My Boy

Hossmom tells Bubba Hoss to put his sandals on.  To do so, he has to take off his tennis shoes.  This is important later on, just follow me.

Bubba Hoss is going to a professional soccer game.  I wasn't invited.  That's fine by me.  Any game that is called futbal but is not football bothers me.  I know, very American.  I can't help it.   I hope the world enjoys the game, I can appreciate the fandom of it.  I just can't get into it and I have no desire to go and watch a game.  This is weird for me because usually I'm up for anything.  I once drove 4 hours to see a big ball of twine.  I can't watch soccer.  I don't trust it.  It's sending communist signals, I know it.  I watch it and I keep wanting it to turn into Rugby.  Just pick it up, stop kicking the ball, it isn't natural.

But my kids play soccer and I actually do a spot of coaching.  My coaching consists of trying to tell the kids not to look at the airplane and to focus on the ball.  They ask me "what ball?"  I then remind them that we are playing soccer.  I am teaching very important life lessons.

So when the opportunity came up for my son to go to a pro game with his friends, without me, I was more than happy to make that happen.

For some reason Hossmom wanted him to wear his sandals rather than his tennis shoes.  I'm not really sure why or what difference it makes.  Is it to hot for tennis shoes?  I don't know.  Is she fostering the hope that he'll be called in to play in the big leagues and go like a Brazilian kid and play with just bare feet?  Then he will buy her a house and a maid while introducing her to Beckham?  To complicated for Hossmom.  She keeps her plans simple and shrouded in mystery.  By mystery I mean she never tells me the reasons for the fashion choices for the kids.

I have made it my business to no longer question it.  It's not worth the argument.  She'll roll her eyes while trying to explain the fashion mistakes I am currently making that will result in the opening of a portal to hell and the destruction of Earth because the boy needs to wear sandals.  I will be better off understanding the rules of soccer rather than to get into this with her.  So I don't ask anymore, I just nod and agree.  Yup, it's the middle of May and that means that it's time for sandals because the fashion magazines have made it very clear that sandals are only to be worn for the next 2 hours in this month.  Anything else and you are an affront to the lord, so sayeth Kate Moss.

I have tried to tell my daughter how to handle this.  She is 8 now and she is starting to assert her own fashion sense even more.  I would say twice a week my wife and daughter argue about what to wear and not to wear.  Little Hoss wants to wear a shirt.  Hossmom says it has to be long sleeve.  Little Hoss says she doesn't want to wear a long sleeve shirt.  Somehow this will go to each article of clothing.  It continues until I step in and tell them to stop arguing and for Little Hoss to wear what her mother says.  I figure I can do this for another 3 or 4 years before it's full on world war 3 with those two.  Pre-teen/teen is not going to be pretty.  I just want family harmony.  That happens when every one shuts up.  That's my motto.  Be quiet.  I like it.  As long as she isn't wearing a thong and a tube top, I'm pretty good to go.  Apparently, I'm the devil.

Bubba Hoss now has to wear his sandals.  He gets up to go find them.  He brings them back to the living room.  He does a little twirl and sits down.

Then he puts his tennis shoes right back on, leaving his sandals right on the floor.  I watch this whole thing happen.  I'm speechless.  I don't know what to say.  He went and got his sandals like his mother asked him.  He sat down with them.  He put them on the floor next to his feet.  Then somewhere in his little brain he forgot about them.  I don't know why.

It is possible that he was working some mathematical problem in his head, some unproven theorem.  He must have stumbled upon the answer but it was so mind blowing that he forgot what he was doing.  All he knew was that he needed something on his feet.  If I put a loaf of bread next to him, 10 bucks says he would be wearing toast to the soccer game.

I see Hossmom about to lose it.  She can't explain this and I know that her eye doesn't twitch because she's in a good mood.  But at the same time, how can this not be funny?  How can this not be exactly my boy?  He's been doing stuff like this his whole life.  I no longer want to explain it, I just want to be a part of it.  You realize that he will be the death of us all, right?

He'll be near a red button one day and someone will say "never push this red button."  10 seconds later he will push it and all of a sudden we will be living in the book "The Road."  If you haven't read that book yet, you should.  It's very good and very depressing and about a man and his son.  His mom's not around because she couldn't take the fact that her son didn't put sandals on.  But dad is still there.  But he dies, very sad.

I tell everyone that there is no more time, we are going to be late.  I tell Bubba Hoss to get in the van, time to go.  He has no idea that I just saved his ass.  Hossmom still can't speak because she's not sure what happened.  I can see her trying to put the chain of events into some sort of frame work that will make sense.  That won't happen with my son.  I find that he doesn't have to make sense, much like the fashion choices that I don't understand.

It's better for me to just keep the family harmony, to whisk away the small troubles and just get things done.  Hossmom will try to understand what just happened but won't be able to because there is a secret to it.  You can't understand it, there is nothing to understand.  What you can only do is accept it and hope that one day, when he's sitting next to your hospital bed and you ask him for the remote, he doesn't think you mean to turn off your ventilator.  It has a red button.


A Corn Dog Stick In The Bathroom

There is a corn dog stick on the sink the bathroom.

Let's try that again.

There is a god damn corn dog stick on the sink the bathroom.

I have no idea why.  I have no idea where it came from. I have no idea how long it has been there.  I have no idea why someone would even bring it in to the bathroom.  I have no idea who would bring a corn dog stick into the bathroom.

Wait, yes I do.  One of my three blessings.  That's what you call them as a parent when you are trying to figure them out when they screw up.  What you want to say is "One of my three jackholes that somehow sprang forth from my loins and who apparently can't figure out that a corn dog stick does not go in the guest bathroom sink."  My blessings. That spend my money.  Blessings that leave corn dog sticks in the bathroom.

As I'm picking it up I am running through the scenario's that may have occurred to make this happen.

Let's start with myself.  I love corn dogs.  America's meat wrapped in America's blanket.  Who wouldn't like this healthy dose of capitalism and free market.  It's the parts of a pig,cow, leprechaun that couldn't be sold as is.  It's the left overs.  It's smashed and grinded until it comes out looking like a cylinder of meat.  Of all the meats, cylinders are the best.  And because of it's pleasing shape, who wouldn't automatically forget that it comes from horse ass?  That is some grade A level marketing right there.  I also like to visit the bathroom.  It's almost a hobby with me.  So it is entirely in the realm of possibility that without my knowledge, I visited the bathroom while eating a corn dog that I made specifically for the bathroom visit.  Multi-tasking.  That certainly sounds like me, I'm a multi kind of guy.  I'm typing this at the same time that I am looking at it, versatile I am.  However, it couldn't be me because when I go to the bathroom now Bacon Hoss loves to follow me in.  He also loves corn dogs and would want a bite.  I of course wouldn't give him a bite because this is my corn dog, not his corn dog.  He would then grab the corn dog and throw it in the toilet because that is just the kind of guy he is.  He would also throw the stick in there as well ensuring that at some point in time I would have to fish it out.  So by the process of logic, I can assume that it was neither myself or Bacon Hoss that left the corn dog stick in the guest bathroom.  Mainly because I am a fucking adult and he is a fucking revengeful prick.

Little Hoss could certainly be the culprit in this case.  Without a doubt this is something she would do. With her last pair of shoes, she left one outside.  In the snow.  I couldn't find it.  I have no idea where it is.  She came in and she had one shoe.  I asked her where the other shoe was.  "Ummmmmm"  She's 8.  What do you mean ummmmm.  You had two shoes.  Went outside.  Now you have one shoe.  Why did you take it off.  Why is your foot wet.  Aren't you cold?  Ummmmm.  So it is possible that she was eating a corn dog and decided to go look at in the mirror.  Then she wanted to see what it looked like when she was eating the corn dog.  She became very fascinated with this and continued to eat the corn dog while she watched herself in the mirror.  However, at the end of eating the corn dog she remember that she might have left her shoe outside and went to go get it while leaving the corn dog stick on the sink.  Although this story is fictional it has the ring of truth to it.

Let's get to my first born son.  I don't even have to try very hard on this one.  I love my boy but Jesus, kid is forgetful and easily distracted.  He would be eating a corn dog at the table.  He would then get up because he would have thought he saw the magical King Jeep the Fairy flying through the living room.  Still carrying his corn dog, Bubba Hoss would have gone looking for King Jeep the Fairy.  He wouldn't find him because King Jeep is a fast bastard.  Did he go into the bathroom?  Probably.  And there my son would follow while still eating his corn dog.  He would have looked around alot.  He would have checked behind the toilet and he would have looked under the hand towels.  Then he would have looked into the mirror.  He would see his reflection and noticed that he was King Jeep the whole time!  Crazy!  He would have then put his corn dog stick on the sink as he has now decided King Jeep needs a sword.  The swords are in the playroom, the corn dog stick is not.  This is a very, very real possibility of what may have occurred.  I wish I were kidding.

Three scenario's, three possibilities.  I left out Hossmom but that was on propose.  She hates corn dogs.  I don't know why.  She hates corn dogs and America, it's very sad.  She doesn't like them because I don't buy the all beef ones.  I tell her that she gets enough of that in the bedroom, wink wink.  She hasn't stopped laughing yet.  True love.

Look, I don't know who left the corn dog stick in the bathroom and I wish I could say that this is a rare occurrence.  It is not.  I find stuff like this all day every day.  It's weird when you are walking through the house and notice on the floor is a bowl of cereal.  You have no idea how it came there or where you were at when this happened.  You eat every meal with the kids and they all put there dishes in sink, as required.  But somehow, when you're not looking, shit like this happens.  Somehow "put this in the sink" gets translated into kids speak a "put this bowl of cereal in the middle of the hallway."

I'll give the lecture again because it's the only thing I know to do.  I'll save the corn dog stick, hold it up like I found the Holy Grail and ask who the prepatator is.  Everyone will point at Bacon Hoss because he can't talk yet.  Bacon Hoss will look at me then throw a banana my way.   The banana will ricochet off my head and somehow land up in my bed.  Tomorrow I will find it and wonder how and why a banana slice is in my bed.


Dads Behaving Dadly

I wrote a story, a story that none of you have read.  I wrote a story for someone else.  I know, it's like I'm cheating, the infidelity is killing me.  But yet, it's exciting.  The sneaking around, the emails back and forth.  I may have worn a fake mustache when I was talking to the editors of a book I was asked to contribute to.  I like to entertain myself.  My alter ego is named Eduardo Hossman.  He's very sexy, slightly dangerous and all man.

Seriously though, I was asked to contribute some of my writings to a book called "Dads Behaving Dadly."  So I did.  And then the editors of the book liked what I wrote and decided to put it in the book.  Seriously.  I know, I'm not believing much of this myself and Eduardo certainly isn't believing much of it.  

But it's true, I have seen my name in the table of contents.  It's there, right there.  My story "Rocking the Mornings" and then my name.  I'm about to have something published that isn't on the back roads of the Internet next to the abandoned hotel website that you know has some sort of mega porn virus on it.  

Again, the name of the book is "Dads Behaving Dadly" and it's due to come out over Father's day.  

I'm terrible at self promotion, absolutely suck at it much to my wife's chagrin.  I don't know why, it's just the way I am.  I like what I write, I think I'm funny but I think I'm funny mainly in my own head.  It always surprises me that anyone else likes what I write, seriously what is wrong with you guys?  Baby Jesus judges you.  But not Eduardo, he loves you, he lives for you.  

I asked my wife how I should make the announcement that I have a story coming out.  She said that I have to mention the name of the book many times.  Dads Behaving Dadly.  Then I have to link the site.  Then I have to tell people when it's going to be available (Father's Day, 2014)  Then she said that I should create an alter ego with a Latin name and completely derail any and all previous information by making awkward jokes that no one is getting but me.  Dads Behaving Dadly.  

She didn't say that last part.  Hossmom is funny in 140 characters or less.  She doesn't tell a good story.  She doesn't get the set up, the build up to the punch line, the roller coaster of a narrative.  She's to blunt.  She's straight to the point and doesn't understand the dance a good story has to go through to make it memorable and somewhat decent that someone would ask you to write it and then put it in their book that is coming out on Father's Day.  Dads Behaving Dadly.  But she is a much better speller than me but at this point, my 8 year old daughter is a much better speller than me.  Eduardo and I do not like the spelling, it distracts from the process. 

Which means it is good that another person edited the story that I wrote for Dads Behaving Dadly, due out Father's day.  Here's their website.  Not spell checking took some pressure off me as I wrote it, sipping on whiskey and juggling chain saws.   

Actually, I wrote the story after I got out of the shower and I was naked.  Yeah, let that visual sink in.  Drink it up boys and girls.  That's not Eduardo's harry back your picturing, that's all Hoss.  

I wrote it then because that's when the idea hit me.  It was at night, no child was screaming at me or attempting to a throw hammers at my junk.  I was drying off and boom, an idea came so I sat down and wrote it and sent it off.  The editors had a heart attack with all the bad spelling and awesome grammar but after they were released from the hospital they decided what I did write was good enough for a book.  Yea I'm published, due out Father's Day 2014.  

Hossmom is in advertising though so her advice has been good in helping me make this announcement.  She says that I have to be informative.  I tried arguing with her and told her that I needed to be funny as well, Eduardo agreed.  I said that just being informative is not very fun to write and not very memorable.  I told her that sex sells so that as I was mentioning the story that I wrote for the book called Dads Behaving Dadly I would tell people that I wrote the story naked.  Sex sells baby.  She went to bed.  

Now she's not helping anymore and I'm pretty sure that I have crashed this informative announcement about my new book, Dads Behaving Dadly (Father's Day 2014), right into the fucking ground.  See what I did there?  I continued the roller coaster of a story by cussing and now I am edgy.  Eduardo said I should do that, he's edgy.  And Dangerous.  And all man.  Yup, this is going well.  There is no reason I should stop typing.  

I signed a contract to.  It was awesome.  I agreed to write a story for almost no money at all.  But I do get some money for the book, Dads Behaving Dadly (Father's Day 2014).  How much really depends on you people.  The book sells, I get more money.  And with that money, if enough copies sell and the editors get there cut, the other authors get theres, I might be able to go to Sonic and get a Milkshake.   The sweetest milkshake ever because it will be the result of my "publishing deal."  That's what I'm calling it now.  It's official, I'm an author.  I got paid to write.  When I do have to go back to work, many years after Dads Behaving Dadly has come out on Father's Day 2014, I'm going to put this on my resume.   You guys can say that you were there at the beginning, 6 or 7 years ago when I wrote about a flat tire at work in an email and sent it to my wife.  She said I should do this more often and thus the blog was born.  

And now one story, an unpublished brand new story, is appearing in a new book called Dads Behaving Dadly that will be out Father's Day 2014.  Buy a copy and I'll sign it for you because that's what you do when you have a publishing deal, you sign books.  I'll make it funny, something witty like "To Jim: may your travels never involve a broken toilet in a Mexican Slum."  

Or if you really want, Eduardo could sign it.  He signs in cursive. 


Baseball Glove

Borrowing another man's baseball glove is like borrowing a pair of his underwear.  It's just not right man, it's weird.  No guy likes doing it and it's always awkward when you have to ask.

My wife doesn't understand this, I tried to explain it to her.  But I couldn't find anything of equal emotional value to my baseball glove.  Her wedding ring symbolizes our love, but would she really miss it?  Would she miss it like one does there baseball glove that they have had for 20 years?  It's history with me, my youth and the deep down hidden (very hidden) belief that one day they will need an older man to play 3rd base in the majors and I'll get that call, I'll finally get that call.  She's only had the ring for 10 years.  

I had to ask guys I knew to borrow a glove.  One guy offered me his wife's glove.  It's pink.  A bit of me died inside.  It's locked away slowly rotting.  I want my glove back.  I can't find it.  I don't know where it has gone to.  It's made it through moves, through children, through dogs.  It's finally gone and now I feel a bit lost.  

20 years of togetherness has bonded us.  It didn't so much as fit my hand but molded itself to it. I always knew where the glove was in relation to my arm, I could always tell if I could reach a ball hit my way or not.  If I could get a glove on the ball, I had a pretty damn good chance of making the play.  It was an unspoken partnership.  My glove promised to protect my face, to make catches just outside of my range.  I promised to secretly love it, to oil it when necessary and to use as a pillow when needed.  Now it's gone and I don't know where it is. 

I turned down the wife's glove and was lucky enough to find a buddy that let me use his.  I am disappointed.  It's a rag tag thing that has received no care.  It appears to have been purchased at a garage sale that featured some sort of riding tractor attachments.  It's not broken in right, it sits weirdly like a kid with a bad under bite.  There is no padding to speak of, almost as this particular glove has given up and wishes only to be locked in a garage somewhere and forgotten about.  

It doesn't fit my hand well.  The inside is cracked and scratchy.  I have big sausage fingers and I have to almost pry open the finger holes which makes me feel like I am somehow violating this poor mutant thing.  The thumb is caked with dirt from years past and it gets in under my fingernails.  I keep tightening the straps on the thumb but they don't tighten enough.  I feel like I need to go down to the river and just drown this poor thing in a mercy killing.  Guys who love their gloves would understand.  

My old glove fit perfectly.  It caressed my fingers, snuggled my thumb.  It had just enough padding to protect my palm while still allowing me to feel the ball.  It made that satisfying "pop" when I caught it just right.  I really miss my glove.  

I played tonight with my borrowed glove, the second time I have done so.  I could blame my many missed grounders on a lack of range and a sedentary life style, but deep down I believe I would have had everyone if I had my glove.  A ball was hit just to my right tonight.  I put the glove down fully expecting the ball to hit the webbing.  It didn't.  It went right under it. This wouldn't have happened with my old glove.  I also dropped an easy foul ball.  I barely had to move.  The thing is, it hit on the outside of my glove, on the top.  I didn't drop it so much as just knocked it out of the air.  I can't feel where this glove is, how much range it gives me.  I should be playing with my hat.  

Look, I know that I am older now and that 40 is about to become my new best friend.  I don't have the foot speed that I once did, my range is now measured in inches and my arm is comparable to a rusty metal grate that makes weird sounds when I wave.  But I could have made those plays if I only had my glove, my sweet sweet glove.  

Hossmom says I should just go get a new one from a garage sale.  I told her that she could buy her bras like that from now on as well.  She is currently not speaking to me about the glove anymore.  I'm glad.  It's better to keep your inner pain buried deep inside so that your soul rot doesn't bother the neighbors.  I don't want a glove that hasn't been cared for, that hasn't been oiled, tied with a ball in the middle and slept on under the mattress for a week.  The one's at garage sales have obviously never been loved and I just can't use a glove like that.  

I'll get a new one and we'll start a new relationship.  We'll learn together.  I'll find out what it can and can't do, I'll let it meld to my palm and I'll learn if the webbing can give that ever so gentle hug that a baseball needs right when it's coming at your face.  In return, I'll keep it oiled and cared for, I'll make sure the bindings don't fray or that the dirt is cleaned out of the finger holes.  

We'll grow together towards old age and maybe, one day, I'll be able to catch that foul ball.  My grand kids will come to me many years from now and say "grandpa!  I can't find my baseball glove!  Can I borrow yours?"

I'll look at them, proud of where they are headed.  I'll be lost in my emotions as I see them travel through my same path when I was young.  I'll touch the top of his head and say "No.  This is my glove.  Go get me some whiskey."