Anticipation was high. All the mother’s anxiety was higher.
Water bottles? Check. Halftime orange slices? Check. After game snacks and juice boxes? Check.
Spectators set up lawn chairs battling for the best open places on the sidelines. This would be an epic contest, one replayed on family home movies for years to come.
Coaches were nervous. After all, their reputations were on the line. If their teams didn’t perform, well it would be obvious to everyone, and most importantly themselves, that they were failures as coaches, maybe even failures at life, like, forever!
The referee wanted to take control of the game of four-year olds in 4 vs. 4 game that doesn’t require World Cup refs. It didn’t matter. His nervous habit of rubbing his acne took the air out of his mystique. Plus, he was only thirteen, 5 feet tall and maybe 97 pounds.
The players weren’t stressed a bit. Although two players had to go potty before the game. Probably just nervous energy.
Continue reading Little Rascal Soccer
My first career was in public mental health, including the part where people are committed to state psychiatric hospitals. I met a lot of super nice people during this time from law enforcement to medical personnel to social workers to the clients themselves. Truly, everyone needs a little help from a friend at times. That’s life.
Many I knew on a first name basis because they were in and out of the clinic, and most became friends on a professional basis. Even when they were struggling, you couldn’t help but like them! One was an older lady who was intelligent, charming and graceful.
She quit her meds though and shortly thereafter, her family brought her in. It was bad enough she had to go to the state hospital for her own safety.
After she got out of the hospital, she was back to her charming self.
We always got along well, but after the commitment, she decided she didn’t like me anymore. Not one, single, BIT! Continue reading Grocery Store Delimma
Seven years ago, my oldest daughter wanted a little pet. An inside cat was out of the question. So was a dog. At least until I had a momentary lapse of sanity.
We went to a flea market to look around. If I’d known how things were about to play out, I would’ve walked right by the old woman sitting under a shade tree selling puppies.
She was selling little breeds. Without hesitation, all four daughters zeroed in like heat seeking missiles to a cage with four puppies, half Chihuahua, half Japanese Chin.
Half Chihuahuas! God made Chihuahuas as a practical joke on rats. They’re noisy, obnoxious, cranky little animals that on their best day look genetically defective.
These, however, looked like the furry Japanese Chin part. Before I knew it, the heat seeking missiles exploded. Shawnna was holding the runt of the litter, all nine weeks old, in the palm of her hand talking to it like it was a little baby.
I’m convinced now the old lady selling them set the hook right then. I just didn’t know it right then. Continue reading Flea Market Flea Bag
I had a car full — all four daughters and wondering wonder why I never remembered ear plugs for a road trip.
There was a noise lull, which is usually a sign something’s about to happen. I was obliviously enjoying the semi-peaceful, kinda quiet moment, when a screeching, high-pitched voice shrieks, “Yella one!!!” Then she hit me in the arm, frogged me right in the muscle!
Being the strong, hard as a rock muscles, manly man that I am, I whimpered, “Ouuuuuuch!”
Wincing in pain I rubbed the muscle while bent over the steering wheel like an assignation victim.
“What did ya do that for!?” Continue reading Yella One!
Sometimes words unexpectedly flow, but then they’ll shut off like moisture in a desert, or is that dessert? Either way, writer’s block.
What to write? Come on brain! Just do it pen! This blank paper needs to be stained with ink!
Lean forward. Lean back. Headache. Aspirin. No ideas.
Words usually talk to me. Not today. Nothing. Just flat brain waves.
Silence, so I talk to the words. Fingers began moving almost involuntarily over the keys punching out my aggravation. I start scolding words for their impetuous, defiant resistance.
You sorry words need to get yourself together! There’s no need for you to give me the silent treatment! Uh, uh. Not at all. And some of you little words are just getting way too big for your britches!! Continue reading Writer’s Block
We jumped at the chance to help take care of three grandkids while their mom and dad did duties at a church camp retreat! It’s what grandparents do.
We jump in and help, you know? All for one, and one for all! Do it for the team!
Oh, did I mention it was at Lake Tahoe? In a cabin setting? Second story waterfront view? Alright. Well, SURE! Happy, happy, happy to fly from Texas to help!!
Our job was to help entertain the three munchkins, ages 6, 4, and 2, even though they all answer “and a half” when asked their age.
Life is odd like that. By the time you’re my age, you round down. In fact, birthdays are now Pretend To Have Ten Fewer Candles on the Cake Day! Besides, it saves the environment from candle pollution and the smoke detector doesn’t go off!
Anyway, at the retreat center, Janet and I discovered there was no adjoining door between the rooms. In fact, there were three queen size beds in our room….with only one bed in Mommy and Daddy’s room.
Uh, huh! That’s just stinkin’ parental brilliance right there! Why didn’t I think of that as a young parent?!
Continue reading Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂
I shouldn’t have done it. Really. It wasn’t the brightest thing for sure. I rarely ever snap, but this was a clean break! I don’t even know why. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it does.
I ran into a drug store for a bottle of benadryl and started the rat like maze walk up and down every store aisle to find it. At the end of one aisle I almost walked over a little 8 or 9 year old girl who rounded a corner opposite of her mother. The mother apologized for her daughter and pulled her to her side of the aisle.
I smiled and said the customary, “Scuse me” and continued my search. I turned up the next aisle and a big, no … a huge, muscular defensive lineman guy about 24 or 25 years old was halfway up the aisle with his back to me.
All I could see, besides his highly defined arm muscles, was his sweat pants halfway down showing his underwear. They weren’t boxers either. They were whitey tighties that showed the distinct impression of what should’ve been covered up. Knowing the mother and child were one aisle over, I just reacted, nuclear reactor style. Continue reading Pull Up Your Pants
(Radio Announcer Voice) People see Santa Claus once a year, Thanksgiving to Christmas. The view of his life and who he is, is so slanted.
If people truly knew the soap opera life Santa lives the rest of the year, they would clamor to charge him with breaking and entering into their homes on Christmas Eve. Instead, they see him as a benevolent hero delivering government subsidized free presents to nice children everywhere. And so today, we continue with another compelling episode of — (pause for dramatic effect) — North Pole Days of Our Lives!!
Santa rolled over wearing nothing but a pair of over-sized boxers that the tooth fairy had given him. He looked at the clock. 11:12 AM. He’d slept in, again, and knew Mrs. Claus wouldn’t be happy about that.
Besides, Santa knew he snored all night because he didn’t use his Cpap machine for his sleep apnea. Worse yet, he had binged on left over eggnog and cookies the night before, which gives him severe flatulence.
He looked at Mrs. Clause’s side of the bed. Nice. Neat. Not slept in.
There on her pillow was a Hawaiian colored envelope with his name on it, not the official candy cane striped stationary authorized by the North Pole Post Office. His chubby fingers trembled as he struggled to open the letter.
He took a deep breath and began to read:
Dear Santa, Continue reading North Pole Days of Our Lives
Hurricane Rita was going to blow in a few hours later and I was shutting down the hatch. My four sons helped and I was about through when I walked in on them in the garage. They looked guilty. Figures.
I was hurrying so I didn’t ask why they had a life jacket, rope and a new 8’ x 10’ vinyl tarp. I should’ve done a mental stop, drop and roll, but there were just bigger fish to fry. Besides, the next day I’d find out during the peak of the hurricane.
Ever since they were little, Blake, the oldest, has come up with ideas for his younger brothers to try. Jared, the second born would usually pass on the idea, but instead encourage Todd, the third son, to try some scattered brain idea.
Sometimes Todd volunteered. Sometimes they talked him into it. Sometimes he was blackmailed into some wild, half-baked scheme, most of which (surprise, surprise) dealt with some sort of danger or peril.
Regardless how outlandish, or in this case, hazardous it might be, Todd usually tried their brain cramp scams.
Blake had an idea — a homemade parachute, powered by hurricane winds, to make Todd go airborne! Continue reading Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!
Three balls for $2 or nine for $5 — man after man, boy after boy, redneck after redneck, stepped up from a large semi-circle of spectators around the dunking booth at the Brazoria County Fair, Texas.
Sitting in the dunking booth surrounded by carnival rides and loud music, the little clown face painted man was easily heard above it all. “Ayayayayayaya!“, Bobo hollered into a microphone. He had no shortage of insults for anyone who dared pick up a ball trying to drop him in the water.
They’re only prize was to see Bobo drop in the water, but he and his worker were making money hand over fist. His abrasive voice rang out over loud speakers and like flies to a spider web, one by one he lured guys in to plop down their money. As soon they stepped in his web, Bobo started. His constant chattering, challenges and chastising made you laugh hysterically at times, wince at others.
The nature of young men is to battle, in one shape or fashion, to show their dominance, and Bobo capitalized on this — all the way to the bank. Everyone knew what was in store as some overconfident ego filled guy stepped up like a gladiator to throw a ball. In most cases, the gladiator walked away humiliated. For spectators like me, it was hilarious. Continue reading Bobo