stroke.


Hoss I am

Hoss I am………………………….
…………………………..Hoss I am

That Hoss I am
That Hoss I am
I do not like that Hoss I am.

Would like to read my blog?
Would you like to read it here or there.

I would not like to read your blog
I would not read it here or there, I would not read it anywhere.

Would you read it with a frog?
Would you read it with a dog?

I would not read your blog with a frog
I would not read it with a dog
I would not read it here or there, I would not read it anywhere.

Perhaps while you are bored at work?
Perhaps while you crossdress in a skirt?
Try it, try it, you will see!

I won’t read it at work
Or when I go transvestite in a skirt.
I would not read it with a frog
I would not read it with a dog.
I would not read it here or there or anywhere!
I do not want to see!
Hoss you let me be!

How about with an extra in a movie?
What if his name is Louie?

I would not, could not, with an extra named Louie
Not at work, not in a skirt.
I would not read it with a frog
I would not read it with a dog
I would not read it here or there, I would not read it anywhere!

What if I got you a hooker?
What if she was free of disease and a looker?

Not with a hooker
Even though she is free and a looker.
Not with Louie
Who was an extra in a movie!
Not at work, not in a skirt
Not with a dog and not with a frog.
I would not read it here or there or anywhere?

Would you read it with the Newt?
What if she wore a suit?

Not with the Newt who is in a suit.
Not with a hooker that is a looker
I would not read it with Louie from a movie
I would not read it at work
I would not read it with a skirt.
Not with a frog, not with a dog.
I do not want to read your blog!

But it will make you laugh, you will see
It will make you laugh so much you’ll pee
If you haven’t read it before, how do you know?
Try it, try it, how can you say no?

Hoss I am, If I read your story
Will you leave me aloney?

………………….Pause while you read………………….

Say, I do like your blog!
I would read it with a frog
I would read it with a dog.
I would read it at work while wearing my skirt.
I would read it with a hooker who is a looker
I would read it with Louie from the Star Trek movie.
I would read it with the Newt while wearing a suit!

I would read it here or there or anywhere!

Thank you, thank you, Hoss I am
I love your blog, I will show it to my friend Pam.

Editor’s note: I have been reading way to much Green Eggs and Ham to my daughter!


The Toadies Revenge

The nearest town was 3 miles away. The nearest movie theater was 50 miles away. But the nearest outhouse was at our neighbors, just incase our one working toilet busted.

Southern Arkansas was a good place to grow up. I lived close to a small town called Hamburg. This just so happens to be the same town that Scottie Pippen grew up in. Yes, I have the yearbook to prove it. Our school was so small that K-12 attended the same building.

We didn’t really live on a farm although it masqueraded as one at times. At one point we had pigs, at one point we had chickens and we grew different stuff. And yes, I have ridden a pig before. When you are 6, how can you not? I lasted all of 2 seconds on it’s back before it decided that I was best suited laying in the pig filth of the pen. We later shot that pig.

But given where we lived when I was 6, there were not many friends around. There was my brother however, which was greatness. I ask you, which 6 year old would not want to grow up like this.

We had a trees behind our house so we built more forts than anyone I ever knew. We had a pond across the highway that we could fish in anytime we wanted to. I had an older brother to toughen me up. Seriously, it was some good living. This is where I learned and apprenticed as a toadie. I was a hanger on, constantly wanting my big brother’s approval and attention. As such, I was a butler, maid, punching bag, mud taster and all around handy man.

Anyone who has lived the life of a toadie knows that it can be good times. Sure, you get smacked around a little but you also get all protection you could ever want in the school yard.

A bully once punched me in the second grade. I saw my older brother pummel him. It was great. He was a big fat bastard and had it coming. He took the tire I was playing with and pushed me down. My brother, who is only a little over a year older than me, got my revenge. I had called down the thunder and I got my tire back.

My older brother was my Arkansas Mafia, he was my Luca Brazi.

Of course he turned on me sometimes. When I hear other people talk about some of the “fights” that they got in with their older brothers, I laugh. It’s mostly just wrestling and then pinning someone down. My older brother and I fought like Holyfield and Tyson. I was not the biter by the way. There were actual punches, knees and one time a hand mirror.

One of the major jobs of a toadie is to do exactly as the Big Bro says. If he says to get out of your top bunk and change the channel on our black and white, then that’s what you do. I always found it funny that he wouldn’t get up to change the channel but he would get up and punch me. That’s just lazy.

Most kids played cowboys and Indians. However, I don’t know how many played like we did because we played with real guns. You should not give an older brother a gun. I believe that as much now as I did then. It was his idea that we should not use sticks but instead the pellet guns that we got for Christmas. He never thought about how bad it would hurt if he got shot, mostly because I have very terrible aim.

But as a toadie, what are you going to do? Cowboys and Indians with real guns it is then.

There wasn’t any real running or strategy. My older brother basically told me to go stand by a tree.

Then he shot me in the knee.

I don’t remember any stories about cowboys kneecapping Indians gangland style. It hurt like hell and bleed. The pellet wasn’t in my skin so atleast I would only die from the infection rather than a bullet. Honestly, who aims for a knee?

That is when I made the decision that today I was not going to be a toadie. Today I was going to be the stalker. Today I was going to get my revenge. Today, I am Billy the Kid and you can be the god damned Indian.

I quickly ducked behind the tree as this seemed a better idea than letting him shoot me again. We were using air rifles that you had to hand pump. I lost count at about 15 pumps or so. I just remember that I had to stand on the lever to get the last five to go down.

I had visions of myself plunking him right in that big melon and sending him down like a water buffalo. I would then stand over him and spit, like Clint Eastwood, and remind him that buzzards gotta eat the same as worms. It was bastard payback time.

I leaned out of the tree and waited like a marine core sniper. I saw his head, held my breath, closed my eyes, and took a shot at my brother’s head.

This is where I mention again that I am a terrible aim. A terrible, terrible aim.

I heard a crash which I thought was odd because when he shot me it didn’t make any sound. I opened my eyes and saw my brother turned around, looking at the house. Dear Jesus no.

Breaking a window is bad. Breaking a window will get you licks, no doubt about it.

I shattered a two panel sliding glass door. I was dead. My life was over. There would be no Clint Eastwood moment.

My father was of the mind set of spare the rod and spoil the child. I’ve gotten whipped so many times, that I actually have full on strategy’s to deal with it. I was one of the few that had to walk out to the “switch” tree and pick the stick that was going to be used on me. Don’t go thin and wispy, those hurt like hell. Try to pick something of medium strength, with little bend. Trust me on this.

We walked over and saw that the bottom half of the door was gone. The top half was nothing but spider webs that spelled out my impending doom. I could not run. My dad would find me. I knew it and my brother knew it. He put his arm around me and decided that the best course of action is to make up a story. A good big bro never abandons his toadie. I however, had decided that I had a good life and that I’m sure that the orphanage would be nice.

I spent the next 3 hours crying on the couch, waiting for my dad to get home. I was a wreck. It was pathetic. We didn’t have much money back then and I was sure that that door was worth more than what I made mowing a yard for 3 straight days.

My dad comes home with my brother in front. He didn’t look mad, which is always more scary because you don’t know what was coming. I thought that as soon as he saw the door he would forgo the belt all together and instead reach for a good piece of iron, maybe a nice stout log.

But he didn’t. He came over and gave me a hug instead and asked if I was alright. What the hell is this? I was not prepared for this. I had already written my will and given my he-man action figures to my sister. What kind of story did my brother tell? What lie did he concoct to get me out of this.

I didn’t care. I was off the hook and I have no idea how or why. My brother grew up to be quite the smooth talker and I got to see it in action before anyone else. He didn’t let me stew, he stuck up for me even though I was trying to give him a new airhole in the forehead.
I have been a toadie ever since.


My Fear

For the man that has no fear, I am afraid.

The last time that my wife was pregnant, I was ignorant. I was blissful. It was magical because I didn’t know what was coming. I could sit back and think that I would soon have a smaller version of me that would like sports and grits. I didn’t know if I was to have a boy or a girl but both were ok as I was going to be superdad. I never doubted that. I always thought I would be a good father. I am borderline psychotic with my level of confidence.

For example, I am almost 100% sure that this blog will one day go viral, I will reap millions of fans who cannot get enough of me and I will retire to Montana, far away from everyone. Like my cat, love me love me, just don’t touch me.

But that confidence needs to be held in check. It needs to be humbled. It needs to be corralled like a lion tamer in a 3 ring circus. I need to be reminded that at times I am not superdad and am nothing more than an extra on the movie set that is my wife’s pregnancy.

But that’s ok, because I am also sure I could be a fantastic extra on movie sets and retire to Montana.

I know that I am a bit player in this thing but that isn’t what scares the hell out of me. The first time around, I wasn’t scared at all. It was great. But now I KNOW. Now I KNOW everything that is coming. I realized that I was confident and cocky because I was an idiot. God help me, I just didn’t know.

Read any pregnancy book and they will tell you that a baby is ready to come on out at 40 weeks. I didn’t pay much attention to this the first time I heard it because I just assumed in 9 months we would have one half of the Wonder Twins. About 5 months into it, I was getting pretty beat down. I was tired. I was overworked and overlooked. Then it dawned on me: 40 weeks are not 9 months. Do the math. Yup, 40 divided by 4 weeks in a month, carry a one: bingo—10 months. Doctors in general are filthy, filthy liars. 10 months is a hell of a lot longer than 9 months when there is just no way you can give another backrub or hear the term Mucus Plug. When we went to the doctor this last time to get the sonogram of my new minion, I stole that little Pregnancy Wheel that gives you the exact due date. We are good to go on 10/7 and I’m holding that lying bastard to it. I check it everyday, just to make sure.

Also, do you realize how many times you have to go to the doctor? Seriously, the first 10 times are pretty cool, then it’s sapping your wallet. Everytime I hand over my credit card I think to myself, Why? Why is he telling me the same thing over and over? What’s the point. Come on man, mix it up a little. “Mr. Hossman, I just discovered that your new child has x-ray vision and is playing Motzart in the womb. You must be very proud.” If you are going to lie to me about 9 months, let’s go all the way. I’ll believe you. Who doesn’t want to believe that their unborn child is a genius with superhero powers! That lie is worth the 30 dollar copay man, come on, help me out here.

Then there are the health concerns of the wife and the child. My wife had gestational diabetes the first time around. We were barraged with books and concerns about having a 15 pound kid and that his could make them not breath. How much sleep do you think I got after that? We did a special diet and Little Hoss came out 8 pounds on the dot, so there wasn’t much need to worry. But do you have any idea how much I obsessed over this? I hired a nutritionist for Christsakes!

Who knows what Syatica pain is? I sure as hell didn’t and am pretty sure that I didn’t even spell that right. Why don’t they just call it “intense back pain that you can never stop and will be constantly blamed for”. Don’t butter me up, tell me like it is. What that meant was that there was a good 2 hour conversation letting me know what that is and ended up with me giving roughly 4 months of back rubs. What can I say, I’m not giving birth, gotta suck it up and do it. I hate Syatica, can’t stand it. I hate it so bad I don’t even care to look it up and spell it right.

Now welcome to actual child birth. This is the part where you are constantly shoved out of the way, blamed and charged for anything and everything. This is also when you start to get dumber. I don’t know why, but it happens. The day before, you are smart guy, the day of, and you don’t have any clue what is going but you are sure this is going to cost you a lot of money.

The epidural guy comes in and sticks what looks like a rafter’s oar in your wife’s spine. You hear her yell. All you want to do is give him the flying elbow from the top rope but nope, you are quietly cornered aside in the rocking chair. Heres your chance to be that extra in a movie stud, make the most of it. This is also when they tell you that this is not covered in your insurance, please produce your wallet. Jackass.

Finally comes the Umpa-Lumpa suit. This was made for a 5’2”, 120LB midget. I couldn’t even sit down in mine, it would rip. They stick you in a dark, cold room, then out of no where, after you have been waiting 15 minutes, NOW is the time to go, come on, don’t be late, move it dad. Yes, yes, I can’t wait to see my wife cut open, please, let’s hurry. And as they are cutting my wife up they were talking about the Ft. Worth stock yards. Listen, I want my doctors quoting Einstein, not cow size. Can we have professionalism?

Then they send you home. Insanity. Pure and simple. And then, because you didn’t know this either, there are certain complications that happen after pregnancy. Like Gallstones. Seriously, I’m not making this up. This happens to a lot of women. So let me get this straight doc, you just cut my wife open, now you want to go back in and do it again. And you want me to take care of this newborn by myself. Seriously? Is there a camera? Where is Ashton Kucher, I know he’s around her.

So your wife is eventually back with you with more staples and is feeling kinda blue. The baby doesn’t let anyone sleep and I can’t breastfeed so that just makes it worse. I have never wanted a set of hooters in a non sexual way as bad before. So the wife gets up and carries a baby, even though you ask her not to and to wake you up because you sleep like a Yeti through a train station. And then it happens, she pops a stitch. Which means another trip to the doctor and more poking and prodding. No one will say it, but we all think it, You are a terrible father.

How can I be superdad? Superdad knows what to do. Superdad always has the answer. I’ve got nothing. I got less answers that Jessica Simpson on Jeopardy.

But then the confidence starts to build again. Hey, look at that, the kiddo doesn’t cry when I hold her. And that’s when you realize that you are confident superdad not because you think so, but because they think so. They both look at you like you can fix anything, and even if you can’t, they still think you can. It’s the smallest things, you kill a bug, and you are superdad. You take the kiddo by yourself and give the wife a break and you are superdad. You do a crazy dance just to get that one smile out of the little peanut, and you are superdad. Sure, you look like an idiot talking baby talk but you don’t feel like one anymore.

But that 10 month thing still isn’t cool.

Team Beer Rides Again

Team Beer, Sunday Night D League fat old man Softball, has been on a little losing streak.

It all began with us getting absolutely crushed by one of the Church teams. I can’t remember which one because I have attempted to block it out. The final score was 28 to 3. The crowd was chanting “Mercy, please Mercy” as we were on the sacrificial block. Mother’s were covering their child’s eyes as the onslaught continued. It was the inquisition of Softball and Team Beer did not end well.

There were some team members that have stated, quite publicly, that it was this blog that caused us to lose. Some felt that by blogging our general complaints about Fort God may have brought down the wrath. They claim that should I shut up, perhaps we could win our games. I point out that we were missing some players and that it is not the blogs fault. They point out that we lost the next game. I say nay brothers, nay, we are not forsaken.

This week we had the opportunity to play another church team. Actually, another team from the same church. It was not the one that slammed us like a Southern Baptist Organ, but they have some very good players. We know them very well because we have played them often. We have nicknames for some of them: Redhead, Goofy guy, Place hitter, and That guy.

The rest of the team changes from week to week. I believe, very sincerely, that they are recruiting players from the outside. I base this on the fact that every time the playoffs come around, they are filled with guys we have never seen before. Once, I swear to god I saw Jose Conseco in right field.

But today was a special game because my daughter had come to root on her dad. I have dreamed of this day, of me hitting the game winning home run while my daughter cheers wildly in the stands. I would cross home plate and my daughter would run out onto the field to hug her hero.

As it turns out, my daughter was more interested in the dog poo in the parking lot. She’s one so has no interest in this at all. What she sees is an open field that was made for her running through it and picking up everything and trying to eat it.

She started with an acorn, which Hossmom quickly stole as it went for her mouth. Then a leaf that met the same fate. And then, I swear, out of pure spite my daughter grabbed a handful of dirt and shoved it in her mouth before my wife could move. It was lightning quick which I find odd for when she has a piece of carrot in front of her it takes her a good 2 days to get it into her mouth. When we are at a restaurant, she palms food and has to shove handfuls of it in. Some make it in, many do not. It’s like a bulldozer, it’s not made for precise movements. Get her out in the field though and her little hands move with the speed and precision of a surgeon. But she was having a good time, which is fine with me. One day she will come to the realization that her father is greatness incarnate and will worship me.

Team Beer had our full lineup this time around. Which means we were only missing three players due to injury or whatnot. Our two starting pitchers are still out but we here that the are rehabbing well from the knee and ankle injuries. We are only one broken hip away from joining the senior tour.

Our manager however is the king of recruiting and once again got us replacement players to join us. These “scabs” don’t get paid as much and they have to buy us beer, but at least they get to wear the jersey, which should be enough.

The game did not start well. Not only is my daughter eating dirt like it’s caviar, but we gave up 5 runs in the first inning. This was mostly good hitting but some bad decisions on our part.

We live for the “play at the plate”. We can’t help it, our competitive nature just demands it. It’s our honor, and we must give it a shot. Two of our outfielders actually have Peyton Manning like laser, rocket arms. Our catcher is a 250+ x-lineman. We like our odds when it comes to the play at the plate. We figure that they will hit the brick wall that is our brick salesman catcher, or get beaned in the back of the head by one of our outfielders. Either way, they’ll stop just a few feet short of the plate. The downside to this is that it usually advances the runners on the base, which is not good. We are addicted to the play at the plate like it was Disney world, we gotta go. Even we have no shot, we still make the throw. Thus the five runs.

But Team Beer was not down and out. We are a scrappy bunch. Underneath the smoking and drinking on the bench lies a fierce competitive spirit although subdued by the flabbiness. We got back a couple of runs and went back to our defense, one of our strong suits.

We were all a bit nervous this day because our normal first baseman was out. That left our manager to take the position. He’s a miler, not a catcher, god love him. We don’t know sometimes if he is going to catch it or if it’s going to hit him in the head. Our first play at first came with the drama. It hit his glove, then plopped out and started to roll. He was stretching, grabbing for it like it was the antidote to his poison. Imagine a man hanging off a cliff and desperately reaching for that last vine that won’t snap and send him to his death. That was our first baseman. He laid his fingers on it and picked it up, the out was made, the fan went wild, my child ate more dirt.

We are up to bat again when one of the scabs comes in. He strikes out. He strikes out looking. We are merciless. Why? Because it is just damn funny that’s why. We have all struck out and we have all been ripped for it. He was just new, so he got the double dose. He has to buy a keg now rather than a round. Filthy scab. I hope he plays again with us.

But we battle on. Scoring one here, one there, play at the plate, yelling at the umpire, one guy threw a bat. A pretty normal game. But we would just not go away. We were like a virus, immune from penicillin. We were the turf toe, you just can’t get rid of it. We were monkey aids.

The last inning comes up. There are 6 minutes left and we are down 10 to 7. And I have to ask this question to my teammates: Does God love Team Beer?

We get a couple of good hits, a walk and bam, the bases are loaded. The next hit is a beauty and our boys are off to the races. The faster ones are catching up on the slower ones which makes us chubbies hustle. No one wants to be caught on the base path, that’s just embarrassing. One of our men stutters at third but is waived home anyway. I would like to say it was close, but it wasn’t. It was an easy call. Of course we argued it, we are Team Beer.

We have one out and the next series goes out to Kasey Casem. The hits just keep coming. We turned that last six minutes into a full dose of Team Beer. I got up with about a minute and half to go. They played me short in the outfield. For some reason, I decided to hit a long one and got an easy double. And then, in typical Beer fashion, our next hitter swings at the first pitch. He could have just lazied up to the plate, taken a couple of pitches and the game would be over. But that’s just not how we roll.

It’s a great base hit and the question is answered: God does, in fact, love Team Beer. We scored 6 runs in that last inning for a great comeback. We are ecstatic. We shake hands and are told God Bless You. We point to the scoreboard and let them know he already has.
The wives are not so ecstatic and are eager to go home and watch “The Amazing Race.” I run up to my daughter, who by now smiles with grit in her teeth. Her face resembles a mud clown as she jumps into my arms smelling of sweat and poo.
That’s my girl, a honary member of Team Beer.

The Nose Hair

If you have read this blog then you know that I tend to be a tad overprotective of my pregnant wife.

As a kid I once would not give my mother a bedtime hug. I was upset, although the reason escapes me. She came upstairs and bent down for a hug. I turned my back and so did my brother. It was the classic kid ruse, I will withhold my love unless I get what I want. I was 5 at the time.

My mother went downstairs and I was feeling very smug. Yes, that will teach her, now I shall rule all. But I forgot that the ultimate ruler was in the house. The phrase “Wait unitil I tell you father” had real meaning in our household. For some reason, on this particular night, I forgot that.

My dad came up next. Stood at the top of the stairs and then pulled his belt out. For those who have had a lot of licks in the past, the sound will be familiar. Everyone of us will have flashbacks when we hear that sound. Everytime I take off my belt, I laugh because I know that sound used to mean, “Crap, I’m getting licks”.

My father took a step towards my brother and I. He was always very calm when we were about to get licks. It was eerie. But most times atleast I didn’t have to go through this alone as I was a toadie which meant my ultimate defense was that my brother told me to do this, yes sir, I was just following orders. My brother could never deny this because it would undermine his authority over me, so smack smack, we got most of them together.

My father informed us that we, under no circumstances, should ever not love our mother. It was to be unconditional with no questions asked. Our mother deserved our respect at all times. He informed us that there would be penalties to breaking this rule.

We each got our three smacks, went downstairs, and hugged our mother. To this day, I do not believe I have broken this rule. I am 32.

So in retrospect, it is no wonder that I am overprotective of my pregnant wife. She has already given me one child and now she is lucky enough to give me a second. Of all the women in the world, she was chosen to carry the next President of the United States. How could that not be an honor.

In return, I get into uber-Hossman mode and try to make her as comfortable as possible. There are certain things, as a good southern boy, that my wife is not allowed to do when she is pregnant.

First, she is not allowed to carry anything over 10 pounds. This is a challenge as our first angel is over 20 pounds at the moment. But we make due. This means no carrying laundry up the second floor, no picking up the fat dog, and above all, no taking down the 100 pound box of her shoes from the top closet shelf. I freaked when I saw this. She has shoes that are classified into “winter” shoes and “summer” shoes. I have no idea what this means. This is Greek to me. I have exactly 4 pairs of shoes. Work shoes, tennis shoes, sandals, and cleats. Each serves a purpose. I but a new pair every couple of years. But every time we “spring forward and fall back”, I am up on a latter lifting down that damn box. It is the bane of my existence.

The second rule in the Hossman pregnancy is that she must eat every meal, every day, with snacks on our “pregnancy diet”. This doesn’t sound so bad, this is good stuff right? Ok, I can be a little hard assed about this one as well. I try to make her breakfast before she leaves and constantly hound her if she is snacking between meals. I admit, my mother hen routine can get old. And it’s not always the food she likes to eat. And some foods she can’t have as much as she wants. But at least she is spiteful about it. This means that I cannot eat the food that I love as well. Even though I’m not pregnant. Even though I am not with child. But hey, I am supportive.

Finally, my wife is not allowed to pump her own gas. I am just terrified that the fumes will cause a birth defect. So I pump her gas for her. If I can’t do it, I have no qualms about calling my brother in law to fill in for me.

Which, finally, brings me to the point of this blog. I am feeling very wordy today.

I went and pumped gas for my wife. This is normally something that I like to do. Gets me out of the house a little and can scarf down a candy bar without anyone being the wiser. Maybe stop by and get some good old McDonald’s and finish it while my wife continues to eat broccoli.

I am pumping my gas when my nose starts to itch. I scratch, but there is still a tickle. I go to the car and look in the mirror. What I see shocks me, terrifies me.

I have an extra long nose hair that has somehow curled UP and is not tickling the outside of my nose. Let me repeat, an extra long nose hair.


I have never felt so old in my life. Immediately I have a flash of my future self with bushy eyebrows, mounds of ear hair, and nose hair that you know everyone will discuss when I’m out of earshot or my hearing aid is turned down.

When did it get to this? I have never had this problem before. I have never had to worry about this. I used to make fun of people that had to buy the Nose Hair Trimmers that also cook steaks on the late night info-mercials.

Now I have a nose hair that Tarzan could swing on.

I am shocked and disgusted at the same time. There is only one way to fix this, it must be plucked. Have you every had to pluck a nose hair? It hurts like hell. Your eyes water and it brings you to your knees.

But I don’t have any tweezers, just these sausage fingers. But this is bothering me so bad that it will not deter me. I spend the next ten minutes trying to get this thing out. It was not a pretty site. I’m sure I had my finger and thumb all the way in my nose at the same time. I couldn’t get a grip. It was like the ring toss at the carnival, can’t be done. You’ll spend 25 dollars tossing a ring 2 feet and still not being able to hit the damn coke bottle for a plastic comb for your date. Impossible.

I tried and tried and tried. It got personal. Where did this hair come from, what is it’s motivation, is it trying to ruin me, what have I done to bore it’s wrath? Did it migrate from my head, getting lost on it’s way to my lower back and deciding, screw it, this is our new home?

My eyes are watering with every attempt. I sneeze twice which makes the situation worse because now it’s all slimy. This goes on for a good 10 minutes when I notice Ms. Hot Blond in the mustang at the pump next to me.

I guess she pulled up when I wasn’t paying attention, and there I am, plucking my nose hair. Good god, how long has she been there. What has she seen.

Most people look away when they are caught staring. Not Ms. Hot Blond though, she is waiting for my face to turn a bright color of red, which it quickly does.

Now, everyone does “secret” stuff in your car. We all know that everyone can see in but we treat it like it is home. My car is the Embassy of Hossman and where it goes should be considered domestic soil. So I never thought about not doing this, even though it is a public place.

Contrary to what you may read on this site, I am not good with women. I am a big believer that once a woman gets to know me, she will want me everytime. Chicks dig funny, not as much as money, but close. It’s the first impressions that I have a major problem with. I have no idea what to say. Even in strip clubs, I am horrible at this. THEY ARE THERE BECAUSE I AM PAYING THEM but I am always the guy asking what their real name is and if they are in college. I know that they will lie to me and they know that I will pretend to be interested, but I still am no good at it. In short, it is a beatdown to give me a lap dance.

I decide that it is high time to get the hell out of here as Ms. Hot Blond is still looking at me. She is disgusted. I am embarrassed. All so my wife will not have to pump gas.

It actually takes me a full day to tell my wife this. Me, the man with 1000 stories, cannot bring this one up.

But what I did do was invest in some nice high quality Nose Hair Trimmers that can also dial 911 in case of emergency. Only 3 monthly installments of 199.95 on QVC. Totally worth it.


Not Elvis

I am not cool. I have come to accept this fact of life.

It’s tough to say when this realization came. For those that are slowly aging, you may know when this defining moment happens.

It’s like when your car turns over 100,000 miles. You know that something has changed, that the future will get more complicated, but you just can’t seem to accept that fact.

There was a time when I had hair. Great hair, Brad Pitt type of hair. It was beautiful hair that stood in a natural spike. It waived gently like amber waves of grain in the wind. God saw it in his wisdom to make me bald by the time I was 24. I did not become uncool at that time, but something had changed.

There was a time when I knew all the current music acts. I was grunge, full bore, with boots and flannel. I had a goatee and delivered pizza. I always fancied myself as the “Pizza Boy” that you see in the Adult Movies that shows up with Sexy results. Somewhere grunge music got to be “classic” music and I realized that I didn’t like any of the current bands. My wife explained that now there is “Emo-rock”. Music that is based on feelings and ballads. I hate it. I have now switched over to talk radio full time. I remember that my father used to listen to this and it bugged me to no end. I understand Dad, I understand now. Something has changed.

There was a time when my biggest concern was that my girlfriend may be pregnant and what in the hell am I going to do. Now my wife is pregnant, and I did it on purpose. There was no praying to god that if she wasn’t pregnant I wouldn’t ever have sex again and go to church all the time. There was no proposed deals with the devil to get me out of this mess. And there was no relief when she wasn’t pregnant. There was only excitement when she was, when I would have another minion in the Hossman army. Again, something has changed.

I used to dream that I could afford a car that was a “muscle” car, that would drive the chicks wild. I would dream that I would go cruising and honk at random ladies on the street, fully expecting them to hop in my Mustang for a ride. I would dream that if only I had that muscle car, the world would love me as much as I love it. Now I can afford that car but instead I am seriously considering buying a Mercury “old man” car because it is reliable, spacious, and above all—safe. Something has changed.

I used to think that when I turned 18, I would be free. I got a tattoo and bought smokes just because I could. I used to think that when I turned 21 I would be able to drink anytime I wanted and that it would be great. Let’s get the party going, let’s party hard. Then I thought when I turned 25, it sure would be great that I could get that insurance break. Now I think it will be great when I retire at 65. Something has changed.

I always thought how great it would be to be Elvis. To have hordes of women throwing themselves at you and having a “mafia” to support you.

Ok, that hasn’t changed. That’s still pretty damn cool.

But now I think how great it would be to be Alan Greenspan and be able to predict which way the economy is going and how to plan for my financial security. Or how cool it would be to be Mayor so that I could finally fix that damn pothole on my street. Something has changed.

I don’t know when the change happened and I became uncool but I know when I fully and truly realized it.

I was cruising around with my daughter. The windows were down, the wind blowing but not through my hair as there is none. No women were giving me lustful glances. I was in a sensible SUV, with a good warranty and good safety features. I was not reviving my engine. I was not taking risks.

My daughter was in the back, singing along with me to a Neil Diamond song. That’s right, Neil Diamond. Sweet Caroline was blasting, and we were happy. I looked over and saw a young kid in a Mustang. He thought he was cool. I had pity on him, knowing that one day, he would be looking at someone like this one day. That the hair, that was once cool, will be gone.

He will realize that he can’t go to Vegas and look up anymore because they have mirrors on the ceiling that show him how bald he really is. He will realize that having a good retirement plan is more important than spending 200 bucks a month on beer. He will realize that the word “gout” is an actual condition and not a punch line to a joke.
And he will realize, that hey, Neil Diamond is not so bad after all.

The Xbox Widow

“Why do I have to cook dinner” the young man said.

Very faintly, over my headset I heard the reply “It’s your turn, now turn off that stupid game”.

“Bullshit, I cooked last night.”

“Get away from that thing and come cook the chicken.”

“Let me just finish this level and I’ll be right there.” He replyed.

Next I heard assorted grumbling and he told the other players in the Xbox world that he had to go because his wife didn’t understand.

Honeydoer 1 had no idea that all of our hearts went out to him at that time. That for a lot of us, we have had this same conversation countless times. We could offer no advice because we also had found no strategy to insure victory versus the Wife that thinks we play to much Xbox.

What is our biggest obstacle to playing countless hours of fun and achieving greatness? Is it that our thumbs become Arthritic? Is it the power company cannot handle our countless demands for electricity? Is it the alien horde coming down from above.

No, it is the wife that hates the Xbox. She would prefer to do other things like “spend time with us” or “raise the children” or “eat”. Clearly she does not know the importance of our mission: To randomly anniahlate a virtual representative of demon spawn.

She cannot understand our addiction, our desire. She cannot understand why we will say we are coming to bed and then actually stay up until 4 am. She cannot understand why, god why, WE MUST FINISH THIS LEVEL.

We have tried to explain it to her. We have tried to let her know that her future, indeed her very freedom, may rest on whether or not I can T-bag Mr. Honeydoer 1. She mocks us, makes fun of us and eventually rips the cord from the wall.

The Wife says things like “I’m pregnant” to get us away from the xbox. But we counter that if she is pregnant now, she will be pregnant for another nine months so there is plenty of time. She says “The baby is taking her first steps”. Good, maybe she can get me a coke and a hot pocket now.

I have heard other such arguments over my headset as I play Gears. I have heard somethings funny, some things disturbing.

I have heard the Wife vow divorce if he didn’t stop playing right now. The papers were filled last Monday.

We have turned into a support group. We give our sympathy and then we rip him for being a wee little man that cannot control his house. No one wants to lose a player in a game. We find that good old fashioned peer pressure keeps the game intact and destroys marriages. The alien horde does not wait for a T.V. timeout and neither do we.

The Wife may never understand. That is something that we may have to get used to. She may never come to accept the loneliness that comes from being married to an Xboxer. She will try to compromise, she will try become involved. But this will never change the fact that when we say “I’m almost done and will be done in a sec” really means that “I am trying to ignore you and hopefully you will forget that I am up here.”

Soon she gives up. She becomes content as we lay against her at night and use her legs to prop us up so that we can see the T.V. better. She accepts that we will have half conversations that will be interrupted by an expletitve as we lose a vital position in the Xbox game. She accepts that she has become an Xbox Widow and may have to raise the child on her own.

The Wife, our inspiration and our obstacle, may still fight on to get us out of the xbox world. She may actually encourage us to watch more sports and less Xbox. But we are a cult, the converted. We are doomed, and we know it.

At 3:00am, on a Tuesday, the game continues. The Wife is laying beside all the husbands that have fallen down the crevice. A voice erupts from my headset:

“Tommy! What are you doing up, you have school tomorrow!”

“Mom! I’m almost done, let me finish!”

“You get your butt in bed right now!”

“Hold on! I’m almost……………………”

Then silence. We have discovered a bigger scourge than The Wife. The Mom’s powers trump all and our hearts go out to the 13 year old Xbox recruit.

He would have made a fine Xbox man as we take a moment to ridicule him. God speed, young man, God speed.

My Wisdom to the Spud

My daughter growled at the dogs. She hasn’t spoken a word yet, but she knows how to growl. I was so proud, I almost cried.

There are certain things that every father tries to pass on to his offspring. Some fathers pass on words of wisdom such as “The early bird gets the worm”. Some other fathers pass on things like a watch that they smuggled out of a POW camp. Some fathers pass on a money and a love of hookers.

I, being superdad, have taught my daughter how to growl.

As some of you know, it has come to light to me that my 1 year old daughter has gone feral. She is living in the jungle book and being raised by a bear and some wolves. She delights when she sees our dogs and can’t wait to throw food at them. It has gotten to the point that when she is in her highchair they will calmly sit underneath her, waiting for that slice of heaven that is the chicken nugget. They will even eat broccoli, a first, to show allegiance to her so that she will reward them with greater morsels.

I have never seen such well behaved dogs. With me, they always slobber to I give in and throw what left over spaghetti against the wall so that they will chase it. I will push the cat out of her hiding spot so that they will chase her and leave me alone. My boxer slobbers like Niagara Falls and if it wasn’t getting all over my legs, would be very impressive.

As she is being raised in a wild pack, one day I thought that it would be beneficial that she know how to express her displeasure. This is what I have passed on to my daughter.

We practiced during re-runs of Star Trek, which is the other thing that I have passed on to her. Although she can’t say it, she understands the Prime Directive better than any starship captain.

Each day when I get home we turn on the good old Tivo, friend to us all, and play whatever episode happened to be on. This particular episode happened to be about some Klingons taking over a mining colony. Not a good thing. One of the Klingons growled, very tough sounding.

This got my daughter’s attention and she looked at the screen. This is weird because she never looks at the TV which just reinforces the idea to me that the Milkman must not watch a lot of TV. I watch a ton of it. For those that missed that, that was joke stating that the Milkman is the true father of my daughter. Of course, the general rule is that if I have to explain a joke, it’s not very funny. I should delete this.

So this gave me an idea. Let’s start with the basics. Let’s just go ahead and forget about “Dada” and focus on more beginner level communication.

I took my daughter by the shoulders, looked her in the eye, and growled.

She laughed her little head off. She couldn’t get enough of it. Ok, we are good to go. She is entertained by this, let’s see if she can mimic.

I flexed my muscle and did it again. She stopped, looked at me real hard, then growled! It was a peanut of a little growl, but a growl nonetheless. My little girl is becoming powerful and should usurp my power by next January.

We did this for the next hour as Captain Jonathon Archer rescued the mining colony. Each time a Klingon got on screen, I would point and growl. Then she would growl. I growl, she growl, I growl, she growl. I would flex and growl, she would flex and growl.

We have practiced this everyday for the last month. I’m usually home alone with my girl for about 2 hours before Hossmom gets home. Which is good because she approves neither of Star Trek or growling although she did find this quite funny.

30 days of this. 30 days of Star Trek and guttural communication. My daughter is going to Harvard, at which point she will growl at her roommates.

During this time, we also play with the dogs. They are great with her and love getting in some good playtime. We imagine that they are the beasts on Rigal 7 and we must stop their evil plan. My shirt is off and I am waiting for Hossmom to come home. I am still the captain of this ship.

However, the dogs can get a little over excited when playing Romulans and knocked her down in their fever. She looked up, gave her best Clint Eastwood stare, and growled. Loud.

The dogs stopped and the boxer cocked his head. “What the hell” I’m sure he was thinking. Then he went over and licked her face, domination achieved. She laughed.

She then looked at me with the same stare. Maybe we should just watch some more Star Trek next time?


Me take Smartt Test

I took an IQ test today.

Why is a story that is a train ride through “no sense” land. Come on, hope in, and join me.

I recently read a book entitled “Zodiac” about the famous serial killer that worked in the San Francisco area in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He liked to send creepy notes and letters to the cops and the newspapers. He has never been caught and stopped killing, atleast that we know of, in the early 70’s although he has sent several letters.

This book attempts to pinpoint who the real killer was using a series of circumstantial evidence and coincidence. It makes a decent case but nothing that I would convict on. Lack of answers do not equal proof that this person did it however he is a majorly creepy child molester and deserves our scorn. I will not run the book for you here.

Also in this book it gives an FBI profile of the suspect. Namely, that his is very intelligent with a high IQ.

As is my nature, when I get into a subject I decide to do more research. Welcome to Wikipedia, the world’s instant access to complete human knowledge. Written by you, for you. I love Wikipedia just because it is a colossal time waste.

Want to know what is up with Iran and it’s history. Bam, there you go. Got some pop culture reference you want to check out, do a search. Having trouble deciding if you should marry the hot blond or the homely brunette that may grow to be hot and will be faithful. Your answers are all right here my friend, enjoy.

I do a search for “serial killers” and come across roughly a million. This scares the crap out of me that I actually have to refine my search on this subject. So I stumble around like a chicken playing Tic Tac Toe at the fair and get down to US serial killers. This is a much more manageable list, roughly around 75 or so.

Then I start reading. I start comparing, who did what, what makes them famous, what was the MO, how they got caught and their profiles. It is the psychology behind this that is of interest to me.

A recurring theme was that most were considered intelligent with an IQ around 110 to 120. There are different reasons why each of them did what they did. It was all very creepy. I tend to get in moods based on which book I am reading at the moment.

If I read Harry Potter, I come away hating fat obnoxious British people. If I read Tom Clancy, I hate the Russians. When reading porn, I hate bad camera angles.

Reading this put me in a bad place. I felt dirty. I was paranoid. I needed a shower and I needed to lock me and my family in my home and have no contact with anyone, ever. In fact, I am somewhat hesitant to write this post as it may attract attention to me that I do not want. Seriously, it’s like talking about Ghosts. I refuse to take a stance on whether they exist or not solely for the fear that if I give a wrong answer I will be haunted.

But something occurred to me. Do we think these people are smart just because they whacked people? Reading about how they did it and how they got caught, I would tend to disagree. The Son of Sam was caught by a parking ticket? Genius? I don’t think so. Ted Bundy just plunked people with a tire iron. That’s not smart, that’s caveman behavior.

Is it our own bias and fear that causes us to judge this way? You may not be surprised to learn that Hannibal Lector, Norman Bates and Leatherface were all based roughly on the same serial killer. Yes, that is extremely creepy. But it is who you would expect it to be—weird guy living isolated. Of course, he made lamp shades out of his victims as he dressed up as his mother. That’s not smart, that’s just crafty.

So here is my question: Am I smarter than a serial killer.

Sometimes I believe that I should just leave well enough alone. Go to work, come home, eat a can of soup, pet the dog and go to bed. I am actually terrified that some law enforcement agency out there is using the Patriot Act right now to see what I have searched on Wik. I expect a phone call very shortly where I will explain my blog and then go to jail. Did I mention that I also once looked up Iran to get a clearer idea of what was happening. You tell me how that looks: Searches of “Killers” + “Iran”. I should be on my way to Gitmo by tomorrow.

I found an IQ test. It looked very official. I wanted just to test the waters of my mind. In college, I thought I was a pretty smart guy. I was a “common sense” kind of man, even though my grades do not show an abundance of genius. But once I got into the working world I decided that yes, I am smarter than you. The idiotic things that I have seen out here never fail to amaze me. I have a friend who’s job is web based but she is not allowed to use the web. Seriously, that kind of stuff.

It was a timed test and I was only a little nervous. If I score in the low 70’s, then how will I react. I have a very fragile ego that needs constant reassurance. You may have noticed a counter on this blog, why do you think that is? So I can reassure myself that yes, Hossman, you are funny. I check every day to see how many hits. Incidentally—a big shout out to Wylie and “Unknown Country”. You two are making my month! Please, someone comment on this thing and let me know that I am funny and that your day is better because you have discovered me and that if you only knew who I was, you would throw your panties at me. No guy responses, please.

Normally, I am a very good test taker, always have been. I never fretted around before a test, I read the newspaper. My philosophy was that if I don’t know it by now, there is not much to be done. And I am a fast test taker. I once completed a Calculus exam in college first after being late 20 minutes. That is a very funny story that involves me running naked, so we will get to that later.

Ok, the test, here we go. First question isn’t so bad. It was an anagram question where it spelled out England if rearranged. Ok, feeling good.

Question two: How many vowels are in this sentence. Ok, I can count, good to go.

Question three: If two people leave in opposite directions and travel 6 miles, then both turn left and travel 8 miles, how far will they be apart.

Houston, we have a problem.

Let’s use some reason and some diagrams. Somehow I am convinced that it is an A2 + B2 = C2 thing. My drawing is quite magnificent, complete with a triangle shaped courtyard, a tree and a kid on a skate board going 8 miles. I come up with my answer. Hmmm, not one of the choices I see. So I do what I always do in this situation. I assume that there is a printing error and go with the one that is “Close” to the right answer. In this case, 11.

This goes on with different types of questions. Most are logic type questions and visual spacing type questions. There are some like and not like things with pictures. Oddly, there wasn’t much real math. There were number questions, but I expected some fraction dividing or a Function of x kind of thing. I am quite proud of one question though: It was those questions that start with a high number that continuously gets smaller and it asks you to fill in the series. For example: 144, 121, 100, 81, 64…… What is the next number in the series.

I figured this one out. I don’t know exactly how, but I did. I tell you what, the first person that comments on how funny I am will get the correct answer.

There were no spelling questions on this test, thank God, as you can tell from this blog.

I finish the test and feel pretty good about myself. I always do when I finish a test though. I will forever be shocked when I get a bad score on a test. In 2nd grade I once scored a 5 on a division test. I thought it was bullshit and decided that the teacher hated me. My mom kept that test for some reason and I checked it when I was much older. Nope, I was just dumb.

I click “calculate” to get my score. I am a bit nervous. Am I dumb? Am I smarter than a serial killer. If their average is between 110 and 120, am I an idiot.

Here’s a breakdown of general score boarding: 90-109= Average intelligence. 110-119=Superior, 120-140=Very Superior, 140+=Genius.

My score was 129.

Yes, Margaret, I am smarter than you.

The test classifies me as a Visionary Philosopher. It states that I am a good teacher and have skills in verbal communication. I agree 100%. I realize that this is like those horoscope things. You will believe anything good someone says about you. “You are a assertive person that enjoys helping others while expecting nothing in return”. Yup, that’s me completely. “You need constant reassurance to validate your existence”. No, that’s not me at all.

If I got a fortune cookie that read “Chicks constantly dig you” I would swear that fortune cookies do in fact work and that we should set Foreign policy based on their advice.

So I have answered my question and feel validated in my existence. I am smarter than a serial killer.

That’s when I read the fine print of the test: “2% of American people have a greater intelligence than you which is roughly 120 million.” But how many are serial killers?

Editors Note: To serial killers—this is just a joke and please do not seek me out. I am a terrified little boy that has no friends. I am sure you are much smarter than me


The Airport

I like the airport.

I love paying 12 bucks for a coke. I love taking my shoes off for bomb screening. I love watching every guy in the newsstand look up at the porn section wondering if they can actually buy a Hustler here without bringing attention to themselves. I love looking at everyone and wondering which one is the drug mule. But most of all, I love Mr. Funnyguy passenger.

My wife and I just got back from a short jaunt vacation for a friends wedding. Everything was basically smooth until the plane ride back.

We got on the airline’s version of a Greyhound. No assigned seating, just pack them in like a sock in the shorts—push it all the way down.

We thought it was going to be uneventful. I would put on my Ipod, scope out the hotties and wonder which people were possible terrorists.

Yes, I have the same hero fantasy as every guy. I pick out a couple of shady looking characters and imagine myself jumping over the seats to bring down my fists of fury while the flight attendants decide who is going to sleep with me. This is not to joke about 9/11, but an admission what every guy thinks.

My wife and I get on the plane and realize that there is going to be a problem. This is a connecting flight for all the spring breakers coming back from Mexico. Normally, I would be elated in this as there would surely be some girls gone wild moments. But they are on their way back and I’m sure that all the skin has already been flashed. And they have taken all the seats. There is hardly any place for my wife and I to sit.

We go all the way to the back of the plane which worries me because I have always heard that this is the first part to blow up in a plane. I am not afraid of flying. I am, however, afraid of blowing up.

My wife and I aren’t able to sit together and I get a middle sit between Mr. Skateboarder and Angry guy. I always think that this is a tad unfair for me to get the middle seat. I think we should arm wrestle for it. My shoulders are wider than the arm rests. We won’t talk about my gut here. And I know that they were not thrilled to have me there as well as I am sure they were happy to have the mandatory space between dudes sitting rule.

But we got along fine, mainly because all three of us put in our Ipods as soon as we could and no one passed gas so it was a pretty good situation.

Until Mr. Funnyguy showed up.

Ok, look. There are a few Hossman principles. This is what makes you Hoss. 1. Always give up your seat to the old lady or the pregnant lady. Show that your momma raised you right. 2. If you sleep with your buddy’s sister, he gets to punch you and you have to marry her. 3. Don’t be a dick.

That last one is paramount to the Hossman philosophy. Basically, don’t be an asshole for no other reason than you’re an asshole. C’mon man, don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy and no one thinks you are funny.

So in walks Mr. Funnyguy. He’s a spring breaker coming back to Flunkout U. He’s got the hat backwards, J-crew ruffled shirt untucked so everyone can see how cool he as because he doesn’t care, and he’s wearing sunglasses. Yup, sunglasses on a plane. I immediately don’t like him. Dude, you are not a rock star and no one wants to take your picture other than the booking sergeant down at Rapeme Jail.

He sits down when there is an announcement we have all heard. They have oversold the flight. They have two little girls who have to go to school tomorrow and would anyone please give up there seats for 200 bucks and a travel voucher. I had a daughter but if I didn’t, I would have stayed one more day. What do I care?

But Mr. Funnyguy takes over then. He yells out “We all have school tomorrow.” Aww, isn’t that cute, he thinks he is funny. Yes, let’s make fun of some 10 year girls who are traveling alone. Jackass.

He chuckles to himself. I knew guys like this in college and I didn’t like them then.

I want to pound him. I want to take his Liberace sunglasses off and break them off in his ear drums. I come up with a plan. If he ever bribes enough teachers to actually graduate, I’m going to hire him to work for me. Then I am going to completely treat him like shit, making him take every crap task. I am going to send him to Columbia to get me a cup of coffee and then put him on disciplinary action when he gets back and it’s cold. I’m going to tell him that we have “Thong Wednesday” and then make fun of him when he shows up. I can be quite good at this and my mind wanders as I fall asleep on takeoff.

We touch down and I take my Ipod out. My wife is in the row ahead of me and the last two hours was pretty boring. Everyone gets out of their seats and into the aisle.

Apparently my wife moved a little to fast for him and got in front of him in the line to get out of the plane and he decides that this is offensive to him. He says “sorry” very sarcastic like and starts laughing to the white trash tramp he convienced to pity fuck him next to him.

Now, I’m not normally a confrontational guy. Most people give me very little flack as we both know that I could pound them. I’m a pacifist at heart and most things just slide off me. However, Mr. Funnyguy is getting dodgy with my wife. Who is pregnant.

I am every bit as overprotective of my wife as I am of my daughter. They rule my world and yes, a rude comment is enough to get me going. It’s the bully mentality that bothers me. Yes, she can’t fight you. However chump, I can and I am right behind you.

I consider shoving him through the airplane window that is about a foot wide and decide against it. I decide that it is better not to be charged by Homeland Security at the moment and make it home on time to pick up my daughter. I let it slide to the relief of my wife.

We go to baggage claim and it is busy as ever. I don’t know what it is about baggage claim, but I suppose people think someone is going to steal your bag. Regardless of the fact that all you have in there is your dirty underwear and toenail clippers. Everyone is sure that is what the thieves want. We are not as cool as we all collectively think we are.

I spy Mr. Funnyguy and Ms. Tramp pushing people aside to get to the baggage claim. Then I have an idea. It is a great idea. It is passive aggressive, not my normal side, but still a genius idea.

I see my bag coming down the carousal. I time it so that I go to get my bag right when it reaches Mr. Funnyguy, using my bulk to slide right between him and whore. I push them aside and bend over to pick up my bag.

And that’s when I fart.

It was silent and couldn’t be heard over the machine and noise. But, god help me, I know that as soon as it gets out my pants leg, it is going to stink to all heaven. They might have to shut this place down.

That’s right, I cut it right then and there. I have no shame in this and I know that it is disgusting. I know that it is not civilized, but damn’it if it ain’t funny as all hell.

I quickly retrieve my bag and stand for just a few seconds, letting the aroma of my stink slowly go out. I have just skunked this guy and his kiddie porn girlfriend. It was totally worth it. It was revenge for making fun of little girls and for being a dick to my wife.

I know, it’s not as good as a punch to the face as Hossman principles might dictate but it was the best I could do in the situation. I just got all my ass spray right in the sweet spot and I know that it will take them a second before they smell it.

By that time, I’m headed for the door with my wife, laughing my ass off. I turn back just in time to see the Bleachblond crinkle her nose and punch Mr. Funnyguy. Bingo, she’s blamed him and I’m sure that there will be no future romping sessions in the future. I hope I saturated his clothing so that only tomato juice and prayer can get it out.

I am laughing so hard when I see all this that I tell my wife what just happened. To my amazement, she starts laughing to. I expected her to call me juvenile and not to do something like this but apparently, she sees the justice in this. She is very passive aggressive so I suppose she appreciated this tactic rather than me just popping the guy.

You may think that I am disgusting. You may think that I acted like a two year old. But everyone will also think that this guy had it coming. In the future, I may just pop him. But for now, I am satisfied with passive aggressive gorilla style combat.


I am bound and cannot move. I try to move my left leg and hear only a growl. I try to move my right arm and it is nothing but dead weight. I try to flip on my side and I get hit in the nose. I am trapped because I live with a family of bedhogs.

The hossman family bed is a king size, as if it could be anything else. It is greatness and where all our major decisions are made. It is safety, it is compassion and it is the seat of my kingdom.

My wife and I started out together in a twin sized bed. I have no idea how as I am quite a large man and she is a bedhog. She steals covers, she steals glasses of water, she steals anything that she can get her sleepy hands on. But I was young then and willing to give anything to any woman that was willing to sleep in my same bed. This was in college and even though I had fabulous hair then, I still had no game.

We soon upgraded to a queen sized bed and finally to our masterpiece that is the Kingsized bed.

Oddly though, I still don’t have any more room that I used to have. Even though my kingdom has increased in territory, my throne room remains the same twin sized border town it has always been.

We go to bed around 8:30 nowadays. This is because Hossmom is with child and gets very tired very early. As part of our marriage contract, that means I have to go to bed at that time to. Yes, sometimes I sneak out when she is down but usually get caught. A cranky pregnant wife is not good, so I usually read or play some xbox. One day the warden promises me more incentives, but until then, I go to bed at 8:30.

This is, infact, the rule for the entire family. In the king-sized bed there lays my wife, my self, the fat belly newt—our chubby dog, Kahn—our blockhead boxer, Clarence—our Casanova cat, and eventually Whorelly—Demon hell cat that hates my wife.

And they all want one thing. Hossman. They all gravitate to me like I am a big black hole sucking in all the light. They don’t want pillows, they don’t want money—they want parts of me. And they all get upset if I move.

Let’s start with my wife. She scotches way on over so that there is roughly a mile and half of open space on her side. This is an open prairie that could be farmed by serfs. She doesn’t want the land, even though it is primo in my kingdom. Nope, she wants my right side and all of it. No movement please, she is sleeping.

The dogs have pre-ordained sites next to me. The fat belly gets my feet. She’s not picky about smells. She wants the legs and all of them.

Kahn gets my right side and he is the most finicky of the bunch. If there is not enough room for him there, and no where else, he will whine and scratch the bed until I scoot over giving him his spot. The pillows most be removed from this side, there can be no interference on his territory. He has slept with us since a puppy. Of course, he is 60 pounds of pure muscle now but he still thinks that he is that 5 pound sissy that we brought home.

The cats are a different story. Atleast the others have a little remorse about how I feel. Not the cats. Clarence gets the right hand. He doesn’t want to snuggle mind you, he just wants to put his head in your hand. If you move your hand, he follows it. If the palm is not open, he bites. Do not displease Clarence.

Finally there is Whorelly. But she has a different style. She goes to bed with us when everyone is already asleep. This allows her to creep past the dogs and settle her very fat frame right on my chest with her nose inches from mine. Go to bed with a warm gallon of milk on your chest and this is what it is like for me.

I can’t blame anyone. I was made for hugs not drugs. I am furry and cuddly. I am like a 250 pound carebear. Who wouldn’t want a piece of me?

Of course, with any kingdom where there are fiefdoms, there are territorial disputes. My family is not only a bunch of bedhogs, they are floppers fighting for space. There is plenty of other territory to occupy should they choose, but no, they all want the beachfront that is Hossman.

Let’s run through the injuries that I have suffered. I have had 2 bloody noses. I’m not kidding or making this up for a better story. My wife has popped me twice in the kisser as she is flopping causing blood to flow.

I have been kicked or kneed in the crotch more times that I can count. Imagine this if you will, you are deep asleep and all of a sudden you feel a knee right in the baby maker. Is this a dream? No, dreams don’t make you throw up. Everyone is guilty here. Both dogs, my wife, even my fat cat. In their border disputes, my neither region is primo battle ground.

A bloody lip, again from the flailing arms of my wife.

Scratches on eyelids, cheek and gums. This is from fat cat Whorelly. She is not as stealthy as she likes to believe. Once every couple of months she will be on my chest when the dogs wake up.. They think t hat she is a furry dog bone because they bolt after her (right across my crotch). She then uses my face as her starters blocks and off she goes. I swear to all that is holy that I will declaw her.

But as I am the king, I have brought in a mercenary. I have brought in someone not concerned with territory, only my will. Little Hoss, the king bedhog and flopper of the bunch.

She doesn’t want just a piece, she wants the whole thing. She doesn’t sleep in our bed as I am terrified that I would roll over and smush her. So when she does come to the bed, she determines that it is play time. And what are the two things that she loves to play with most of all?

Tails and Hair. Neither of which I have. I am King Solomon.

As soon as she is in bed, she makes a beeline for my wife’s hair. My wife has great, gorgeous hair. It is full, long and there is a ton of it. Unfortunately for her, she has a very sensitive head from carrying around this Repunzal like main. One pull from my daughter and bam, I have some space.

Next are the dogs, they have tails. She is relentless in her attack. Any tail needs to be pulled, possibly bitten as she gives her war cry. If they do not cooperate, she quickly pushes them to the floor.

Clarence hates to be picked up and hugged. That is exactly what she does as she banishes him to the underside of the bed.

Only the fat cat remains. But the fat cat is ingenious. She is El Juapo, she’s infamous. She does not run but actually lets my daughter pet her. This is odd because she doesn’t let anyone pet her but me. The fat cat is making an allegiance. She remains while the others are scattered.

And I have my space. Of course, I don’t get any sleep because my daughter doesn’t know when to quit. If I let her she would pitch herself off the side of the bed without any thought. She is a thrill seeker with a little baby bungee cord tied to her waist.

But atleast I am no longer in a twin sized bed. It took me unleashing the Kracken, but I’m sure she will not betray me. Until she realizes how fun it is to kick me in the groin.


Xbox Diaries--My Date

Sadly, my attempts to recruit my friends into the Hossman Xbox Army have failed. They are weak and expect others to fight the alien hordes while they enjoy their piece and security. Cowards, all cowards. They drink their fancy French wine while the true xbox patriots give their digitial lives for the betterment of mankind.

But I am not alone. There are other’s out there that have joined my liberation army and we have been close. The system allows you to have a “friends” list. These are people that you have met in the online game and would like to play with again. The system lets you know when they are on so you can play together again. Think a playgroup for older gentlemen.

As a result of my friends treacherous behavior I have abandoned them. But I may have gone to far.

I had my first Xbox date. He is 57, I am 32. We are both guys. I thought you only experiment in college but I was wrong. Is it wrong that this feels so good? Do I need to go to confession?

It was innocent at first. We met and talked about the game we were playing—Call of Duty. Aptly named, I feel. In a nutshell, you destroy Nazi Germany with the righteous hand of freedom.

We were on eachothers friends list. I liked his style. He was no coward and did not hide behind digital rocks while other’s sacrificed their score to reach our objective. He was a crack shot and knew tactics. He was captivating.

An older gentleman meets a younger, handsome man on the net. One thing leads to another and soon they spend countless hours for a cause. If I wasn’t 32 and married, I would be calling the police.

It just went on from there. Then the unspeakable happened. I am ashamed what I am about to write. I played as a German. I am so sorry. I played as a German because the teams were not even and I hate bullies. The Allies outnumbered the Germans by 2 to 1. There were taunts, we were playing with them like they were injured bunnies. I could not take it anymore. I defected. I crossed over for the thought of a better game. I took my friend with me. AND I liked it. I discovered that I was much better with the German weapons. I was a god damn demon surgeon with that rifle. My blood lust was high. I was killing by the baker’s dozen. It was a slaughter and quickly the tide had turned. My friend converted to, we were together in our shame and betrayal.

Then it got weird. We talked about how much we enjoyed playing people from different countries. Since we were German converts it made whacking French people that much more fun. Throw some English and Chinese in there and it was a buffet. The Germans have no allies. After some beer and some game playing, we decided to meet the next morning at 8am to play people overseas. This is when they are just getting going. You have to get up a little early, sacrifice some sleep and just grit your teeth.

So I had my first xbox date. I told my wife about it and she just shook her head knowing that, perhaps, I have gone a little to far in my quest for a good Xbox game. She judges me. I judge me.

But I showed up the next morning, despite my reservations. It was exciting and different. I was awash in a new world of my gentlemen escort.

We joined a game and their they all were—every country I have ever played against. I signed up for the German Squad and the killing began. Bazooka’s, 50 cal machine guns and execution pistol shots from close range. My friend and I were the scourge of the battlefield.

I quickly became the Afganie Warlord. I had people defecting to my leadership. I was barking orders like Patton. I set up a perimeter and then sent out scouts. Once the scouts reported back, I sent flanking maneuvers and set ambushes. I burned villages, destroyed crops and annihilated economies. I was mad with power, mad with victory. I counseled each decision with my friend, sending troops off to their deaths. I was Genghis Khan, a Mongol warlord sparing no one. There was no mercy. The taste of their screams, so sweet.

This story does not end well. Revenge was not laid upon me. Justice was not done upon me. I took over. I remade the xbox world in my vision. I took a haphazard jungle of men without direction and gave them purpose, with my 57 year old xbox date. In short, we became a new clan, each adding us to their friends list so that we would constantly play together. I have laid out new laws, built societies, but my digital blood lust will not leave me. I will destroy all challengers, put down all riots, I will rule with an iron fist.

And when my friends finally see the light and come to my xbox world, I will destroy them. I will make them each question why they bought the 300 dollar machine of justice. I blame them for sending me to the darkside, to become a German and have a date with another man. I have fallen from Heaven, please, someone help me for I cannot help myself.


Mary Lou

Between the ages of 5 to 8, I was a construction worker.

I was in the employ of my father who built houses. More specifically, he was building our house and I helped. Of course there was not the option to not helping. That either got me licks or a beating from my brother, lose lose for Hossman.

But this was not a sweat shop type of thing. Most time I was more than happy to help. Which kid would not like nailing at the age of 6? I just happened to be doing it into 2x4’s instead of the coffee table. Granted, most of my nails would bend in the middle and take me a good ten minutes to pull out. I was not the most productive of nailers so I was quickly fired. However, I was the bosses son so I was soon back on the job sight in different capacities.

I have stacked so much brick that I still bear the calluses from that work. Between that and mixing concrete with a hoe, I quickly built the massive physique that I refer to today. It’s just currently hidden underneath cloaking pudge, but it’s still there.

By far, the best job on the site is on the roof and ceiling. When you are six, this is about the best job you can have. You get to walk on top of things that normally you will get smacked for. Crawl on the roof when you are sneaking out and you get grounded for a month. Crawl on a roof when you are building and you get paid. How great is that.

I can hear many of you gasping out there right now, what the hell is a 6 year old doing on the roof. Just remember that this was the early 80’s and things were quite different than now. I didn’t wear a helmet when I rode my bike either and I’m ok.

Building a house is good work for a kid. It’s like using Lincoln logs for real. Then, you get to live in the fort that you built. Davy Crockett never had it so good. Most of my jobs were essential although less than glamorous.

After the nailing ineptitude, I got demoted to gopher. Still a great gig. Dad need some nails, I’m on it. Don’t worry about those shingles, I got it. My brother needs someone to punch—hey take this shoulder right here big bro. I was the all purpose guy on the job site. I was gopher, punching bag and great looking guy. All for the low low price of nothing.

My father was building an addition to our house as my little sister had come and we needed more space. My dad was a carpenter by trade so this was no big deal to him. He was adding a kitchen, with a stove and everything. It’s funny what makes you happy. You get indoor plumbing and it changes your life.

I had helped put up the frame for the walls and was walking on the rafters for the roof. These are the pieces of 2x12’s that eventually hold the whole thing together. I was six. I had my little tool belt on. It was great.

There are times in my life when I have done things that I have no idea why. It’s an urge that I can’t help and I still get it more than 25 years later. In kindergarten, we were making butter by shaking a jug. The teacher said not to throw it and be careful. I threw it. I couldn’t help it. I caught it but she didn’t seem to share the same amazement as the rest of my class. Couldn’t help it, had to chunk it.

I was in the store the other day when I went passed a baby in a shopping cart. She was sucking on a pacifier. I just wanted to yank it right out of her mouth. I have no idea why but my hand started to move. I caught myself there before going any further, but some stuff you just get an urge to do.

It was the early 80’s, height of the cold war. At the time, the cold war was really fought in the Olympics. Team USA vs the Commie Bastards. And it was all about the gymnastic teams. 13 year olds battling it out on small little bars for their countries honor. My family and I were completely wrapped up in it. I hated Commie Bastards even though I had no idea what the hell that meant.

And there I was, on a rafter. When I stopped to think about it, the rafter looked about as long as balance beam. In fact, it looked about as wide as one to. Glory awaited me and my country on the rafter and I would not disappoint the urge of Glory.

I did the best, hands down, cart wheel you have ever seen a 6 year old do on a roof rafter. I could hear the crowd chanting USA, USA, USA as my hands made contact with the rafter. I saw the flashbulbs in my mind as the president was awarding me the medal of honor as my foot flew into the air. I saw myself doing the best Mary Lou impression you have ever seen and I was gearing up for my dismount that would win the gold. I was Retton, I was the spirit of her, I was a perfect 10. She had somehow channeled her greatness to this 6 year old protégé.

Unfortunately, I could not stick the landing like her. It was then that I realized that graceful might not be used to describe me. The crowd sighs with disappointment as my feet fail to touch anything and over the side of the roof I go. I can see my mother crying as they hand the gold to someone else, failure comes. But not as quick as realization does.

I am falling. I am falling off the roof. I am falling off the roof to concrete and shattered dreams below. But I will not go silently. With a last ditch effort, I grab the rafter with my hands and hang on knowing that to let go my gymnastic dreams will never be fulfilled and I’m pretty sure I will get licks for screwing around on the roof.

So there I am, hanging by my nails looking down. 10 feet doesn’t look that bad on a basketball goal. 10 feet to a 6 year old hanging from the roof looks like a bottomless pit.

I am now deadmeat. There is no way out of this. If I call my dad for help, I’m getting licks. If I let go, it’s broken leg. I shall hang here until an opportunity to get out of this presents itself. I can hang forever.

That’s when my brother sees me hanging and lets my dad very quickly know that Hossman needs some help as he is currently hanging off the roof.

Nothing phases my father. I have never seen him shook up in an emergency. He is matter of fact and never panics.

He calmly raises his head from the board he is working on. Looks at me, and I quote:

“You better pull yourself up”.

This is not a threat, this is not me getting in trouble. This is my dad telling me that when you are hanging from a roof, the best thing to do is to pull yourself up. My father is genius.

He then turns his head back to the board he was working on and finishes up. This may seem cold to some but it was just a fact of life. He knew that there were greater consequences and that surely I had learned my lesson. I will no longer go Mary Lou on the roof rafters when building a house.

I throw my leg over and hike it on up. My brother comes over just to make sure that I can do it before he punches me. Sadly, there will be no gold medal in my future. There will be no crowds cheering and no domination of the Commie Bastards. I was not meant to be a gymnast as it requires coordination. I shall find a different way to contribute to our national honor which currently means teaching MY little girl how to tumble. Maybe one day she will be the gymnast that I could not be.