"What the hell!" She says. "How come you didn't tell us!"
I'm not thinking the worst anymore. I'm thinking that I shouldn't have answered the phone. I am in trouble with my sister and since she used the word "us" I'm thinking that I am in trouble with my whole family. Of course, my head is now thinking of everything that I have ever done to my family that I have not told them.
I used to keep my teenage porn collection at the back of the laundry in the bathroom when I was young. Maybe someone finally realized why I liked doing laundry so much. I used to open all my Christmas presents early and then re wrap them. I did that for like 5 years. Have they finally clued in? And once, only once, did I take apart everyones favorite toys and then ran like the child coward that I was. Is it time for payback?
Other than that, I can't think of anything that I haven't told them. I give them updates from time to time on what's going on. "Hey, we are having another kid." Then I hang up. Admittedly, I don't talk long on the phone but I do inform. Kind of. Mostly. Probably not much.
"Seriously, how could you not tell us?" She says again while I'm thinking. I've got nothing and I tell her that. Now she thinks I'm hiding something, which I should have once I found what what it was.
"We were reading the news and guess who's picture is on the front page!" She says. Now I know what she is talking about and yup, probably should have told her that.
For those that have followed the blog for any amount of time, probably know about Man Weekend. It's the annual weekend that alot of guy friends get together, dress up with some ridiculous facial hair, roll to Walmart to create a scene, then drink the rest of the weekend. Here are some pics to help you remember.
It's a great time to just be with guy friends and not have to worry about anything else. And there's beer, lots of beer. We think it's funny. We think it's hilarious. And apparently the world does to. Thus, my sisters phone call.
Click here to check them out.
Viral, weird man, very weird.
Then CNN called and wanted to do a story. Weird and surreal. Somehow our little fun weekend had gone online and found a small bit of popularity. And I neglected to tell my family about it or call my sister, who loves this kind of stuff. When we shot the pilot of for the reality show she was calling every night to see what was happening. That I had forgot to tell her about the CNN thing is a pretty big blunder on my part.
Because now, as my sister had just informed me, we were on the front page of CNN.com under the headline "When man weekend goes terribly right." And there, for the whole world, was man weekend in all our skeevy glory.
The dirty stache weekend. Biker weekend. Amish weekend. Pencil thin weekend. Elvis weekend. All 5 years that we have done this was right there. And now my sister was reading it and demanding why I had been so lax to tell her that her brother has embarrassed her on a global scale?
"So I guess they printed the article, huh?" I told her. "Probably should have given you a heads up on that one......"
I left it to my sister to call the rest of my family and let them know that they probably didn't want to associate with me anymore. It would be in their best interest if they said they didn't know who that Fat Elvis was and just go on their merry way. She disagreed.
But as quickly as fake Internet fame comes, it goes. We reached 3 million views and the CNN article in 3 or 4 days. Then, nothing. Quiet. The little ticker on the picture page has not gone up by 1 since then. It sits at 3,007,101 views and I think that is probably where it stays.
I will leave everyone with a bit of advice though: Drink Beer, get famous. That's apparently how this works.
I have my suspicions of course who did this to Barbie. I always have my suspicions in this house. This house has history and this history has a name. Little Hoss, always near by but never quit near by enough to make it stick. Whatever Barbie did though, she's paying for it now.
What should have been a good ice cream eating Saturday somehow took a turn for the worse for Barbie. Now she has ended up tied upside down on the broomstick. She obviously took a left turn on the way to the ice cream social.
The crime itself was done in a patient way, almost like they were just playing with her and let their imagination take over. The hands are the most telling point. It's not some sort of haphazard knot back there. Those hands are tied with precision. Loped around carefully, tight enough to make sure she couldn't get free but just lose enough to make her think she could. This one was working on many levels, this is some deep shit here.
I don't know why she is upside down either. The simple answer is that the broom was upside down on the floor when the perpetrator tied Barbie like a King Kong trophy. But life ain't simple. It's dirty and nasty and complicated. It takes left turns when the only way to go is to the right. Straight lines may get you there faster but life enjoys the scenic route and sometimes that scenic route ends up being tied upside down on a broomstick.
I sent in Mr. Bones this afternoon after there was to much quiet. He's a cagey character. Just enough of the underworld in him to get him through the door but he knows where his bread is buttered. If he ever wants to become the full fledged Halloween decoration that he aspires to be, he would come back with some answers.
He didn't come back though. He didn't even call. I only got silence and in this house silence ain't golden, it's deadly for toys. So I went to look for him and it didn't take long. I found him strung up on the door knob like he didn't have a care in the world, just Mr. Bones the skeleton hanging around. Well, he should have had a care because he was missing both his legs. Snapped clean off. He took the same wrong turn that Barbie did and know he ain't talking at all.
I showed Hossmom the photos of the crime scenes. She's my partner. A cute little number that has my babies. A bit rough on the edges and a bit soft on the inside, but she gets the job done most times. She keeps me on the straight and narrow when I can hear the bottle calling my name and the bottle calls a lot after I've been home alone with the kids on a rainy day.
"You need to have a talk with your daughter." she says. "That's concerning" she says.
Oh, I'll have a talk alright. I'll sweat her until the good cop goes home and does the dishes. But she won't talk. No, she won't talk. But her little brother might if I give him some candy. Lucky for me, I always have some candy in my pocket.
She starts to run with the pink soccer ball held tightly. She is going to drop it. She is going to kick it. She is going to do it like the coach taught her to do it. She is going to send this bitch into orbit. Crowds will go wild. Mothers will give birth and name their children Little Hoss. 6 years old and she is a legend.
After running for a half a mile she drops the ball. Her foot comes up, she pushes it against the wind with all her might. The ball falls towards it's destiny, her foot rockets to great it. There is a moment where she can see the accolades that will soon come from this monumental moment. She makes contact, she gets her whole foot into it. The ball sails, the ball booms, the ball shoots off her foot.
And then hits her squarely in the face. Right dead center. This couldn't have been planned any better on any TV show anywhere. CGI couldn't made this happen, but Little Hoss could have.
She is stunned. How did she manage to kick the ball backwards? She is not really sure. She falls on her rump as she thinks about this odd question. The ball is supposed to go forward. The ball was supposed to end up by the moon. Instead, the ball did a seeker right to her nose, which may now be bleeding. She is not crying, not yet. But she wants to. She wants to because fuck all that hurt.
My son is running. He is running so fast. He is running faster than fast. He is the little engine that not only could, it did and did it with a smile on his face. He's chasing the ball, chasing the ball, must chase the ball. Dad says get the ball, he wants the ball, he wants it so much, ball ball ball. His coach says get the ball, so he will get the ball. And when he gets the ball he is going to kick the ball. He must kick the ball. He will kick the ball, kick kick kick, ball ball ball.
Where's the ball. Get the ball, find the ball, where's the ball. He will find the ball so he runs runs runs. Maybe this kid has the ball. Hey kid, do you have the ball? C'mon kid, do you have the ball. Kid, I need the ball. I must get the ball. That kid must have the ball. I don't see the ball so that kid must have the ball. His 5 year old brain is a maze of logical masterpieces. Ball, I don't see the ball, so that kid must have the ball. He needs to run faster. What makes you run faster? Screaming like Conan mounting a woman. That makes you run faster. And swinging your arms like you are swimming through air, that makes you run faster to.
He thinks that the screaming and air swimming will announce his intention to get the ball and his coach says get the ball so he will scream and yell until he gets the ball. And that kid must have the ball because he is running to and you only run if you have the ball, baLL, BALLLLL!
Cut him off, that is what coach says, so I will run up to this kid while screaming and swimming and cut him off. C'mere kid, I want the ball. I must have the ball. Give me the ball!
He catches the kid. The kid does not have the ball. "Hey kid," his face says "Where the fuck is the ball?" He doesn't have the ball, there is no ball at all the be found. No ball at all. This is also the moment where he notices that the kid actually isn't on our team at all. He is one of the siblings of one of his teammates. And he also notices that this "he" is actually a "she" which is weird because this is a boys soccer practice. She's a girl. He's a boy. And only one of them has soccer practice today.
He looks up, seeming to come out of his fugue state. Where is everyone he thinks? What are they all doing way over there? That's like on the total other side of the field. He wonders if they have the ball. He runs.
She has mad soccer skills. She knows it and Dad knows it. Everyone knows it. She has mad soccer skills because she practices alot. All the time, like right now in the living room. Dad says to not play soccer in the house so technically she isn't practicing soccer. She is just kicking the ball a little bit, just a touch to keep her game up. But she can't kick it to much because Dad will notice and then Dad will tell her not to kick it in the house and then he might possibly throw her outside. She doesn't want to go outside, she wants to play indoor soccer because it's cool.
She picks up the ball and starts bouncing it. Dad didn't say anything about bouncing the ball in the house. This, of course, means that it is ok to bounce the ball in the house. And if we are going to bounce it, then we must bounce it hard. Dad says to not ever do anything halfway. He says if you do something, then you have to do it hard. She is not sure what that means really, she is only six. But she takes it to mean that in some fundamental way, she must break something.
She lifts the ball above her head. She stands on her tip toes, she has to be at least 6 feet tall at this point in time. She's a giant and she has the strength of the giant. She is going to bounce the ever loving shit out of this ball. She is going to bounce it so hard that it is going to smack the ceiling. She is going to smack the shit out of the ceiling. Where it goes from there is really anyone's guess. Perhaps it will hit the mantle, where all the picture frames are. Do those have glass in them? Perhaps it will smack the TV which seems to be more fragile than her old TV. Her old TV weighed about 1000 pounds and could take a beating, she knows because she tested it out. Dad won't let them touch this TV. He's boring.
She brings her arms down, putting as much force as she can in throwing the ball to the floor. This is going to be awesome. The ball leaves her fingers, time slows down. The ball makes contact with the hard wood floor. Boom goes the dynamite, the sound echos around the room. Her grin on her face is unmasked as she imagines the destruction that is about to happen. The ball bounces up and launches.
And hits her square in the face. Again.
She falls on her butt, again, as she determines what this means.
He found the ball. He knows where the ball is now. Bubba Hoss is all over this ball. He is going to get the ball this time. He has been practicing hard, just like dad has told him to do. And now he knows a couple of things that he didn't know before. He now knows for instance that there is actually a ball on the field. And he knows that it is most definitely a boy that is kicking the ball. He is pretty sure that this boy is on his team which is important to know so that you don't go chase some stranger into the crowd. That stranger probably doesn't even have the ball.
But the kid he is chasing now, he knows for a fact that he has the ball. He sees the ball and dear God in heaven he wants the ball so bad. That's what soccer is after all, it's all about the ball. So he must go get the ball and he must catch the kid with the ball and he must kick the ball oh please oh please oh please let him kick the ball.
He starts screaming and air swimming again because he has zeroed in on the ball and he must kick the ball. Ball ball ball he will kick the ball he must kick the ball. The ball is his world, it is his mecca and he will go to his mecca so he can kick the ball kick the ball kick the ball.
He has almost caught the kid with the ball. He does not know the kids name at the moment but that doesn't matter because he has the ball ball ball and the kid has the ball so he will run faster to kick kick kick the ball. Run, run, run he must run faster, must run as fast as the screaming will allow him to run. He is manic as he chases the kid that chases the ball. His Dad wonders if he is starting to foam at the mouth. All that he cares about is the ball and the kid that has the ball so he must catch the kid with the ball ball ball.
Hey a leaf.
He stops dead in his tracks. He is looking at a leaf. Cool, it's a leaf that is dried out. And he notices that it's got an ant crawling on top of it. He wonders where the leaf came from. Probably a tree, he thinks. Yes, leaves come from trees so it would only make sense that this leaf came from a leaf tree. It's really just common sense.
He sits down besides the leaf. He hears someone screaming at him about a ball. "What ball?" he thinks. This isn't a ball. This is a leaf. He wonders what it would sound like if he crunches it up with is hands.
I find that some of the best moments with the two minions are when they have no idea that I am watching them. I will sit and just look at what they are doing, what they are saying to themselves. My role in these little moments is just to watch. It is not to correct, it is not to judge. It is not to change anything short of something that will actually cause them serious harm , or possibly my house. This is where a father gets a glimpse into their little minds. Sometimes in these moments you find sparks of genius. And other times in these moments you find your minion taking yet another shot in the face or that your son has discovered a leaf that is way more important than a soccer ball. Either way, these are the times that belong to just me. Sometimes you get to share in their success and other times you get to share in their failures. But the important thing to remember is that it is theirs, success and failures, and something that they must learn to deal with. We are lucky enough sometimes to just get a glimpse into them.
That and it's just funny.
The kids are inside. The wife is inside. Just Bob and I are here to enjoy the view. The crickets are starting to come out to play us a little tune. I want a beer but it's all the way inside and I don't want to go get it. I could ask my family if they would bring me one but they won't as long as Bob is out here with me.
I'm reading a book with the last of the light. I am relaxed. There is no one jumping on my crotch. Should I decide to get up and walk around, there will be no toys that I will impale my feet on like some bush booby trap. No one will ask me to do the laundry, clean a room or fix a toilet. I can just take a quiet stroll if I want to.
Bob doesn't talk much, which is fine with me. I enjoy the quiet. Most of my day is filled with endless questions and loud noises. Occasionally, there is crying if someone got punched or we happen to be out of pop tarts. But out here with Bob, it's nice and restful, a man can hear himself think with Bob.
I do pose questions to Bob at times, mainly just to get my own thoughts straight. Should I or shouldn't I type of questions. I'll ask him if it is a good idea to seed the yard again this fall or should I just wait until spring. Should I encourage my daughter's new found love of fashion or should I squash it because eventually that means she will want to wear things that are to short, to bare and to revealing. Should I tell my son the truth about Santa or wait until he discovers this stuff on his own. I find his silence gives me more answers than an expert panel.
Bob and I have gotten quite close over the last three days and I find it a downright dirty shame that I am going to have to kill him soon.
Bob, my friend and compatriot, who allows me peace, is a spider. If I were to describe him, I would say that he is about the size of a nickle. He has hung his web right to the side of the outside door. It gets torn up by the wind a bit but every morning, it's back in place. I think he is a tad OCD which explains why he doesn't talk much. Maybe he is afraid that his weirdness will scare me off and our friendship will be at an end? But how could it when it keeps everyone else inside and I get to sit out here by myself.
My wife has a different perspective on Bob. She describes him as a large basketball sized death bringer with legs. He's got pincers that could be used as the jaws of life. Bob will have babies that will grow bigger than him and eventually join up with Mothra to eventually defeat Godzilla. We are all just potential meals to Bob and he spends his evenings spinning his webs and his plans to destroy us all. She is not a fan of Bob.
Neither are my children. There is a lot of screaming when they see him. Then they run around in a circle for a bit. Eventually, they break something because that is what they just do naturally. Perhaps a window this time or the vacuum cleaner, something to give me a challenge. But all that screaming is done inside the house because they will not step near Bob.
No one will and as he guards the threshold to the backyard, I am alone with my thoughts. In the quiet. In the peace.
I know Bob for what he is. A therapist that prescribes tranquility. I go outside to let the dogs out, he makes sure no one follows me. I'm sure that Hossmom has a chore list three miles long. But she is bared from coming here by her own fear. I am free of the chores. I am free of the demands. I am free.
For three days Bob has given me this respite and I have enormous gratitude to him. That is why he hasn't taken a broom to the face just yet. I have been running interference for him. Hossmom started asking nicely. "Please kill that monster on the back porch before it abducts one of our children" she said.
I told her I would. Then conveniently forgot about it.
"Honey, death is on the back porch, please destroy it." she asked again. I was busy that day, couldn't get to it.
"If that unholy of hollies is still outside today I'm going to divorce you, take the kids, and leave you with the fat dog." That one got my attention.
Yes, Bob must die, there is no other way around it. I could just push him off but no, I will not share him with another. Besides, Hossmom will demand to see a torn body as proof of his demise. So there is no other choice, I grab my broom.
I tell him that I am sorry, that I didn't want this. I tell him that if it was up to me, we would just hang out. And if he had babies, I would talk to them too. Eventually they could find porches of their own and create the very friendship that I find so rewarding with others.
I think he understands as I take my stance and do what must be done. A piece of me goes with him.
Hossmom comes outside for the first time in three days. She nods at the destruction that she sees that I have caused. I am nothing but the tool for her whimsies and today I believe that tool is tired, so tired. The kids come out with her.
They all look in the backyard for a while, for just a moment it is silent and I am hopeful that we have turned the corner as a family.
"Kids, go get Daddy a shovel, he needs to pooper scoop. You guys help him." Then she leaves. Bubba Hoss throws a potted plant over the railing, Little Hoss breaks a wooden stair by jumping on it.
I'm sorry Bob, you will be missed.