Monday, May 31, 2010

Bird Is The Word

This was a long weekend, of course, which meant lots of good, healthy, Snag family fun.

"Jeez, dad, don't you find that even a little inappropriate?" asked my middle son. He was lying on the couch watching television.

"What's inappropriate?" I asked, plopping down on the other couch.

"Giving me the finger."

"Oh. That. Yeah, I suppose."

"In fact it borders on the morally reprehensible," he said.

"Big words for a little boy," I said.

"Thanks," he said. "But really, giving me the finger?"

"It's kind of funny, don't you think?"

"I guess. You're a horrible parent, though."

"That's my point," I said. "On a ten point scale, where would giving you the finger rate, compared to the other stuff I do?"

"About a three," he admitted.

"So there you are," I said.

"Mom still wouldn't approve," he said.

"I wouldn't approve of what?" asked the Lovely Bride, walking into the room.

"My outstanding parenting skills," I said.

"Yes," she said. "I lose a lot of sleep worrying that you're raising our children too well."

"Sleep well, my precious," I said, smooching her on the cheek.

The boy rolled his eyes and went back to his show.

"Can I punch you in the heart?" I asked him.

"Later, pops," he said.

"Right on," I said.

"Dear Lord," said the Lovely Bride.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't Get No Better

Meeting him was one of the great moments in my life.

By "him" I mean Ben, who was inside when this photo was taken.




















Snag with one of Ben's sons and Mrs. Ben.

P.S. Seriously. They were some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just Sad

"Hey, Snag, do you want to be on the management wellness team? We're going to compete against other employee teams."

"What do I have to do?"

"Record how many minutes you exercise every day."

"How broadly do you define 'exercise'?"

"Never mind."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Time to go provide for the family, armed only with a fishing rod, my wits, some good bourbon, and enough meat to choke a carnivorous horse.

I'll be back. Too soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shake A Leg

"Hey, come here," I yelled to my assistant.

"What?" she yelled back. "I'm busy."

"Seriously, you've got to see this."

"Aren't you supposed to be working on the budget?" she asked, walking into my office.

"Yes, sure, whatever," I said. "Look." I pointed to the bus stop across the street.

She looked. "Oh my God, what's he doing?"

"Polishing his leg," I said.

"It's in his lap," she said.

"I know. I saw him take it off."

"I didn't expect that," she said.

"I told you it was worth seeing," I said.

"It was," she said, closing the blinds. "Now get back to the budget."

"Okay," I said.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rock On

"What are these?" asked one of my co-workers.

"Souvenirs," I replied. "For the gang."

"Okay. Thanks, I guess. But what are they?"

"They're little rocks. I got enough for everyone."

"You're joking, right?"

"No," I insisted. "They were part of the Little Rock."

"Why do some of them look like concrete?"

"Those are from the pilings they used to shore up the rock."

"Where did you get them?"

"From a rock vendor. He had a stand at the classic car show. Near the pavilion where ZZ Top was playing."

"And they're supposed to be genuine?"

"He assured me there are," I said. "I could tell he was honest. He only had a few teeth."

"Please don't tell me you paid for them," she said.

"He gave me a bargain," I said, perhaps a bit defensively.

"Did you get any magic beans?" she asked.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Honor Thy Mother

"Put it down!" I shouted.

Lucy darted away. I flailed at her with a stick, trying to back her into a corner of the yard.

"Stupid dog," I growled at her. She growled back.

Things had been going downhill since Friday. My morning meeting that day had gone long and by the time I got back upstairs to my office, my mother was firmly ensconced in a guest chair.

"Sorry I'm late," I told her.

"It's fine," she said. "I've been having a lovely conversation with H."

H., my assistant, smiled at me. "I've learned so much about you," she said.

I moaned in quiet pain. "Mom, what kind of lies have you been telling?"

"You see?" my mother asked H. "This is how he behaves."

"C'mon, Ma, let's go eat."

"It's cute the way he calls you 'Ma,'" said H. "He sounds like he's from the East Coast."

"I think it's irritating," said my mother. "Then again, I've had to deal with him all these years."

H. nodded. "I can see how that would be irritating."

"Can we go?" I asked. "I'm starving."

By the time we got to the restaurant I'd recommended, a Szechuan place noted for its lunch buffet, the line reached out the door. Sitting in the passenger seat of my mother's car, I shrieked in frustration.

"Oh, stop complaining," she said.

"I've got a meeting at 1:30 and I don't have time to wait."

"We'll find another restaurant," said my mother.

"I don't want to go to another restaurant. I want to go here."

"Then let's get in line."

"I hate lines. I'll have a nervous breakdown."

"You'll have a heart attack if you don't relax."

"I hope so," I said.

"Your children need you."

"You're lying again."

We finally got me fed and returned to work, although not without a fair amount of swearing on my part. After enduring an afternoon of comments from my coworkers about how lucky I was to have a mother like mine, I escaped for home.

And now, less than a day later, here I was chasing a dog.

"Lucy killed a squirrel," the Lovely Bride announced a couple of hours before as we watched our middle boy's soccer game. She'd just finished texting our oldest.

"Lucky squirrel," I said.

The Lovely Bride shook her head. "Your mother said you were in a mood."

"It's not a mood, it's a belief system. I believe that if there was a God, He'd hate me."

The parent sitting on the other side of me looked over for a moment and went back to watching the soccer game. She's known me for years.

"Do you mind?" whispered the Lovely Bride. "We still need these people to help carpool."

"Fine. Lucy killed a squirrel. So what?"

"So the oldest had to leave for work and couldn't get it away from her. He left her outside. You'll have to get it away from her when we get home."

"Me?" I asked. "You do it."

Which is how I came to be chasing the dog around the yard, a bloody and quite dead squirrel dangling from her mouth.

"Come here, girl," I said. "Daddy loves you."

She tried to sneak past. I shook my stick and she retreated to the other side of the fire pit.

"Good girl," I said. "Now drop the rodent and nobody gets hurt."

She feinted right. I was there for her, got the stick hooked in her collar, and she released the carcass.

"Stupid dog," I repeated, flinging the squirrel into the marsh on the other side of the fence. Turtle food.

The stupid dog took the opportunity to lick me. I gagged and pushed her away.

Toweling off after my shower, I yelled to the Lovely Bride in the living room, "What did I do to deserve this?"

"I think you know," she replied.