6/30/10

Daddy's Home Blog

My monthly article is up on the Daddyshome Blog. Go over that way today to get your weekly fix of Hossman. According to my wife, it's funny. But then again she could just be lying to me which is ok as my ego is fragile. She also tells me that it's full of misspellings and grammatical errors. This to is a lie but I love her anyway.

6/27/10

Version 2.0

I am not who I think I am. It's weird realizing that what's been in your head for last two years isn't really what's in your head. It's in someone else's head. You just get a glimpse of it. You think you are an original. You believe what your mother told you. You. Are. Unique.

But what if they lied. Or what if you didn't hear them right? What if they really meant to say: You. Are. Not. Unique.

This weekend I found out that I am a clone. I am not who I thought I am.

So let me re-introduce myself. Hi. My name is Scott, version 2.0. New and improved with all the upgrades required of a loyal friend. I know. This is going to take some getting used to.

This weekend Papa Scrum invited me to his "Man Weekend". It is in Iowa. Yup, rip roaring partyville Iowa. I told my niece I was going to Iowa this weekend. She said she never heard of it.

I thought this was great, a true milestone in a friendship between two dudes. It's one step above asking me to move him (I have) and one step below asking me to hide a body for him (I can't find a good cave.) I love Papa Scrum. He's the bestest. Of course I wanted to go to Iowa to have a man weekend. Pretty soon we would be wife swapping and sharing recipes for a good barbecue sauce.

So we went (plenty of blogs about this later.) and drove 5 hours from Kansas to an Iowan (that's a real word, at least Iowans tell me it is) campground. We picked up one of Papa Scrum's other buddies and checked in at the campsite. Things went well. I had a great time.

And I met Scott, the original.

Scott, or as they call him: Pony, was Papa Scrum's best friend and best man at his wedding. He's a good guy and I guess it is only natural because I am him. Only I didn't realize it at first.

I think that Papa Scrum forgot that I was there at first. After all, he did not try to hide the secret at all. You would think that they would not like to introduce me to my father clone. Surely that would bust some sort of space/time continuum rule and all matter as we know it would implode. Or maybe he thought that I wasn't that bright which if that is the case then I shall be offended on my own behalf as well as Scott, the original.

Things were going well at first. We were all talking, laughing and forgetting that doppelganger was in the house. Pretty soon some of the talked turned to politics. Turns out, Scott the Origanal has a liberal leaning attitude. I was refreshed to hear this because you don't find many of us in the Midwest. I stated to like him more and more. A man that believes that giving someone a helping hand is the American duty. Rock on. It's always great when you find something in common with someone else.

Scott also has done a lot of work with Autistic and special needs children. Awesome. As an investigator for the state of Texas, this was one of my specialties. In my head I was already planning to share some war stories and a hug.

Scott is a teacher.

I started out as a teacher.

His first name starts with a S.

My first name starts with a S.

Scott likes boobies.

Hell, I like boobies.

That's when I realized it. That's when the truth hit me like a backhand from a pimp. Right in the face with a little bit of chicken juice on it. I am Scott's clone,a devious plan set forth by Papa Scrum himself. I am the new and improved version of Scott and all for the puppet master's pleasure.

Here is what I figure happened. Papa Scrum and his best friend Scott were separated in a cruel twist of fate called life. Torn apart from each others loving embrace they spiraled to different parts of the country. Scott the original went to a small town in Iowa and Papa Scrum came to Missouri. Dejected and personally destroyed, Papa Scrum mourned the closeness of his friend. He probably drank a lot, perhaps dabbled in the occult and then did a lot of yard work.

But one day he had an idea. He would clone Scott. And he did. I am him. It all fits. It all makes sense. Do not doubt me. Let me ask you this: is it possible for a Conservative leaning Republican to have two Liberal friends? HA! I thought not! The laws of physics say that this is not possible and goes against all of natures laws. A conservative can only have one liberal friend and that's only so that they don't feel guilty. Any more than one and the sun goes dark and Haliburtan takes away your farm subsidy.

Motive? Why, he missed his best friend of course. Do not doubt the lengths to which male love will go. And so I was created, in Scott's image. In a way, he is my god. Now Papa Scrum has two identical friends that live in the two places he goes most often. He is taking a lot of trips to Iowa this summer. Now I know why. He never has to be without his friend.

Of course there are subtle differences between us and my orgianal DNA donor. He has more hair than me and yet lacks the rugged quality that drives women attractive. I suppose I got that triat on my own. He is also not as heavy as me which is the polite way of calling myself fat. Manners are everything. I suppose that some genetic mutations are to be expected from original to a copy, just as the whole fax machine argument goes. If Papa Scrum moves and the third me is created he will probably be a midget. He will live in California and go by the name of Steve.

Tonight I am home from man weekend. I am in my bed, either in Iowa or Missouri. It doesn't matter as I can be in two places at once now. We both kiss our wives goodnight and we both tuck our children into bed. Eventually we will both fall off to sleep and dream of lesbians that look like Zena the warrior princess. The week will began yet again and a normal routine will follow.

Papa Scrum will leave for Iowa again this next week. I will tell him to give us a call when he gets there. We will be waiting. Like always.

6/20/10

What About Me

Look at them over there, the smug bastards. All 5 of them with Papa Scrum. Who do I got? I got TV's Mike, a guy that watches Nascar like it's Jesus behind the wheel. And he is drinking one of my beers. And I have a feeling that he's only over here with me because he feels sorry for me. Great. I have the pity of a guy that watches cars go around the same exact track 400 times. That guy feels sorry for me. The children on the other hand, feel nothing for me because I don't exist to them.

They are all about Papa Scrum and his stupid blue tent. We have 2 campsites. I have them labeled as Campsite 1: Full of rules and regulations, order and hygienic conditions. And Campsite 2: The fun campsite where the door never closes and the flashlights are there for anyone to play with and the batteries be damned. It's even near a mud puddle.

Papa Scrum has campsite number 1. I have campsite number 2. None of the kids want to come to campsite 2. They are all about Papa Scrum and helping him put up his blue tent.

Granted, it's a pretty tent. Brand new in fact. A 4 person sleeper with a rain shield. My tent on the other hand looks like something a hermit in Alaska would own. One day someone would stumble by and find his decomposing body in this tent, possibly mauled by a bear. And the tent leaks, as you have seen with my other blog. And after this trip I will also learn that it even leaks when there is only dew.

We are both putting up our tents and getting camp ready. And yet, none of the kids want to help me with old Bessie. They want to help with the new tent and I can't figure it out really.

This is the second camping trip I have taken this year with the kids. This is the first one I have taken with Papa Scrum and TV's Mike. Now I don't get a particular thrill out of camping. I like the quiet, and I like sitting by the fire. But what I really like is being a kick ass father who goes camping on a Tuesday afternoon. I like the kids singing my praises and composing sonnets about my awesomeness. I like the idea that many years from now the children will gather yearly to honor my memory and our camping trips.

They might do that, but it will be only for Papa Scrum. I will be regulated to "that guy that was there." I am Sam to Papa Scrum's Frodo. At least TV's Mike has a beer.

"Everyone out of the Tent!" Papa Scrum yells. "Listen, no shoes are allowed in the tent, it will get dirty." He tells the kids, ages 2 to 4.

I yell back "Hey, everyone can come into my tent! Look, the door is open! And it's going to stay open all day! Come on over to Crazy Hossman's Tent revival, yeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaawww!"

No one budges. I don't even think that they look at me. What in the hell makes Papa Scrum so lovable and fun??

"Don't pull that pole!" he says. "Wait, wait, wait! I told you not to pull that pole!" The blue tent almost falls down.

"Hey! I've got lots of poles over here! And they are metal poles, not those sissy fiberglass things. I bet you could hit each other with these poles!" I think I actually get one of the kids to actually look my way this time, but it's not even one of my own children. TV's Mike just shakes his head and sips on his beer. I can tell he wants to go over to campsite 1.

Why are my kids not here? They loved the first camping trip, rain and all. They thought it was great. They have been bugging me for 2 weeks to take them again. So why aren't they here? Why are they over there with Papa Scrum learning the proper way to drive in tent stakes?

"I'll let you use the hatchet over here! We'll show those tent stakes who's boss." I might as well just be screaming at myself. TV's Mike is just pushing the tent stakes down with his sandals, the ground is that wet. We don't even need to drive them in but I've got the hatchet coming up and down like a madman trying to entice some child into the thought of destruction and danger. I'm using that hatchet like Mel Gibson in the movie Patriot. You would think that my own kids would be all over this, but they are not.

"Everybody please stand back, only one person can help me blow up the air mattress at a time" Papa Scrum says. He's getting frustrated now because the kids are simultaneously trying to step on the air pump for the air mattress and jumping up on the air mattress.

"Look here!" I say "Who wants to jump on my air mattress!" I even start doing it figuring that I can break the ice a little bit. But nope, they stay where there are rules and the right way to do things. My sales pitch of a chaotic campsite doesn't appear to be getting any customers. TV's Mike hides his face as my desperation for fatherly love stinks of failure. I got nothing but an old tent that may have been something that the Duke Boys camped in. Well, I do have TV's Mike. That's something at least.

Camp is almost set up and I am still not getting even a glimmer of some father/child love. Oh, my daughter did run over to me to tell me how much fun she is having with Papa Scrum. She also tells me that she loves him and that he is her new best friend. I try to bribe her.

"I'll give you a pony!" I tell her. "Right here, right now." She starts walking away.

"I will let you throw the hatchet at my head." She barely turns around

"Here are my car keys." I throw them at her. "As of right now, if you stay and help me I will let you drive where ever you want to go."

She walks back over to Papa Scrum so that they can learn how to properly zip a tent up to make sure bugs don't get in.

I sit down in the grass. TV's Mike walks over to the blue tent but leaves me the empty beer bottle.

6/19/10

Why I know that I am a Father

Because I installed an over the range microwave all by myself. In the process, I sliced my finger. The only band aids in the house were Disney's "Cars" and they do not fit over my Dad Sausage fingers. I had to use scotch tape to hold on the band aid.

Because my daughter climbs out of her bed and sleeps on the floor. She's big enough that I am the only one in the house that can lift her up like a sack of potatoes and put her back into bed. Last night she decided that she didn't want to sleep in her own bed though so she climbed in with us. She promptly kicked me in the balls, dead on, while she was climbing in.

Because my son has the philosophy that the only way to wake a man up is to jump on his face and ask "Are you awake yet?" It's quite effective.

Because when I stub my toe, and it is often, I am not allowed to cuss.

Because Dad always gets the big piece of chicken.

Because Dad always gives away the last bite of ice cream.

Because I am the only person in the house capable of killing a spider.

Because no one else knows how to use a plunger.

Because my kids know the names of all the Simpsons characters.

Because in one of my video games my daughter demands that I save the demon spawn bunnies instead of shooting them.

Because I am not allowed to dress my children for any special occasion, ever. I can dress them to go hiking because they will be mistaken for woodland creatures, but not for family pictures.

Because I am extremely proud of the fact I can do a pony tail, a skill that millions of women do millions of times a day. I am putting it on my resume.

Because I believe that "a side of meat" is a good companion dish with the main coarse, which is meat.

Because I will drink out of a sippy cup rather than go get my own glass of water.

Because chicks dig scars and so do kids.

Because I can kick the boogie mans ass.

Because I believe that getting dirty is a good indicator of how much fun we are having.

Because I make cookies with a pair of pliers.

Because I know that there are no problems that cannot be solved with a good nail gun.

Because my 4 year old daughter wants to put a sign on her door that says "no boys." and I am encouraging that.

Because I can make the rain stop every time we go underneath a bridge.

Because I don't plan on ever telling them the truth of the rain stopping trick.

Because if someone has to take the blame, I'm your man.

Because the phrase "don't go on the roof" does not apply to me.

Because if there is a bump in the night, I am the one who is "volunteered" to go see what it is. And I arm myself with a child's Barbie.

Becuase I know the words to so many goofball songs, and I sing them with enthusiasm including big arm movements, jazz hands and show stopping dance numbers. Old McDonald, scene one, act one.

Because without me, how would the children know what a cannon ball looks like?

Because my kids need me to be there father, and I can think of no better reason than that.

Happy Father's Day every one!

6/17/10

The Friday 5

5 Things about my father that I hope to find in myself now that I am walking in his shoes.

5. My dad was on a small riding tractor clearing away brush when I was a kid. Due to my negligence, but I was only 5, I undid the trash wagon that was attached to it. I didn't tell anyone. So yes, this is totally my fault. (I wonder where my daughter gets her destructive side from?). The tractor flipped on my dad. His back got pretty badly scratched. I remember my mom cleaning him up. And then I remember my dad shrugging it off and going back to work. I hope to god I'm that tough one day.

4. Once, my brother and I didn't want to give my mom a hug goodnight. We were upset at things that children get upset about. We were pretty mean to mom. Dad came up and gave us a whipping, because they still did that in the 70's. Turns out it was a great motivator. Always love mom, no matter what.

3. As a kid, we had a very large yard in the country. A large yard. When my dad thought my brother and I were old enough, he let us start mowing the yard with the riding lawnmower. My dad knew two things: 1. Mowing the yard sucks and 2. The riding lawn mower was about to die. However, as a kid, who doesn't love to ride a riding lawn mower? It was a big deal. It was freaking cool. But of course the lawn mower did eventually die so the only thing left was the push mower. And by that time, my brother and I proved that we could indeed mow a yard. Every time we mowed, it took us 3 days to finish. For the next 15 years of my life, my father never mowed the lawn again. I hope that as a father myself I can fool my own children as well as he did us.

2. Nothing tastes better than an ice cold glass of chocolate milk brought to you by your children while you are watching Solid Gold.

1. My brother and I were playing cowboys and indians with our pellet guns. My brother was a better shot that I was and was actively teeing off on my midsection. As revenge, I pumped the pellet gun up 10X past the mutually agreed upon 1 pump. But of course I am a terrible shot. But let it not be said that I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Because I can. But in this case the broad side was our house and in that house was a very large sliding glass door. Yup, it was shattered. I thought I was dead meat. I knew that life was over. I couldn't run away, he would find me. All day I waited for my dad to get home. I didn't stop crying and I never left the couch. This would be the worst whipping of my life and I deserved it. He came in and gave me a hug. Said it was no big deal and told me not to worry about it. He obviously saw how bad I was beating myself up about it. More than anything, I hope that I learn what is important and what is not. And sometimes it doesn't matter that a glass door was shattered.


Happy Father's Day old man.

6/13/10

Decorating

The only reason she is saying no is because she doesn't understand. She's ignorant, and I can't blame her so much for that. She doesn't get it and I'm doing my best to educate her. But it's slow going and she is resisting any attempts to elevate her mind.

I'll keep trying. I have to because I can't turn my back. I can't because it is an original Super Bowl ticket.

I try to explain this to her. Superbowl XXXIV, she might remember this one. Titans VS. The Rams. Steve Mcnair and Eddie George in thier prime VS. The greatest show on Turf. In the end it came down to one yard. A pass over the middle by the Titans that came up a yard short. The reach that couldn't make it to the endzone. Millions of people holding thier breath and then all yelling at the moment they realize that the ball came up a yard short. The Rams win. People watching on TV thought it was an amazing game. It was even more amazing in person. I was there. And this is my ticket.

It's framed now. After the game people were trying to buy it for 20 bucks but I refused. I knew that I would never give it up, that it would be a treasure in my family and passed down for generations.

And all I want to do is hang it up in the bedroom. But Hossmom says no.

She says no because I'm not single, I'm not a bachelor. She says no because it doesn't go with our off white comforter. She says no because it clashes with the Parisian artwork we have in our bedroom. I say fuck the Eiffel Tower, it clashes with my Superbowl ticket. She says that I can put it in the unfinished basement. She says it's a worthless piece of crap. I shudder.

Besides, the Nolan Ryan plaque looks lonely and to small without the Superbowl ticket next to it. It doesn't take up that much wall space and looks unbalanced without the ticket right below it. The ticket somehow anchors the Nolan Ryan plaque.

But she is more against putting up the Nolan Ryan plaque than she is about the ticket. And I can't understand it.

This is Nolan Freaking Ryan, one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. The All Time leader in strike outs. Hall of Fame.

When Nolan Ryan pitched for the Texas Rangers, when I was a kid, we would go and see him on opening day. Those were some of the best games of any sporting event that I had ever gone to. It was back when they allowed fans to bring in their own coolers. We would be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while watching Ryan do his warm up runs right past our seats. He was no more than 5 feet away from me.

One of the first things I did when I got out of college was to buy this plaque. It has an 8 x 10 shot of Nolan Ryan, his face is all bloody. In the game in question, he took a baseball to the face that was hit by Bo Jackson. He needed stitches later. But he didn't leave the game. He took a minute to compose himself and then went right back to work, with blood running down his chin. I can honestly say he was one of my boyhood heroes.

And do any of you remember when he beat the shit out of Robin Ventura. That's why you don't fuck with Texas, right there. Because if you do you are going to get into a headlock and some uppercuts to the face.

But the wife says no to the Ryan and the Ticket. No matter how much I tried to convince her. And it's only because she doesn't understand what they are. They are not just slips of paper and bad photograph. They are more than that. And maybe Nolan Ryans blood does clash with the cherry furniture in our bedroom. But it doesn't really matter because they are life lessons displayed in those frames. The ones that say you'll have a seat at the table if you just wait long enough. They say that sometimes you got to take one to the face and just keep on going.

Those things don't belong in the basement, they belong in a shrine.

So I am forced to do what any man would, given my position. As soon as she left the room I put them up anyway. She might take them down, she might not. If she does I'll have to get some industrial strength glue and stick them back up. This is about principles and if I don't stand up for them now then I'll be worshiping pictures of foreign city's every night I go to bed for the rest of my life.

I also put up my framed picture of Vince Lambardi. In for a penny, in for a pound. It's about 2 feet by 4 feet and has a copy of a speech he once made on what it take to be a winner. I think that he would be proud of me right now.

6/10/10

The Friday 5

5 Reasons why the new movie, The A-Team, scares me.

5. Because of the movie Transformers. Being my age, I grew up with Transformers. So when a movie came out, I was honored bound to see it. It was an attempt to recapture my childhood. I took the day off work to see it. The whole theater was a bunch of 30 somethings in khaki pants and collared shirts. The movie sucked. I want my money back. Is the A-team going to break my heart as well?

4. Can anyone play B.A. Baracas other than Mr. T? I'm sorry man, I don't know if I can buy it.

3. In the 80's, a van of that type was cool. Black and even a tail fin. Come on man, how awesome was that thing. But can it translate to 2010? God I hope so but I"m afraid it won't. Now it might mean that your neighborhood pedofile is stuck in the 80's.

2. Will Murdoch be as crazy as the original and then go on to be a spokesman for Pepsi. (look that one up guys.)

1. Because I will go see it no matter what the reviews will say. I'm a slave to my past. I have idolized my childhood somehow and strive to believe that things will be just as cool now as they were back then. Even though I know that I will be disappointed I do not care. I have to try. There will be no stopping me. I am going to throw my money away and that's just the way it has to be. G.I. Joe, saw it. Transformers, saw it. If they make a movie based on One Day At A Time, I'm screwed.

6/5/10

Shux

Damn it!

We don't say damn it dad.

Well Shit then.

We don't say shit either dad.

Well baby, this time it's ok. That guy is being a shithead.

We don't say shithead dad.

No, no kiddo. This one and only time it's ok to say shithead.

No daddy! We don't say damn it and shithead.

But this guy is being so stupid! For chirst sakes, look at him!

We don't say stupid dad.

Dumb then.

We don't say dumb either dad.

Since when?

Mommy says that we don't say dumb daddy.

Oh, if Mommy says we don't then I guess we don't. Shit.

We don't say shit.

Thank you honey. I stand corrected. But if this guy would just MAKE THE STUPID TURN already we could go!

We don't say stupid turn daddy.

What? I can't say stupid turn?

No daddy.

Ok then. What can't I say again?

We can't say stupid, shit, shithead, shit booty, stupid, poopie head and fartie head and damn it.

That's quite a list we got going on there.

Yes daddy.

Well, what can I say?

Shux.

Shux?? I don't imagine you can spell that for me later, can you?

No daddy.

Well, shux then. This shux head is about to get a shuxing horn if he doesn't start paying shuxing attention and actually make the shuxing turn.

Daddy?

Yes honey.

Ki Lan says calm down. (deep breaths follow)

Ki Lan can shux off.

Abandon Ship

Abandon Ship! It's over, we're done. It's going down and I'll be damned if my crew is going down with it!

Women and children first, don't take anything with you that you don't need. Drop the gun and take the canolis! What, we have no women on board? Well, that's no surprise as Hossmom hates camping and I doubt any wife would want to come with her husband on the first camping trip taken with children younger than 5. But we mustn't think about that now. This ship is going down fast and we must do our part gentlemen! All hands on deck. Get me four guys playing some stringed instruments!

Arrogance. That is where we went wrong. It's where it always goes wrong. And sure, maybe I was drinking a little bit on duty. Just enough to keep the cold artic chill at bay but not enough to impede my judgement. Famous last words. But I was smart enough to clean up the campsite the night before just incase it rained. I thought to myself that if it does, then our stuff won't get wet. We'll put it in the car.

And the tent? Well, I thought the tent would be fine. I knew it leaked some but I didn't think it was all that bad. After all, I put it up the month before in the backyard and it rained. When I checked the day after I saw some water on the inside, but nothing to make me nervous. And now. Now we are paying for it. The squall has come in boys. A tough Nor'easter and it's battered us like Drago fighting Apollo Creed, god rest his soul.

I lashed down the hatches before calling it a night. I tied all the windows shut and put all electronics up somewhere that if it did flood, they would stay dry. But then the morning came. The morning that I wasn't prepared for. How was I supposed to know that the flaps on the windows were merely cosmetic?? Damn't Jim, I'm a dad not a tent engineer!

That's how it started and when it started I thought we could still come out alright. 6:30 am I heard the storm roll in. A vicious beast bringing the Devil's kiss to our first camping trip, the kids and I. The wind picked up like it was warning me. Pack your shit up now and go home. This will not be pleasant. I didn't listen. My arrogance.

The rains came next and they came hard. Big fat drops ripped on the sides of the tent. The top sounded like a drum as the storm raged. I noticed that water was getting in through the mesh covering the windows. I acted quickly but it wouldn't have mattered if I was slow or fast. Our fate had already been decided, I just hadn't realized it.

I began moving things away from the windows. The kids woke up and looked into my cold steel eyes. We would make it through this. We would.

I didn't notice that the flap on the front door was actually acting like a gigantic funnel, pumping all the caught rainwater in through the tiny opening at the middle. It's where the zippers meet and there isn't much you can do about it except pray. But sometimes prayer doesn't work. Sometimes you have just got to take your medicine. Hard, fast and wet.

When I did notice this I quickly abandoned the windows and tried to fix the front. I tried to stop the flow of water but alas, the bulkhead was breached and the water came on. I had hope until that moment. I had hope that the first camping trip with the kids would go off without a hitch. I would be the best and most perfect dad in the world. That hope died at that moment.

I felt a drip on my head. Then another. Soon it felt like it was raining in the tent. I looked up at the ceiling and realized that now rainwater was coming in through the seems. The tent was nothing more than a gigantic rain collector at this point and it funneled it all to one side. All was lost. The USS Over Confidence was going down. So I gave the order. The last order I could give. Abandon ship.

I ripped open the front flap of the tent and stood tall and fast in the face of the storm. The storm cussed me and I cussed it right back. Damn you Mother Nature, you will not best us. We will survive! I looked down at my feet and saw a small river going over my flipflops. This was my greatest mistake. I had put the tent on level ground. However, this level ground just happened to be at the bottom of a small hill. We were in the way of the natural runoff. Touche Mother Nature, Touche.

As the storm swirled around me and the wind swept through my abundent chest hair, I pointed my crew to safety. Some grabbed my hand and pulled.

No. I would not be joining them. Some pleaded and begged. Some bribed me with the thought of a nice hot breakfast at Denny's.

I say again, no.

I will stay. I will stand stoically at the helm of this great vessel and accept whatever fate the gods decide to bring me. I will meet Posidien with my feet firmly planted on my ship, my mind clear and my heart pure.

And then later, I will go have a poptart that I put in the car the day before.