Fearing the Stain: How Toddler Parents Assume the Worst

scrubbing-the-carpetIf you’ve had kids and pets long enough, then you’ve been programmed to spot a mess and fear the worst. The worst kind of mess is one that can’t be erased with cleaner, paint, or scrubbing. You know the kind of mess I’m talking about: the carpet stain.

We can see it across the room. Our nice carpet with a small spot of something that shouldn’t be there. Up to this point as parents, we’ve witnessed almost every disgusting thing imaginable, so we rapidly assume the worst-case scenarios.

First I’m thinking it’s permanent marker. Why do we keep Sharpies in our house anyway? We are practically inviting the little creatures to destroy our property. Oh, you guys are looking for the perfect item to ruin my carpet and my day? Well here’s some pitch black, nuclear war-proof ink for you…

But it’s not permanent marker. Still looks dark. Oh crap, blood stain. Who’s bleeding? Is my son presently coloring random parts of my home with an open scab? Did my dog chew a wart off her paw? Could this in fact be a bloody booger? ‘Cause that would be better. If the mucous to blood quotient is favorable I can remove that sucker in no time…

But no. It’s not a bloody booger or blood at all for that matter. Of course, it’s poop. Because that’s what we do in this family. We poop on the floor. Surely someone has simply reached into their diaper and executed a smear campaign upon our carpet. When was the last time we let the dog out? Yesterday? Anyway, this is certainly disgusting but seeing as how I’ve handled poop nearly every day since we started adding family members, I can take care of this problem before you can say “I smell poo.”

Now I am on my knees, bending down to inspect the blemish and expect the worse. And once in awhile, perhaps once in a lifetime, a glorious and unforeseen result is realized. It’s just a sticker. A problem I can take care of without having to hold my breath, or try to remember where I keep the spot remover, or engage in a regrettable confrontation with the child or beast responsible for the mess. This is a problem I can take care of in less than a second and move on with my life. I am giddy as…well…as a man reprieved from vigorous scrubbing duties aimed at ridding my house of one less excrement amiss.

Happiness for the parent can come in strange ways.

Fifty Shames of Grey #FSOG

Violence you mask as fetish
Narcissistic deeds you relish
Masculine force how you embellish
Horny heresy leaves you devilish
Sacred act you twist to hellish

Make her think your way is good
Trick her to think she’s understood
Then you creep under her hood
Don’t mind to spill a bit of blood
And make her wallow in your mud

Convince her that it’s kind of fun
‘Til her self is all but stunned
‘Til you leave her all undone
‘Til you cleave her soul with shun
Wither this flower in your Sun

Haunt her dreams all for your pleasure
Vault her screams like they’re your treasure
Daunt her beams under your pressure
Flaunt your schemes all for good measure
Taunt your victim ‘fore you hedge her

Dominate the doe with rage
Eve’s corruption you engage
No kind boundaries on your page
Run sweetness quickly off the stage
Hearts you rent from your rampage

Hatred you pose as passion
Discard females like a fashion
They need caress instead you bash them
Abuse them good before you trash them
Fake the bonds and then you cash them

You rape with their consent
Leave them full of harsh resent
Strangle them with discontent
Mangle them with punishment
Take them on your vile descent

Empty sex with love displaced
Slap a daughter in her face
Put a sister in her place
Drag them in your fall from grace
Crush their heart with brute embrace

Defile that precious creature
Treat her like she’s just a feature
Find the crack and then you breach her
Stain her soul and then you bleach her
Degradation’s all you teach her

Cast your shadow on the splendor
Give her pain when she needs tender
Nefarious services you render
Ship her life off like a vendor
Make her a game and so you end her.

Awfice Mates: The Pistachio Bag

c02579c937172325Michelle was so nice. She was the only person in the office who ever brought in goodies.

Some people, like Joe, always thought about bringing in goodies, but never did for the fear that any food item would undoubtedly be objectionable to someone. These days even something as simple as a brownie was daunting. Go for the delicious chocolatey sugar-bomb brownie but tick off the people who resented the temptation of sweets. Or make the brownies nutty and risk someone’s throat closing up. Or leave the gluten in and give someone insufferable gas the remainder of the day.

Other people, like Tammy, never considered bringing goodies in because Michelle was always doing it. Those people were always thinking, “Nah, no need to bring something in this week. I’m sure Michelle will come through.”

And come through she did. It was a sleepy Monday morning when Ted strolled in and caught sight of the large bag of pistachios in the break room. He walked over to look at the bag and noticed it hadn’t been opened. Ted started to sweat a little. He really wanted to tear open the bag but he knew the second he did someone would walk in and catch him opening the bag of pistachios and think, “Of course fat Teddy is divin’ into those nuts early. He simply can’t contain himself.” So Ted thought all that and risked it anyway, and opened the bag just as Craig walked in and smirked, which made Ted sweat a little more from self-consciousness. But it wasn’t enough to stop him from grabbing a handful and nervously adding “Gotta love pistachios.”

The pistachios were a hit. By early afternoon the half-eaten bag had found its way to the conference room, just in time for the weekly team meeting. Many had gathered around the nuts, except Ted who was wiping himself off in the corner.

Edward took the bag and emptied a small number of nuts onto a napkin.

Craig snickered. “You eat like a rabbit.”

Edward glared back. “Well Craig, how would you have handled the pistachios bag?”

“I wouldn’t have sprinkled eight nuts out onto a napkin.”

“Oh no? Would you have stuffed your dirty hand in the bag so no one else would want any? Would you dump a pile into your mouth like a damn animal?”

“I’m just saying it would be normal to pour out a double digit number of pistachios, like this—” Craig poured out what he thought to be a normal number of pistachios.

“Normal, huh?” Edward rolled his eyes. “Well I had no idea people make judgments on pistachio intake. Next time I’ll make sure no one is looking or I just won’t have any at all.”

“See, I’d expect you to have none at all because you are as skinny as a beanpole,” Craig remarked, a bit awkwardly while chewing.

“Craig, you don’t even know what the hell a beanpole is. And I think you are envious of my skinniness.”

“Are you saying I’m fat?” Craig asked, inadvertently spitting pistachio particles like shrapnel.

“I’m not saying you’re fat. But compared to me, perhaps you are fat. Perhaps you should sprinkle your pistachios instead of horsin’ ’em down like you’ve never tried food.”

Meanwhile, Phil walked in and grabbed the pistachio bag. “Hey fellas.”

“What’s up Phil?” everyone said.

“Craig, you should give some of your pistachios to Edward.”

“Are ru sayin’ I vat?” Craig asked with a muffled mouthful.

“You are fat. But no, I’m saying Edward is obviously emaciated and it is cruel to deprive malnourished men of sustenance.”

Edward shook his head. “Thanks Phil, I’m so touched you too are concerned about my nut consumption. Would anyone else like to comment so I can shove my shells up your nostrils?”

“Oh don’t waste the shells,” said Phil. “Craig eats those too.”

The attention shifted to their boss, Glenn, who was pacing quickly into the room. “All right everybody, let’s get started.”

“First off, thanks Michelle for bringing in the pistachio bag. It’s been a pleasant surprise for an otherwise mundane Monday. And secondly…uh Craig? Everything all right?”

Everyone turned to Craig, who was holding his throat and sputtering pistachio shells.

“Oh no! He’s choking!” someone shouted.

Immediately Ted sprang from his chair and positioned himself behind Craig, grabbing him like he was hugging a refrigerator. Ted clasped his hands and gave a forceful thrust to Craig’s chest. A few more shells spewed from Craig’s face but he continued to choke.

Ted kept thrusting, Craig kept choking. Ted was now sweating so much that with his proximity to Craig it looked like Craig was sweating. Ted continued to aggressively thrust Craig’s chest. The more he did, the more he sweat. Everyone stood in panicked shock, bracing for Craig’s shells to dislodge while equally witnessing the greatest display of sweat profusion ever. Craig was turning blue and Ted appeared to be melting like a popsicle in a microwave.

Several people dialed 911 while others offered to help Ted. But Ted appeared to be in such an odd, unrelenting zone that it seemed impossible to even talk to him. In fact, now that Craig had been choking for about 20 seconds, Ted looked in worse shape. As the waterfall of sweat cascaded down his face, it appeared to be taking Ted’s hair with it. Craig was still choking. Ted was losing bodily fluids and balding.

The next thirty seconds was insane. Craig’s eyes had closed and he slumped over in Ted’s bear hug like a rag doll. Ted was still thrusting and panting, nearly bald. His clothes were soaked and sagging, and appeared to no longer fit him. His eyes were no longer open either, while his agape mouth served as a reservoir for his dripping, ghost-white face. It was hard to tell if he was aware of his toil or permanently engaged in some out-of-body exercise he no longer controlled. Beneath the pair of men a not-so-small pool of sweat had formed on the oak floor. And in a moment so singular that it is difficult to articulate, Ted’s feet slipped and shot forward from under him, suspending both himself and his patient in mid-air, long enough for the entire office to gasp in fright. In a second Ted crashed backward upon the floor, still clutching Craig for dear life. At the moment of impact with the floor, two things happened simultaneously that were unlikely to ever be witnessed again in human history: Craig’s now rag doll of a body jolted, and from him heaved an impossible amount of pistachio nuts and shells. And Ted. It’s hard to say. It looked like between Craig and the floor a water cooler exploded, creating a splash of Sea World proportions.

Phil and Edward quickly bent down to assist the two men. Craig was coughing and sucking in air, and the color was returning to his face. Phil pulled Craig off of Ted and sat him down. Edward took a look at Ted and nearly fainted. If the human body was 60% water, Edward suspected Ted was closer to 100%, or at least used to be. Edward rapped at Ted’s now moribund face until his eyes finally opened. He sat up and muttered something about home and a shower, then staggered out of the room.

Everyone’s attention quickly turned to the middle of the room and the sound of a bag rustling. Michelle blushed and held out her pistachios, giggling nervously. “Still a few left. Anyone?”

Michelle was so nice.

All You Can Eat Pancakes! They’re Back!

stack-of-pancakes-1006x1024I saw a billboard for IHOP that said, “All-you-can-eat pancakes! They’re back!”

Isn’t it fascinating what things come back that make you wonder who ever missed them in the first place? It’s obvious the International House of Pancakes has a target customer who has been anxiously awaiting the return of endless pancakes. Does the billboard serve as some revelation? What sad soul has been languishing in their existence, reserved to some cruel pancake quota? I can only imagine his morning commute leading up to the sign, cursing the world and its unjust carb consumption boundaries.

Oh life. How I despair you. What pitiful meals I’ve been having. No restaurant is in business to give their customers what they want. And you should know what I want! You think ten pancakes will satisfy my hunger? I had ten pancakes before I left the house. I brushed my teeth with Country Crock and and woke up to an alarm of flour bombs bursting in my face. If only people cared about their customers. IHOP used to. With their all-you-can-eat pancake times. They were fully aware that I would enjoy a nice breakfast of 300 pancakes. Ahh the memories. Ahh the glory days. Who could forget the four-hour February feast, or the time I guzzled an entire jar of boysenberry syrup? Or the time they let me back into the kitchen with the fresh, hot pancakes and the cook just flipped them into my mouth until my buttons popped off? Never again. Never a—Wait. Could it be? They’re back? All-you-can-eat pancakes are back?! Ha…Ha…Hahahahaha! Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. Wha. Wha wha wha?! OK. OK. Calm down. You’re driving man. OK think…Where’s the closest IHOP? Where THE HELL is the closest IHOP?…Yummmmmm. Yummmmmmm. Hold it together man! Grmrmrmrmrm. Grmrmrmrm. OUCH! I’m eating my hand. Stop it! Stop it!…Grmrmmrmrm. Grmrmrmrm. I wish I were a pancake! But I’m not, I’m not!…Yes I am! I am a pancake and I’m back! I’m all I can eat! GRMRMRMRNRM. GRMRMRMRMRM. GRMRMRMNRMRMRM…

And then probably, a horrible crash.