Happy Halloween

We see the man through the doorway to his bedroom. He is singing softly to himself. He is folding laundry, well most of it. He folds his clothes and the clothes of his children. He does not fold or hang up his wife's shirts because they confuse him. They are made of lace and thin fabric and for some reason they are made to never stay on the hanger. Ever. He ignores them and tosses them onto a chair next to the bed. There is a pile of his wife's shirts there already from earlier in the week.

Into the green basket goes his son's clothes, in the blue basket goes his daughter's clothes. He has no idea why he does this he only knows that this is the way he has always done it. Green for him, blue for her. His own clothes get folded neatly and placed at the foot of the bed. They are almost ready for him to put up. This is always how he does laundry. He doesn't know why, he just does. The bed must always be made before he does the laundry because if it's not then a sock will go missing in the comforter that his wife picked out. He secretly hates the comforter because it's not soft, it's a little abrasive. He won't tell his wife this though, he let's her believe in the little fantasy that she has created.

He hums to himself without realizing that he is doing it. He doesn't know the tune, not yet. It's an old tune. Deep and old. He is folding the towels the way he likes to fold the towels. He folds it in thirds like he likes it rather than in half like his wife likes it. He does the laundry, he decides how things get folded. He hums.

He folds the dish towels. They have 100 of these because this is what he prefers. He doesn't like paper towels, the disposibility of the things. He likes permenance, he likes forever. He thinks he hears something downstairs, singing maybe? He's not sure. He picks up the dishtowels and heads downstairs. He steps on a Hot Wheels car in the hallway at the top of the stairs. He picked up the hallway before he folded the laundry and can't believe that he missed the car. It was obvious, right in the middle of the hallway. He doesn't pay that much attention to it because he thinks he hears the singing again. Soft, light, deep and old. He isn't sure.

"Ring around......" He makes out, or at least he thinks he does.

He goes downstairs to the living room and stops. He looks around. Something feels off, he's not sure. Laundry is always his last chore of the day. He starts his chores by cleaning the kitchen, the living room, playrooms before heading upstairs. He does the kids rooms then, the bathrooms and finally his bedroom. Then the laundry.

He looks at the living room. There are a few toys on the floor, almost pushed to the side. He thought he picked everything up. He hums a song without knowing it. A deep and old song. He picks up the toys and heads to the kitchen. There are 2 glasses in the sink, a blue one and a green one. He supposes he missed it when he loaded the dishwasher earlier in the day. He puts them away and puts the dish towels on the counter. He hears the singing again. It's not coming from downstairs after all, it's upstairs, in one of the rooms.

"Ring around the....." It's muffled but a bit more clear this time around. He wonders what toy has been left on.

He heads back upstairs to finish the laundry. At the top of the stairs he steps on a Hot Wheels car. This time he looks at it. It was in the middle of the hallway. He picks it up and puts it in his son's room. He is feeling like he has Deja Vu. His son's room is usually an easy clean as the toys don't get scattered as much and the bed is only a twin. It's easy to make a twin bed, quick and fast. The bed is not made. He suppose he forgot it. He makes the bed and hears the song.

He goes to his daughters room and the song stops. He makes her bed too as he guesses that he wasn't to keen on making beds today. He goes back to his room to put away the laundry. He hums a song.

There are no clothes in the green and blue baskets. They are on the bed, unfolded. His wifes shirts are on the floor. He picks up the shirts and puts them on the chair. He starts folding and putting clothes in the green and blue baskets. He folds the towels into thirds because that is the way he likes it. His wife likes it folded in half but if she did the laundry she could fold it the way she wanted to. He hums.

He takes the green basket to his sons room. He steps on a hot wheels car. This time he stares at it. It was in the middle of the hallway. He hears singing downstairs.

"Ring around the rosy......" He needs a drink. It's only 2 pm but what does he care, he has no where to be today. He drops the basket and heads downstairs trying to find the singing and to get him a nice whiskey.

The toy box in the living room is pushed over. All the toys are spilled out. Stuffed animals are behind the TV as well. There is an empty poptart wrapper on the couch. There is a blueberry stain next to it. The dishtowels are in the middle of the floor, all 100 of them. He picks them up and goes to the kitchen for his drink thinking that he is really off his game today and hasn't cleaned up very well. He hums and sings a little, a deep old song.

There are two green cups in the sink. They are sitting next to two blue cups. He stops, looking at them. He hears singing. Clearer now, closer.

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of......"

He heads upstairs to find the toy singing. At the top of the stairs he steps on a hot wheels car. He carelessly throws it on his son's unmade bed. He goes to his room, that's where the singing is.

The green basket is pushed over to the side, the blue basket is again empty. The shirts are on the floor in the dirty clothes pile. He picks them up before he realizes that they stink like they need to be washed, like they were never washed in the first place. He puts them in the green basket so that he can wash them. His bed is not made, the abrasive comforter is pushed to the side, the sheet is barely hanging on. He hears singing.

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posey." He runs downstairs, stepping on a hot wheels car.

In the living room the toys are thrown all over. The stuffed animals are in the dogs water bowl. Woody is hanging by his string from a chair. He goes to the kitchen and sees green cups next to blue cups in the sink. 3, 4, 5 of them. He hears the singing but he can't find it.

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes......." It's loud, it's clear. It's upstairs.

He leaves the kitchen and runs back upstairs to his daughter's room. He kicks a hot wheels car out of the way in the hallway. He goes into his daughters room. The bed is unmade. There is paper on the floor, paper that should be on the walls. There are markers on the floor, next to the wall that now has little colored pink faces screaming. He doesn't understand, he doesn't understand.

He runs back downstairs, he trips over a hot wheels car. He gets back on his feet and stops when he reaches the living room. Trashed, it's trashed. The toys are everywhere, there are crushed crackers in the carpet. There are purple juice stains next to the crackers. The dishtowels are soaking wet and thrown on his favorite chair. The kitchen has flies in it. The green and blue cups are over flowing the sink. He hears the singing, the whole house is singing.

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes, we....."

He leaves the kitchen, he leaves the living room, he runs back upstairs. He stops and stares at the hotwheels car in the middle of the hallway, he hears the singing. It's clear, it's loud.

He goes to his room. Clothes are thrown everywhere. The green and blue baskets have towels in them, towels folded in half. The bed is stripped and the covers are thrown to one side. He looks, unsure of what is happening, not understanding. He steps back and trips over a pile of his wife's shirts.

We leave the room of the man. Through the doorway we can see him sitting in filth. The only sound we hear is him singing a song, an old song, a deep song.

We all fall down........



Head on over to Daddyshome today and see my latest rant. Or just sit there and eat a bunch of Halloween like the fat slob you are. You realize that that candy is for the children right? Seriously, you are taking candy from children, what kind of person are you?

Stay away from the snickers, I call dibs.

Click here for Daddyshome.


The Parent/Teacher Conference, Part II

"Hello Mr and Mrs. Hossman" Says my daughters kindergarten teacher. "Thank you for coming."

"Always a pleasure ma'am" I say in my very charming southern accent.

"As this is your daughters first parent teacher conference, let's get straight to it." she says while she opens a very big folder.

What follows is a transcript, as near as I can remember, of what was said. It may not be 100% accurate.

"Let's get right down to it Mr. Hossman, although I must admit that I am a bit surprised that you even call yourself a man. You look more like a toad to me. The nerve of some people always surprises me. Please, if you wouldn't mind, try not to stink to much during our conference as I am trying to get through alot of these today and there is only so much failure that I can stand to sniff.

Now to your daughter, I do find her pleasant to be around. She gets along well with the other children and seems to listen well. For the most part she completes her her assignments on time and does a good job. However, she does fidget a lot. It's very tough for her not to fidget with things while she should be focusing on the task at hand. Mr. Hossman, are you even listening to me? Please put down the paperclips and focus. Seriously. And your are stinking again, go home and take a shower.

As for reading, your daughter does show some advancement in this category compared to the other children but I do not attribute this to you at all. It's obvious that Mrs. Hossman is the better part of the group here and the sooner she strikes out solo the better your family will be. Your daughter tells me that you and her are reading the Wizard of Oz together which surprises me greatly, I didn't think a Neanderthal like you could read big words. I am aware of your spelling and grammar difficulties. Let me ask you Mr. Hossman, are your reading a picture book of the Wizard of Oz? Do you like pictures? Stop fidgeting and answer me, damn you. Now the main issue I have is of course some of your daughter's spelling. It has become apparent that you have taught your daughter how to spell "butt." While I am sure this is humorous to you and I am sure you were just trying to make reading and spelling fun, this is in no way appropriate. In fact, if you would come a little closer my principle has asked me to slap you very hard to knock some sense into you. I also want to point out that she spells it "but" and not the appropriate "butt" for what she means. Great job genius. You're stinking again. You reek.

As for math, your daughter does actually appear gifted in this area and is ahead of the curve. I can only assume it's because she counts the number of ways you fail everyday. It looks like you are up to 29 failures a day which I must admit, is a record when it comes to parenting. You got your wife drunk to marry you, didn't you? I will slap you again Mr. Hossman if you don't put down those paperclips. I have discussed this case with the appropriate government officials and the World Record people and we will shortly have you shot and put in the record books as the most ineffectual parent ever. We can only hope that Hossmom can gather her wits about her after your happy demise and do better on the next go around.

Finally, let's move onto your daughters motor capabilities. As you can see here on your child's report card, yes we have report cards in kindergarten, I have put the number "2" next to some of the fine motor control skills. 2 means that she is developing. Now I am required by law to tell you that this is normal and expected and not everyone can be a 3 but I think we both know that's not the case. Your daughter should be a three and its only because she has an ape for a father that she is not. Look at how many 2's I had to write there. Soak it in bucko. Cuts simple figures smoothly, 2. Copies basic shapes, 2. Prints legibly, 2. Perhaps if you spent more time trying to teach your daughter how to write and not spell things like "poo" she would actually have a shot in this world. Also, let's look at "practices self control", that's also a 2. I wonder where she gets that from, hmmmm. It's a rhetorical question jackass. Just look in the mirror. Christ you're stupid.

What I find most shocking is that your daughter sometimes lacks self confidence. I do not find this shocking in the lest as it is obvious you never encourage her to do anything. Often she will say "I can't" when asked to spell a word she is unfamiliar with. Is this what you practice at home, give up before you even try? Or does she get this when she says to you "Daddy, I can't open your Bourbon." See, I wrote it right there on your daughter's paper, "lacks self confidence." That's a permanent record. Permanent means forever. You understand that don't you? Would it help if I got you a donut?

The true bright spot to your daughter's education at the moment is that she hasn't missed a single day of school, nor has she been late. I can only assume that this is because she can't stand to be around you for much of the day. Here's your free coupon to a second rate restaurant. It's more than you deserve but I suppose even failures do something right every once in a while. Congratulations, you have the ability to open the front door to the bus. Now please get out of my sight so I can develop a strategy on how to crush your spirit."

And that is what was said to the best of my recollection at my daughter's first parent/teacher conference.

The Parent/Teacher Conference. Part I

"Hello Mr and Mrs. Hossman" Says my daughters kindergarten teacher. "Thank you for coming."

"Always a pleasure ma'am" I say in my very charming southern accent.

"As this is your daughters first parent teacher conference, let's get straight to it." she says while she opens a very big folder.

What follows is a transcript, as near as I can remember, of what was said. It may not be 100% accurate.

"Mr. Hossman, it is obvious that your daughter gets her strikingly good looks from you. No disrespect to your wife of course, she's very pretty. But you, dear god, I feel almost with child just looking at you. So if you will do me the favor of not looking at me for long periods of time so that I am stunned by all that you are, we can move along a lot faster.

Let's discuss your child, Little Hoss. First off, you should know that she is the absolute best pupil I have ever had the honor to teach. She makes me a better person just by being in the same room. She is so nice that she makes Evil turn a pink rosy color and create rainbows. She listens so well that I often find that she is completed with an assignment before I am even done explaining it. She not only gets along well with the other children but they have raised her up as some sort of deity that they worship. I must admit, while shocking at first, I myself often pray to her greatness. In short, she is the best person ever born and I can only assume it's because of your superior sperm that has made her so. On behalf of the entire world and our elementary school, we sincerely thank you.

But good looks will only get you so far in this world as we are all aware. Well, probably not you Mr. Hossman. Please, don't look at me so sexingly.

Let's discuss how your child is doing in reading. According to our very strict tests that we give 5 year olds it is very clear by this point in your daughters life that she is reading at a college level. She understands words that I myself do not. She can not only create sentences with proper grammar, but construct entire fantasy worlds with deep involved plots, much like this blog. When I asked her to discuss "Run Spot Run" to me she delved into a deep psychoanalysis of a living creature that feels like it must run away all the time while never dealing with the problems it has. A fractured creature that shows deep emotional scaring. Thanks to the efforts of your daughter we have now seen this book as an elaborate work of sado-masochistic sexuality that we no longer encourage our students to read. We have had the author committed to an insane asylum for his obvious devious plans for our children. I'll be honest, I thought it was just about a dog that liked to run and we used it because the word "run" is easy to read. I stand corrected and I have begged your daughter's forgiveness. She has seen it in her wisdom to let me continue to teach the other students.

I'm sorry Mr. Hossman, I must take a break. I find myself short of breath while in your presence.

Let's move onto math. I'll be blunt, your child is a genius. Einstein looks like a infant compared to her. I have never seen a child count so easily to 29. In fact, we just asked her to count to 20 but she quickly became bored with our simple minded tests. So she counted to 29 while simultaneously coming up for the theory of a unified universe in quantum mechanics. I'll admit, I still don't understand it to much at this point but it appears that I do not exist. Her logic is so sound that I immediately went home and told all my credit card companies that I am not a person, only the belief of a person and it would be great if they just went ahead and erased all my debts. Your daughter also called on my behalf and the credit card was so convinced that she was right that they vowed to lower all interest rates to -23% so that they actually pay people each month a minimum monthly payment. It truly is amazing and world peace should come quickly as soon as she addresses the U.N.

Of course, no child is perfect and please forgive me for saying so. However, Little Hoss has a few areas that she needs to work on. She is so awesome that it is really hurting the self esteem of the other children. They realize that they can never live up to her greatness and as a result, they are starting to spontaneously combust in your daughters light. This is a problem because when the automatic sprinkler's go off they cause all the markers to run and it distorts all the A++++ that your daughter gets. I just want her to know that there not are enough +'s in the world to show her how great she is but how can she when they continually get washed away.

Other than that, it would appear that your daughter is well adjusted and the principal has asked me to take a DNA sample from you so that a race of super children can be cloned.

Thank you for coming down today and if you will excuse me, I can no longer bask in your presence as you are obviously a great father, the father of fathers, the most awesomeness dad who has ever lived. Please see yourself out."

And that is what was said to the best of my recollection, at my daughter's first parent/teacher conference.


Ass Wingman

It itches so very, very bad and there is nothing that I can do about it. It's driving me insane and I am powerless to stop it. I am powerless to stop it because society deems it in bad taste to itch it in public. And I can't hide the itch because my son has no idea what it means to be an ass wingman.

Look, let's throw all of our cards out on the table here. Let's quit beating around the bush. Everyone gets ass itches. Everyone. Don't sit there all high and mighty and pretend that you do not. And when get them, we itch them. Usually discreetly, usually with as much class as we can muster and usually we itch them very quickly so as not to embarrass ourselves beyond redemption.

I have one at the grocery store and this is the problem. There is not discreet way to get at this and it is driving me insane. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. If I was with Hossmom, she would play the part of my wingman. We would head down a seldom used isle, such as auto supplies. She would check both ways and if the coast was clear, she would give me the thumbs up. She then would then walk directly behind me covering my approach and eventually relief. I would do the same for her. She is the perfect ass wingman.

Once you have been together for 15 years, there aren't many secrets left. When you have been in the delivery room and seen what goes on there, an ass itch is considered polite conversation. When you have had to have serious discussions about hemorrhoids and constipation, an ass itch conversation is pretty easy to get to. Welcome to marriage boys, glad you are here.

My son though is a horrible ass wingman. He's terrible and I'm a bit disappointed in both him and me. I am disappointed in him because I thought he would always have his old man's back. I thought he would stick up for me when I needed it. And I am disappointed in me because apparently I have never taught him the importance of being an ass wingman. Now I'm stuck and I'm actually starting to sweat because I can't get at this thing.

I have tried everything. I have done lunges down the aisle. I have done jumping jacks. I have tried to do squats. It's not working, it just made the itch worse and there appears to be nothing that I can do about it. My son isn't helping matters as he is constantly drawing attention to us. "Dad, why are you doing that!?" He screams. "Dad, I want candy!" louder each time he sees stupid candy. They have candy in every aisle, everywhere, throughout the grocery store. In the auto aisle they have gummy candy shaped like wrenches. Dude, give a guy a break.

This is not helping matters. He should be walking behind me like a secret service agent checking his ear piece and looking out for potential threats. He should not be trying to drag all the pasta down on the shelves.

I can't take it anymore, this has to end. There are no more exercises that I can do to create friction and I can't take it, I'm a weak man. We go down an aisle to do recon. I tried to send my son off as the advanced scouting party but he decided that instead he wanted to jack with the cereal boxes. It can't be helped. I'm about to go in, do what has to be done.

I hear a scream behind me. My son wasn't paying attention, this is not unusual. While he was looking at all the pretty colors on the boxes he ran into the back of the cart, whacking his head hard enough to give himself a concussion. He goes down.

The alarm he sends out goes through out the store. A family rounds the corner, a nice little set of twins in a race car cart. Abort mission. I am beginning to think that my son is a secret ass itch agent trying to thwart my attempts.

There is no helping it now, I go pick up my son and comfort him. I will not leave the twins and their mother with an image in their head that they can't get rid of.

We walk out of the aisle and toward the front. They have benches in the front of the store. Benches with nice sharp corners. Plan B is in full effect.


My Stories

Dinner is almost ready but it's proving more difficult than initially anticipated. It was supposed to be a simple stuffed chicken breast with a tomato basil sauce. But it's turning out to be about as simple as doing my taxes. I'm not sure if I should add the basil in the stuffing or carry the one and add 2 dependents.

Dinner is taking most of my focus but not all. My mind somewhat wanders while I cook for the family. I do not hate cooking, I do not enjoy it. It is something that must be done and that is how the rest of my evening will be.

My daughter has a new badge that must be ironed onto her girl scouts uniform. This job will also fall to me as it turns out that Hossmom is about a crafty as a giraffe doing scrapbooking. I don’t know why she isn’t that crafty and what it is that eludes her about such things. She is more of a thinker than builder I suppose. She tried to iron on my daughter’s troop numbers at the beginning but gave up after 45 minutes of cussing and screaming. I took the numbers and went upstairs. I didn’t have the heart to tell Hossmom that the glue wouldn’t stick with the protective paper still on the back. I just tried to finish it quietly, which I did.

After that is done I’m thinking about mopping the floor. The minions are not what you would consider clean eaters. I think the concept would be totally foreign to them. It would be like trying to introduce calculus to them. Without a doubt, ½ a banana or strawberry ends up on the floor under their seats. The dogs won’t touch it because it doesn’t smell like meat or ass. Eventually, the minions feet will smush it into the hardwood when they get up from the dinner table. I’ll use my putty knife to scrape it up but after a few days of this only a good exorcism mopping will get the ghost food stain off the floor.

It’s also homework night and I have promised the kids that if they hunker down and do a good job they can have some cookies that I made today. I made them from scratch, a little trick I taught myself during the long winters of being a stay at home dad. When it’s to damn cold out you have to find stuff to do inside and making cookies from scratch fits the bill. We can also make homemade bread, cakes and once a coconut cream pie. The last one was a complete failure as the coconut cream topping invaded the territory of the filling. There were motions passed, U.N. interventions, and broken peace accords but the topping eventually went on a full out invasion. It was over in a matter of hours. It turned out to be more of a coconut cream soup which wasn’t half bad. I’m thinking of trademarking it.

After all that, it’s bedtime and stories. I’m currently reading Wizard of Oz to my daughter at night. My mom read it to me when I was her age. Although I don’t quite remember the story including so many beheadings. Once again a child hood myth is destroyed. The Wizard of Oz is a very violent book. Extremely violent and scary. I’m sleeping now with the closet light on.

It’s going to be a full evening and it was a full day. But right now I have to concentrate on finishing dinner and chopping this basil. Fresh basil is the best, brings out the true flavor of the dish. I cut my finger though because I’m a bit distracted. Behind me is the laptop and Netflix is running. I’m watching Battlestar Galactica, a series I never watched when it was “reimagined” in the 2000’s. I’m hooked and once again I feel that I must apologize to my wife for the level of nerdery going on. All I’m missing is a beats farm and a job selling paper at a midlevel paper supply company. Bears, beats, Battlestar Galactica.

It’s an interesting show, full of sex, intrigue and betrayal. I do believe that they call these “space operas.”

And that’s when it hits me. Holy crap I’ve become a 1950’s housewife.

What the hell am I doing? I’m cooking dinner thinking about my crafting that I have to do later. I’m going to read a book that doesn’t include robots or a murder mystery where the only guy that can solve it is a lone detective that refuses to let the dead rest. I’m actually stressing about how difficult it is going to be to mop and get the stains off the hardwood floor. I make cookies. I bake cakes. I make homemade bread.

And I have to watch my stories. Sweet merciful Jesus I’m watching my stories while I cook. This is nothing more than a Soap Opera. All I need is for Ricky Martin to make a guest appearance and I’ll gasp at the sexual trifecta that will soon become apparent. I’ll call my friends and discuss it with them while holding the phone with my shoulder so I can tie my apron better.

But this is what my family needs so then this is what my family will get. This makes things run smooth, then so be it. They are happy and I am to. Tonight when my wife gets home to a nice dinner with a good table setting, I’ll pour her a brandy and perhaps even service her later on should the kids give us some alone time and actually stay in their rooms.

However I make you this promise. Tonight the Tinman is a robot, the Scarecrow is an alien hell bent on eating brains and Dorothy has a score to settle with the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy has a score to settle. She’s a loner and only she can speak for the countless victims of the Witch. Toto will be played by the part of Edward James Olmos.

12:31 on a Sunday Afternoon

The little boy walks in and stops. He has many choices of where to play but this one seems to be the best. He does not know why, he only knows that the center in the living room calls him, beckons him fourth to play Hot Wheels. It must be here. It can be no where else.

He could play in his room but the emptiness, it bothers him. He could play in the bathtub with it’s smooth surfaces that makes for great racetracks but the echo is unnerving. He could play on the roof but the ladder is too heavy for him. So he plays in the center of the living room, directly in front of the TV. It is 12:31 on a Sunday afternoon.

She could brush her dolls hair anywhere at anytime. She could do this activity at night when she is in her room trying to sleep but the tediousness of the task might actually make her fall asleep and we can’t have that. She could brush Barbie’s hair in the morning for breakfast but somehow that doesn’t seem right, there is something off about it that she can’t quite put her finger on it.

She could take Dad’s keys, drive down to the lake, talk to the geese while she brushes her dolls hair. She knows where he keeps the keys, the old man would never notice. She is only 5 but she’s been to the racetrack and she’s pretty sure she can figure it out. But she can’t, her feet remain rooted to the spot, her eyes fixated and almost glazed as she brushes her dolls hair in the middle of the living room at 12:31 on a Sunday afternoon.

Mom grabs her phone, it is her lifeline. She is never off the clock, she is always thinking. Strategy, brand awareness, smart ass facebook comments. They swirl around her head. Should she change the scope of work that she is composing to include a more comprehensive digital campaign? Should she make a little witty comment on facebook about the futility of trying to keep a clean house and raise kids? She can do it all, she has the phone and the phone is mobile.

Mom walks with it, takes it with her everywhere. Always connected, no matter where she is at. But somehow she ends up in the middle of the living room. She does not know how she got there and it doesn’t really matter because it’s not something she can tweet. She is vaguely aware that there is a little boy playing cars at her feet. He crashes them, loudly. She tweets about it. A little girl is right behind her singing a soft song while brushing her dolls hair. This reminds her to make a change to the marketing strategy to include parents of small children. Disposable income, that is what she is after and parents are suckers for little girls. She is feeling quite proud of herself at 12:31 on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of the living room.

Dad is in his chair. He has given up and he knows why. There is nothing he can do, no action that he can take. There is a sickness in his family. He knows that it came from his wife, that she brought this to their children. Perhaps he should have thought about this before he got married. Money issues, religious differences, all pale compared to this. She did this when they were dating.

He tries to sit back in his chair. His beer and nachos are ready to go but they have lost their flavor. The ritual seems pointless now and he wanders why he continues to even try. Every week he believes that it will work this time, that a cure has been found and every week reality smacks him in the face.


On a Sunday afternoon.

Without fail, without exception, this always happens. Regardless of how many rooms are in the house. Regardless of what they have to do. Regardless of any obstacles he has put in their way. They arrive. They arrive like migrating ducks, like salmon swimming to the spawning point.


On A Sunday afternoon.

Every member of his family decides that they must stand directly infront of the TV during football season and do things that they could do literally anywhere else. Always. Without fail.

His nachos go cold, his beer less refreshing. They will ask why he stays up late on Sunday nights watching TiVo. They are oblivious.

At 12:31.

On a Sunday afternoon.


Time Control

America has a problem. It is a problem brought on only by ourselves, we have no one to blame but the instant gratification man that stares back at you from the mirror. It's your fault, it's my fault, it is the fault of our very culture.

Americans are a prideful people, it's in our very nature. It is an earned pride based on the accomplishments of our predecessors but it is pride none the less. It is this pride that blinds us and prevents us from admitting our mistakes, our failures. It is this pride that shields common sense from us, that hides hard truths and bathes easy outs in nice little 30 second soundbites.

We take pride in our ability to cope, to overcome any obstacle. We take pride in knowing that we are the best and if we are not, it's only because we haven't tried yet. We take pride in our system of government, our architecture and our technology. And it is the technology that will be our downfall. Skynet is not coming, he is already here.

My daughter asked me to fast forward the scoobie doo she was watching. Daphnie is still hot and I would still do many things to her. I told her I couldn't. She looked at me with a puzzled expression, her eyebrows crinkled like I was speaking something very un-American. She may think I am now a communist sympathizer. I can't is not in the American Dictionary.

I told her I couldn't fast forward through the commercials because it was "live" TV. She looked at me like I was speaking Martian, which I can but wasn't at this point. I tried to explain it to her but honestly, how does one go about that?

This generation of youth have been raised on TiVo or DVR's. This has given us, the parents who are failing, the power to control time itself, to warp it to our demands. This is what we have taught our children. There is no "live" there are only events that we control with a hand held device.

I tried to further explain this to my daughter. I tried to explain to her that the show she was watching was on TV right now and didn't come on some time in the past. I told her that I couldn't fast forward anything because nothing was recorded. This show was happening in real time. "I can't" I explained. "I no longer have the ability to control time." She continued to look at me like I was wearing the colors of a hammer and sickle.

It was obvious that she wasn't understanding. She knows about death, babies and how to chop the heads off little bunnies (previous blog, I'm not a monster.) But she doesn't understand the concept of TiVo or "live" television. I tried to explain to her that before about 10 years ago, this is the way we all watched TV. And that we only had 3 channels and something called a special "UHF" dial that had to be plugged into an "antenna" and tinfoil. I stopped talking at this moment because I realized that I started to sound like a very old man who was about to talk about how he walked to school three miles in the snow each day. I did, but there was no snow. It was acid rain and meteorites.

She still didn't understand what I was talking about and decided to ignore the subject completely. She wouldn't listen to commie speak.

"It's ok Dad, I just want to watch Dora."

"I can't" I said again. At this time she picked up the phone to call in a child abuse complaint.

Our DVR died, the hard drive crashed. 150 hours of prerecorded TV disappeared with it. All of her shows that she loved to watch, gone. All those movies that we had recorded, gone. Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, gone. Dora, Diego, Scoobie, Bubble Guppies vanished like they never even existed.

She has never learned of a time when things were not "on demand". She does not know that things can't be controlled with a push of the button. She does not realize that Dad doesn't really have the power to make cartoons appear as if from no where. Whatever she wanted, it was there in seconds. No commercials, no credits, no sad ASPCA infomercials that guilts her into sending 100 dollars a month. This is foreign to her, this is a world that she does not know.

She back handed me and demanded to know who I was working for. She wanted to know who got to me and how. Nervous spittle flew from my lip as I tried to explain that it was the technology that had failed us, not we that failed it! She wouldn't have any of it. Dora was out there somewhere and I was not letting her watch it. In short, Dad's a dick.

This is our problem America. We control time with impunity. We control matter like it's our plaything. This is what we have taught our children. TV is never "live". TV is never on a schedule. It is what we want, when we want it. But when technology fails and the lie is brought to the surface..................

Maybe one day it's us that gets deleted from the hard drive when we can't find Dora.



An Open Letter

This is an open letter to the lady tailgating me earlier this today. I would have liked to have said this in person but I understand that you were to busy trying to hit children on the sidewalks to really have to much time to deal with me.

Dear Pschyo nutjob:

Hi, my name is Hossman and I'm the jagoff in front of you. I know that you probably don't like me but that's ok, you're a twat so that makes up for it. First let me tell you some things that you should probably know about traveling on this little road near my house.

First off, the speed limit is 40 but I understand that people go over that. In fact, right now we are going 45 and I feel pretty good about that. I'm guessing you don't as you are about two inches from my bumper. I don't know, maybe you are in a hurry or just really attracted to my bumper. It's a nice bumper. Chicks dig scars, or so I'm told.

Anyway, back to the speed limit on this road. It's a very bad idea to much faster than 5 miles over the limit here. The reason being is that the chief of police lives right off this road and for some odd reason there are always a crap ton of police officers pulling cars over here. I think that they can wrap up their entire monthly quota just by spending one afternoon here. Now I realize that I do drive like a grandma and don't really speed anyway, but at least this time I have a reason. That reason now being that I cannot afford a 150 dollar ticket near my house. Hossmom would shit a brick. But you must be made of money because you obviously want to go faster than I am going at the moment.

That's ok, I don't mind. Go right ahead and pass me. It's a two lane road so knock yourself out. Seriously, go ahead and pass me. Any day now. I'm waiting.

Ok, so you don't want to pass me yet and I'm not really sure why. Maybe you aren't in such a hurry anyway. Perhaps you are just not paying attention because of the cell phone conversation that you are on is very good. Maybe you are talking to Mike Rowe. He's a good guy, I like Mike Rowe. Maybe you are trying to convince him to do a dirty job, like tailgating random strangers. If you are talking to Mike Rowe, give me his number so that Hossmom can talk to him. She loves that guy.

But since you don't want to pass me, would you mind backing the fuck up? Just a tad? It's not really for me, it's more for you. My car is 10 years old. It has some dents and scratches already. In fact, should you whack me it would probably improve the look of the vehicle. After all, this is the car that Little Hoss rides in and I'm pretty sure you can't do anything that she hasn't already done. However, your little car might get screwed up should I say, ya know, slam on the brakes to avoid a squirrel or something. I'm just saying.

It doesn't look like any of this is working and I'm in a bit of a mood today. Maybe I'm a bit sensitive since I have recently been rear ended. I don't enjoy it. Even if that was my line from a porno set, I still wouldn't enjoy it. So seriously, back up.

You have probably noticed that now I'm actually trying to piss you off. I'm going the speed limit now. I slowed down and I did this on purpose. I'm trying to give you a real reason to pass me but it doesn't seem to be working. Are you stalking me? Are you and old girlfriend? Did Little Hoss hire you and promise to pay you in Barbie Dolls? You are the worst stalker ever. So let's slow down a little more.

There we go, now I have your attention. Fantastic. Please back up a bit and I promise I will speed a tad again. No? Alright, no problem. I'm in no hurry, I can do this all day.

Wait, maybe I will speed up a bit, but not to much. I will speed up just enough so that I pull even with the car right next to me. He's going 45 too. Now even if you want to pass, you can't. I have made eye contact with my new best friend and we have both decided that we hate you. Yes, we hate you, very much. We have decided that you are the balrog of the road and we are Gandolf. You know what happens next, right? Do you want me to say it? Fine, but just for you: YOU SHALL NOT PASS. This is what we call a Mexican Roadblock. Enjoy. I hope this makes you feel better.

But it doesn't appear to because now I see you beating on your steering wheel. Honestly, I don't really know what you want of me. I promise that I'll buy you a cake on your birthday, will that make you back off? Probably not.

How about I call you on your phone while you are driving as that appears to be what you like best. I tell you what, I call you while you are driving and while I'm driving and then we can both side swipe the local elementary school bus that is right infront of me now. That would be great, we can bond over the carnage.

I would love to stay and continue to chat but this is my turn. I hope that as you swerve to miss my break lights that you lose control and crash into a tree.