Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Snag's Progress - Interrupted

I am:

A. Not amused

B. On the set of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

C. Very sorry for whatever I did

B. Sadly resigned

E. _____?

Oh Look, A Paved Street Bonus Feature

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Me

"Oops. Sorry."

I looked at the bowl of blue cheese dressing dripping down my shirt, then at the waitress who'd spilled it on me. I had a meeting tonight so I was wearing a nice shirt. "It's okay," I said.

We were out for the annual Administrative Professionals Day lunch. The woman sitting across from me bit her lip, began to giggle, then buried her face in the napkin. So did the woman sitting next to her.

"Sorry," the waitress said again. "Can I get you anything?"

"I'm afraid to ask, but could you bring me some more dressing?"

"Do you really want me to?" the waitress asked.

Two more of the women at the table put down their forks and started laughing.

"Yes, please," I said.

"I'm kind of a klutz," said the waitress.

"Seriously. Don't worry about it," I told her.

She stood up and banged her head on a lamp. "Ouch," she said, rubbing her skull. "I'm not very good at this job."

The rest of the table started laughing as I dabbed at the stain with a napkin.

My boss said, "I guess lunch is on Snag today."

"He's funny," the waitress said, pointing at my boss.

"A real laugh riot," I said.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


"Dad, get up." My youngest poked at me.

"Go away."

"C'mon, get up."

"I'll kill you. Really. I will. Go bother your mother."

"I called her. She's at work. She said to wake you up."

"What have I done to deserve this?" I asked.

No response. It was a silly question anyway.

"What do you want?" I finally asked.

"Lucy threw up."

"Stupid dog," I said, pulling the pillow over my head. "Where?"

"On the rug."

Of course. "Clean it up," I told him.

"Gross, no," said my kid. "There's half a baby rabbit in it."

That explained last night's frenzied barking.

"Get one of your brothers to take care of it."

"They left for school already."

The only time I want my kids around and they're not. It's a rare blessing, my life is. I struggled out of bed and put on my bathrobe. Went downstairs and poured a cup of coffee. The Miracle Dog had been banished to the deck. When she saw me she jumped up on the sliding door. I gave her the finger.

"She puked under the table," said the boy, pointing and gagging. Sure enough, there it was, baby rabbit and all. I got paper towels and a bag and blotted it up as best as I could, spraying the spot with enough chemical cleaners to poison a normal family. My own should be fine.

I went back upstairs to shower as my kid let her back in the house. By the time I was dressed it was quiet downstairs.

"Where's Lucy?" I asked.

"She was jumping on me so I put her in the kennel," he said.

"That's what we used to do with you when you were naughty," I said.

"Shut up," he said.

"Your crate wasn't as fancy," I said. "And it was in the garage. Still, it worked just fine."

"Shut up," he said again.

"You spent a lot of time there after you ate a mole," I said. "You'd been digging in the garden. We were afraid you were going to throw up, like Lucy did this morning."

"Ick," he said vaguely.

"You're right, it was disgusting. We were very proud of you, though. Moles are hard to catch."

He sighed. "I have to go to school," he said, slipping on his backpack.

"Got science today?" I asked.


"You should bring the rabbit for show and tell."

"That's sick."

"I could put it in a plastic bag. That way it wouldn't leak on your way to school."

He turned a little green and gagged. "Shut up," he said.

"Next time let me sleep," I suggested.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Make Good Choices

My oldest is slowly but surely starting to narrow down his college search. He's still got another year before he has to get really serious about it, but he's my oldest and tends to be really serious about almost everything almost all the time.

My attempts to help haven't been met with enthusiasm by my son, the Lovely Bride, or his grandmother.

"Why would you suggest Bob Jones University?" my mother asked.

"I thought maybe he could get a minority student scholarship," I said.

"We're hardly an underrepresented demographic in higher education," she said.

"I bet we are at Bob Jones," I replied.

No matter, it's not on his list. So far he's identified a school in the South, another in the West, and a third in the Midwest as places he'd like to visit. They're all good schools, very different but well ranked in the field that's interested him almost as long as I can remember.

He reminds me of my best childhood friend N., who had a dream that someday he'd be an accountant. Sure enough, that's what he became, and while his actual job has shifted a bit over time, being a CPA led him into the job he currently has and loves. Not my cup of tea, but it works for him. So there you go.

My own college career was a little more checkered. Small college, large university, small state schools, grad school, with military service and work thrown into the mix. I didn't have a clue what I wanted to be. I'm not sure I'd follow the same path if I could do it over. But, I like what I do well enough, it gives me the free time and security and flexibility I want, and it puts a roof over our heads. So, again, there you go.

I have no idea why my son wants to do what he wants to do. Honestly, I don't care. If that's what he wants, have at it. He's got things sketched out, undergrad, then grad school, then a career. Maybe he'll love it, maybe he won't, but it's his dream, not mine, and he deserves a shot at it. We'll visit some schools, he'll make his choice, and the Lovely Bride and I will do what we can to make it work. And some day not long from now, there he'll go.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Lights

"I won't be here two weeks from now," my mother said at the outset of her last weekly visit.

"I wish I could say the same," I said.

"Are you talking about dying again?" she asked.

"It's more a wish than a discussion," I said.

"Remember, I get your iPod when you die," said my youngest.

I swatted at him but he ducked.

"Lucy, kill!" I instructed our dog. She tried to crawl into my lap. I swatted at her but she ducked too.

"Where are you going?" I asked my mother, feigning interest.

She began reeling off the names of the countries she planned to visit on her latest expedition. I reached for the last piece of bacon but the middle child beat me to it. "You can walk to soccer tonight," I muttered at him.

"I'll be finishing up in Brussels," she said.

"Like the sprout?" I asked.

"Like the country," she replied.

"It's not so much a country as a collection of feudal estates ruled by warlords," I said. "Why would you go there?"

"It's supposed to be a lovely country."

"I guess. If you like raw sewage."

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Don't you ever look at a guide book before booking a trip?"

"Where would you like to go?" she asked my oldest, rebuffing my efforts to help. My mother recently offered to send each of her grandsons on a lengthy trip between their junior and senior years of high school

"Australia. New Zealand. The South Pacific," he said.

"Excellent choices," said my mother.

"At least they have plumbing," I said.

"We have plumbing," said my youngest.

"It's more a straight pipe to our backyard," I said.

"That's disgusting," said my mother.

"You're going to Belgium," I said. "Get used to it."

"Should I bring you back any magnets?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

"A war crimes tribunal magnet from the Hague. And one from a coffee shop in Amsterdam that has a picture of hash on it."

"Hash?" she asked.

"Marijuana," I said.

"As in 'I'm just holding on to this for a friend?'" she asked.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, glancing nervously at my kids.

"Oh, nothing," said my mother, smiling sweetly.

"Have a nice trip," I said.

"I will," she answered.

The Animals Are Scaring Me: An Illustrated Menagerie (O)

Illustrated by Jennifer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Songs That Are Just So Goddamned Good - Part 2

UPDATE: It's Rock & Roll Queen by the Subways for those, like MenD, who are on the other side.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Talent Runs In The Family

Jennifer's youngest lamblet was wondering what a Snag looks like. Jennifer asked her to draw what she thought a Snag should look like.

Captures my sunny disposition, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Animals Are Scaring Me: An Illustrated Menagerie (M)

Illustrated by Jennifer.

P.S. Did you really expect anything else?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bon Appétit, Volume 13 - Do The Dewlap

In spring, a young man's fancy turns to meat and I'm fancying some right now. Join me on a Magical Mystery Møøse Meat Tour!

1. Møøse Bread

Knead one pound self-rising moose and three tablespoons unfiltered bog water until the consistency of rubber cement. Blend in lavender, orange, or other flavored color. Bake in a kiln at 60 degrees until clock strikes one. Serve with Yukon Jack, halibut butter, and møøse jam (see below).

Serves 12.

2. Møøse Jam

Pick one bushel ripe moose. Remove rinds and seeds. Boil moose in a mixture of three cups sherry vinegar, seven and one half dry aged cloves, two sticks Dentyne, and a large hex nut, until reduced by half. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in a package of jam fixins and seal in a mausoleum until firmly set.

Serves 1.

3. Møøse Loaf

Coarsely grind six moose, four pork, and a haddock. Whisk in one cup of salt and a pinch of flan. Top with chopped gelatin to taste. Boil at 180 degrees until Advent. Garnish with staples and serve cold.

Serves 14

4. Pot au Møøse

In a large earthen pot, stir together four young moose, one soupçon of carrots, a slab of broccoli, one garlic filet, and a cup of grout. Allow to sit in a warm sauna until flavors blend, approximately three weeks. Roast at 700 degrees for 15 minutes. Pour into individual serving troughs and top with clotted cream.

Serves 2

5. Møøse Explosion

Weave six slices of uncooked hamster bacon in a lattice pattern. Roll out one raw medium moose on top of bacon. Sprinkle with a scant bucket of cooked moose crumbles. Drizzle with one cup barbecue flavored sauce. Starting with closest end, roll up bacon around moose mixture and slop with additional teaspoon of sauce. Cook over a low charcoal fire for approximately 27 minutes until internal temperature reaches 450 degrees. Slice thinly and serve with biscuits and chardonnay.

Serves 8

Monday, April 6, 2009


"At least please tell me Lucy hasn't chewed any more holes in the floor," I said, surveying the ruined landscape of my house. Aforementioned dog was scrabbling up the leg of my dress slacks, doing her best to put a hole in them instead.

"Do you have any idea how busy I've been?" asked the Lovely Bride .

"Why are you home?" asked my middle son.

I'd been traveling for the better part of three weeks. Apparently absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.

"We're having company for dinner tomorrow," I said.

Blank stares. Jesus.

"I'll pay you twenty bucks to clean the house," I told my oldest son, resignedly.

"Twenty five," he said.

"Thirty if you kill the dog," I said. Lucy was chewing on my arm.

"Thirty five if you kill Dad," said my youngest.

"Love you tons," I told him, chasing him around the kitchen.

"Is your mother coming over this weekend?" the Lovely Bride asked, trying to ignore the chaos that had increased significantly since I'd walked in.

"She's down south. Savannah. Charleston. Her own personal March to the Sea. She's opening a case of whup ass on Johnny Reb."

"Why do you say things like that?" asked the Lovely Bride.

"Because they're funny," I said.

"They're stupid," said my oldest.

"Thank you," I said.

"That doesn't make sense," said my middle child.

"Mairzy doats and dozy doats," I said.

"What?" he said.

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves," I added.

"I get it," said the youngest. He was laying on his back while the dog chewed on his arm for a change.

"You're a moron," the oldest told him.

"It's funny because it's true," said the middle boy.

The Animals Are Scaring Me: An Illustrated Menagerie (L)

Illustrated by Jennifer.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Snag's Progress - Day 14

I am:

C. The walrus

A. Goo goo g' joob

D. On the set of "Soylent Green"

B. Into the Mystic

E. _____?

Where's the Damn Moose Bonus Feature

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Snag's Progress - Day 13

I am:

A. On the set of "Plan 9 From Outer Space: Director's Cut"

B. Nearing the end

C. One way or another

D. What's the frequency, Kenneth?

E. _____?

Ice Station Zebra Bonus Feature