Happy Birthday to . . . Me!!!

I don’t normally promote my birthday. In fact, I usually try to ignore because ignoring it = not getting older.

But this time I’m straying from the normal course. Because this time it’s a Big Un. It’s the BIG Five-Oh. I won’t have another birthday this big for another 50 years, so I need to make this one count.

Hey, who's that good lookin' kid . . .

Hey, who’s that good lookin’ kid . . .

In fact, this birthday is SO big, that they’ve given everyone the day off. Of course, it’s also on Saturday so that might have had a little bit to do with it . . .

First of all, for the Sheryl Crow update. If you’re a regular reader, you know that for some time now, I’ve been hoping to connect with the popular and ultra talented singer/songwriter and go out with her on my birthday, but so far she’s playing hard to get.

However, while I haven’t heard from her, I did receive a rather nasty letter from her lawyer. Sure, I understand how 137 letters to Sheryl expressing my love and marriage proposals might look a little excessive to those on the outside. But I learned all my courtin’ techniques from some highly popular romantic comedies. It’s hard to argue with countless hours of quality entertainment of Lifetime television.

So at this point, I feel like as a MORE MATURE ADULT, I should be dispensing words of wisdom to today’s young whippershanppers.

Hey, who's that even better lookin' kid . . .

Hey, who’s that even better lookin’ kid . . .

Well, first of all, when I was young, we used to travel around in these contraptions called . . . CARS!

And when I went to school, I had to walk . . . the 10 yards from the school bus to the school.

Ok, so maybe things haven’t changed too much since I was a kid. I guess the thing that I’ve been most amazed at is technology, specifically telephones. I’ve gone from a rotary dial to a phone that I carry around that’s more powerful than the computer I used in high school (AND college), my family’s television, any five sets of encyclopedias I might have used to write reports on Mars, AND the Apollo 11- COMBINED!

So what am I going to do to celebrate my 50th?

Holy Shi . . . ! What the hell happened!! And just WHAT died on top of his head?!!

Holy Shi . . . ! What the hell happened!! And just WHAT died on top of his head?!!

No real idea. I thought I might throw a party and invite every girlfriend I’ve ever had and have them all together in one room. But then I realized that would be a lot like getting a glimpse into hell. Well, hell for me or them one – I’m not really sure who comes out worse in that deal.

So what have I learned in 50 years on earth? Well, I have a few short slogans I live by.

First: You never know. Yep, I’m never surprised by anything that happens in life any more.

Second: “I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.”

Ok, maybe I didn’t learn much from Scooby Doo, but it’s nice to have a line handy for when I want to blame someone else – especially my kids!

And while I’ve been joking quite a bit, I do want to say that I appreciate all my family and friends who have been a part of my life. Sure, my life hasn’t always been easy. Anyone who makes it to my age is sure to have suffered some bumps and bruises along the way. But I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.

Here I am this fall doing two things I love - spending time with my son and broadcasting high school football.

Here I am this fall doing two things I love – spending time with my son and broadcasting high school football.

Great kids. Great parents. Great family. Great friends. Some good barbecue and chocolate thrown in from time to time. It’s just like they told George Bailey – it really has been a wonderful life.

And finally, I’ve found that you can learn a lot from watching the Christmas classic Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Basically, toys are fun, there’s more to life than just doing chores and cleaning your socks, and last but not least, laugh often. And laugh hard.

The Burgermeister is all about clean socks . . . and squashing all fun.

The Burgermeister is all about clean socks . . . and squashing all fun.

 

I’m disappointed they couldn’t squeeze even MORE movies out of the Hunger Games series

Are you kidding me?

That was my reaction when I saw the first promo for the upcoming release of Mocking Jay, which is the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy.

If somehow you’ve been fortunate enough to shelter yourself from this series (and I’d really like to know how you did it), I’ll briefly fill you in.

This is a young adult series set in the future of the U.S. Only there are no longer states; instead there are districts. And each year in each district, the young folk have to draw. The male and female in each district who draws the unlucky number, has to go into the “arena” where everybody tries to kill everybody else until there’s only one young folk left.

I read the first book, and thought it was ok. Then I read the second in the series, and kind of skimmed through it, and finally got through the end. Then I got the third book, read the first page, and then resorted to asking my girlfriend at the time how it ended.

Now, to see that they’ve divided this last lousy book into TWO movies . . .

I understand how all this started with Lord of the Rings, but that really did need three movies – just like it needed three books.

But then the Harry Potter series broke its final book into two movies. That was followed by the Twilight series. Then we were left with The Hobbit as THREE movies.

And now . . . this. This Hunger Games crap.

I mean, really. Come on. I understand all about making money and all. I mean, I work in marketing and all, but even I wouldn’t do this. First of all, there’s no substance to work with. It would be like trying to re-create Michelangelo’s David using just one can of dried out Playdough.

What we really need is to send someone out to explain this to the folks who make these movies. “Hey Hollywood! I don’t know if you know this, but, ummmm, the Hunger Games is a KID’S BOOK. Oh, excuse me, young adult book.”

It would be like turning Goodnight Moon into two movies. Although that does a disservice to that children’s classic, because it has a much deeper plot than Hunger Games.

This kids classic would be a much better candidate for two movies than the tedious Hunger Games.

This kids classic would be a much better candidate for two movies than the tedious Hunger Games.

I saw the first Hunger Games movie and it had all of the substance of a bad Hanes men’s underwear commercial.

Secondly, you just can’t do this to your fans. Now I understand that even though I don’t like this, there are people who actually do look forward to this. For about a year now, they’ve been looking forward to seeing what they thought was going to be the FINAL movie in the series. You can see how a fan might have thought this was going to be the final movie and all since THIS WAS THE FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES!

And to make fans of this series just sit through this total Money Grab of a movie should be illegal.

And that’s what it is – a Money Grab, pure and simple. And you should be ashamed of yourself for dropping this movie on fans.

Better yet, the people who made this movie should be forced to watch it, and pay FULL TICKET PRICE, too. And pay double for the popcorn!

Why can’t they schedule these dang lunar eclipses during the day?!

I was hoping it was a dream, but deep down (way, WAAAAAAAAY down) I knew it wasn’t.

I peeked at the clock with one eye. Hey, I thought 4:15 only happened in the afternoons . . .

I wanted to go back to sleep, but that desire was soon squelched by my son, who started shaking me and DEMANDING that I remove myself henceforth from my bed and get up.

“Dad. It’s time to get up. We’re going to miss the eclipse.”

With my super duper smart phone, it was almost like I was taking pictures from the same galaxy as the eclipse!

With my super duper smart phone, it was almost like I was taking pictures from the same galaxy as the eclipse!

Did I really agree to this?

It seemed so reasonable the night before. You know, at that hour between 8 and bedtime when you’ve still got stuff to do, but you’re not so wiped out. That time between being a parent who can still sign a pile of school papers, but you haven’t quite hit the point where you can’t tell the difference in ironing a dress shirt or the cat. (I finally figured it out when I never could get the wrinkles out of the cat. But at least now his fur has a luxurious sheen.)

So there you have it. It was a problem of my own creation. Like they said, I had made my bed, now I had to lie in it . . .

Except in this case, I couldn’t lie in it even though I wanted to.

The next words I heard made me realize I was in this for real. “I’ll be waiting outside for you,” said my son, as he dashed out of the room.

Outside? Now why is he going outside at this time of day again? Oh, yeah . . .

So like a slimy snail, I kind of oozed over the side of the bed until I found myself on my feet.

I made my way outside, and there was my son, waiting anxiously for me . . . and the eclipse.

The moon was full, and it made for an incredible sight, even at that awful hour.

There were a few low clouds, but nothing that got in our way for a while. We gazed up at the sky filled with stars on this night. And we talked while we waited for the eclipse.

I can’t remember now exactly what we talked about. But it wasn’t the subject that mattered. It was the two of us, sharing an experience.

The eclipse was good. We watched it. ALL of it. It really was remarkable. I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched an eclipse all the way through before. But even if I did, it wasn’t as memorable (obviously) as this time.

It was a special morning for me. For my son too, I hope. It was the kind of occasion that we’ll share – and remember – for a lifetime.

Looking back, I guess getting up that early wasn’t so bad after all. We both had fun, got to share a special time together, and saw something that by every scientific definition can only be described as “really cool.”

In fact, I wouldn’t mind sharing an eclipse with my son again. Only next time, I’m going to hope for the solar variety.

 

 

That egg roll was some kind of awful!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect.

Well, on second thought, my kids would be the first to admit that. Followed closely by the many girlfriends I’ve dated. Oh, and I’m sure a reader or two. Or dozen or so.

But that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that no matter how many mistakes I make, I always try to learn a valuable life lesson – lessons that I can take with me and apply throughout my life.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I have a tendency to sometimes get myself in (hmmmmmm, how can I put this nicely) peculiar situations.

This was the kind of egg roll that made you question you'd ever want to eat again.

This was the kind of egg roll that made you question you’d ever want to eat again.

But I ALWAYS try to learn from those situations. So that’s a good thing, right.

Like for example, the time I dropped the marinara sauce in the hospital and mighta, sorta insinuated that my daughter did it.

But I learned a valuable lesson from it: next time I spill marinara sauce in a hospital, I won’t blame my daughter. (I’ll just have to hope my son is handy . . . )

See? Lesson learned!

Or the time I tried to make the hot dog smoothies . . . Oh wait, I didn’t actually learn a lesson from that one. Never mind.

But last week I DID learn a lesson. A very valuable one.

My son had a Quiz Bowl tournament the other day in a town a little over an hour from here. He was riding on the school bus. I was taking my car. Easy enough – PLUS, I could listen to some of my favorite tunes REAL LOUD.

But as is often the case, there was a small problem.

I was kinda hungry. So instead of making something to eat and take with me (the smart and economical thing) or picking up something on my way out of town (the slightly less smart thing), I decided I’d stop by the Sonic in a small town about 20 miles down the road (the very much lesser smart thing to do).

Well, it turned out that this particular Sonic, that does in fact have a breakfast menu, does NOT open until 9 a.m.

I was a bit perplexed. But oh well, there was a little convenience store across the highway. I figured they would have some of those really good bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. I mean, there is a federal law (that applied in the south, at least, that requires stores like this to carry a certain quota of greasy sort-of-food-type items, right?)

Apparently not.

But what they DID have was something that the lady behind the counter identified as an egg roll. There were about a half-dozen of them. Spinning in one of those spinning contraptions that keeps the food warm and the customers MESMERIZED if they watch them too long.

Hmmmmmm. And egg roll. For breakfast.

Well, you need to understand that I like non-breakfast food for breakfast, especially cheeseburgers.

But this wasn’t a cheeseburger. It was something that was shaped like an egg roll.

Despite that little nagging voice that was screaming in my head “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD AND EVEN THE WORLD BEYOND, DON’T EAT THE EGG ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Duly noted, I replied to that little voice. What does a voice know about food anyway?

Once in the car, I unwrapped my treasure – much like a starving man might unwrap an egg roll that he purchased from a convenience store. Oh wait . . .

As I pulled onto the highway, I took a bite, and my immediate reaction was . . .

. . . Hmmmmmm, that’s a peculiar taste.

I wasn’t sure if the people responsible for making such a product had used rat meat or if a rat had just laid its eggs inside the egg roll (rats do lay eggs, right?), but it was what I’d label as an exquisite taste.

In fact, it was about five miles on the wrong side of awful.

Or as we say in the south, it ain’t right.

I rolled down my window and heaved it as far as I could. And I watched in horror as a precious little deer pounced on my discarded egg roll, took a bite, and immediately keeled over.

Well, ok, so that last part didn’t really happen. But it could have.

So what’s the lesson I learned from all of that?

Never buy an egg roll for breakfast from a greasy convenience store that doesn’t have REAL breakfast food at 8:30 in the morning while traveling to a Quiz Bowl tournament.

See? A life lesson that can be applied throughout my life.

I’m a slave to numbers

I knew it had to happen. It was only a matter of time. The only question was, when . . .

You know how it is. You’ll be going along in life, everything seems to be smooth and calm. And there you are, just rocking along, when . . . WHAM! It hits you.

And that’s pretty much what happened to me.

I was driving down the road, minding my own business. I pulled into a McDonald’s to use the bathroom and get a drink. And then . . WHAM!

I found myself ordering a Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

I eat 3 (Three!!!) Filet-O-Fish sandwiches a year . . . whether I want to or not.

I eat 3 (Three!!!) Filet-O-Fish sandwiches a year . . . whether I want to or not.

Yeah, I know. You’re wondering . . .was I sick? Perhaps drunk? Taking strong meds? Or perhaps I was coerced by a band of wayward pirates who had somehow taken a wrong turn, floated up some small tributary, and had stumbled into a McDonald’s tucked cozily away in a Valero station.

Nope, nope, aaaaand nope.

Yes, I did HAVE to eat it. But not for any of those reasons.

First, I just like saying the name. It just kinda, sorta rolls off your tongue without really rolling off at all. Try it for yourself . . .

Fillet. O. Fish

See?

But it goes much deeper than that. You see, I pretty much eat three Filet-O-Fish sandwiches from McDonald’s every year. And that’s a pattern that’s pretty much been in place for as long as I can remember. (Or at least as long as I’m willing to admit to. Whichever came first).

But it’s not just those semi-delicious sandwiches from the Golden Arches that I have quotas on, there are other things, too.

For instance, anytime I go out to eat, I ALWAYS have to get at least two refills. Now that only counts for a sit-down place.

I eat at KFC at least twice a year, usually against my better judgment. But what can I do? There’s a quota in place.

I always talk to at least one person I don’t know on every Wal Mart trip. And I refuse to talk to at least one person I do know.

Ha! Just kidding. On the second part, anyway. On the first half, I just can’t quite help myself. So in this category I guess I should say, I talk to at least one person on each trip that I don’t know whether THEY want me to or not.

I have to hit the sign at the entrance to the track every time I enter to run there. And two more times on the way out.

I eat at least 52 cheeseburgers a year.

Oh wait! I meant, I want to eat 52 cheeseburgers a year. I wouldn’t actually do that . . .

I don’t actually count ice cubes, but I do cram as much ice in every drink that I have (non-dairy, of course). I mean, the ice is free, so why not spoil myself with it?

I also number my running socks so that I can rotate them on a regular basis.

My son thinks this is weird, but what does he know? I mean, how can I respect the opinion of someone who won’t eat at least bags of pork rinds a year?

 

 

 

 

 

My son enlightens older sister on THE J WORD

I found myself in an unfamiliar place the other night – the laundry room. I try to visit it as seldom as I can, which is only hen I run out of clean underwear. (And what I’ve come to realize is that wearing underwear once – and yes, sometimes even twice, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re dirty . . . )

But on this particular evening I was folding clothes when I was witness of and, at times, even a party to, a rather interesting conversation between my 10-year-old son and my 21-year-old daughter.

My son, who is in fifth grade, was enlightening my daughter on ALL of the “BAD WORDS.” bad words

Now keep in mind, this is a kid who up until last year thought “dang” was a curse word. Of course, the way I use it at times, it might be, but that’s another story . . .

On this evening, my son boasted that he now knew ALL of the bad words.

So, like any intrigued person would, my daughter asked him what some of them were.

“I don’t want to say them,” my son replied with angelic modesty.

“Just tell me one,” she pleaded.

But after he turned down a no-parent-in-sight cussing opportunity for a second time, she developed a new strategy. “What does one of them start with?”

“Well, there’s the J Word,” my son offered.

“The J Word?” she asked puzzled.

I was kinda scratching my head, too. And all I could think was, uh oh, those young scalawags have developed some NEW bad words since I was in middle school. Apparently, I wasn’t alone.

“The J Word? . . . I really don’t know what that is.” And then, “Dad! What’s a bad word that starts with the letter J?!”

Uh-oh. I was like a kid stuck with his hand writing bad words in the cookie jar.

“What?” I answered. I feigned not paying attention to one of the most interesting conversations of the first half of the 21st century.

After asking again, I told her I didn’t know ANY bad words that started with ANY letters.

She said I shouldn’t lie, and asked me again.

I don’t know, I answered. How about “juxtaposition?”

“I don’t think so,” she said.

“Jumping Jahosafat?” I suggested.

She wasn’t impressed.

Then I heard some conspiratorial whispering. This couldn’t be good.

“Jupiter!” I was hoping to derail the thing that was happening that I didn’t want to happen.

I heard a confused “What?” coming from my daughter. Then more whispering. Followed by an exasperated “That’s not even a bad word!”

And with that, their conversation was over.

And I was left with yet another J Word – just-as-well-that-I-don’t-know.

 

 

 

 

Son’s favorite fish dish reveals poor parenting protocol

My son's favorite fish turned out to be a bit of a surprise.

My son’s favorite fish turned out to be a bit of a surprise.

At what point do you, as a parent, realize that you’ve (ahem, how can I say this nicely) totally flubbed up? You usually don’t need a card in the mail to let you know, plus I’m not sure Hallmark makes a card that says like “Despite you stupid parent that you are, I plan to go very far. Signed, your scarred-for-life child.”

Has that ever happened to you? You know, where you kids do something and you realize, (as David Beirne would say) How did I get HERE?!!

I had that experience just last week.

I was sitting in a high school press box before I began broadcasting a game, and my son was with me. And as it is with every home game, we were enjoying a meal. This time it was a southern favorite of fried catfish and several sides, like hush puppies, cole slaw, and beans. And there was a criminally-rich cake of some sort that I won’t EVEN get into here, although I did get into it there . . .

Anyway, it was during the meal that I realized I had not just fallen short as a parent, but that I would probably struggle to raise a plant.

While we’re sitting there eating, my son says, very matter-of-factly, “This is the only kind of fish I like.”

I was stunned. I didn’t realize he liked fish at all, much less catfish.

Woohoooo!!!! Time to CEL-A-BRATE!!!

But just as I stood up and started to climb on the table and start gyrating to what was sure to become a You Tube sensation, I made the terrible mistake of asking a follow-up question – That’s great. I didn’t know you liked catfish?

And that’s when I was smacked in the face with this:

“No, not catfish. Hush puppies. That’s my favorite kind of fish.”

The room became instantly silent.

As quietly and discreetly as I could, I climbed down from the table, crawled UNDER the table, and looked in vain for any lethal gas that I could quickly inhale.

Ohhhhhhh boy. Has it really come to this?

I guess it’s time that I faced up to a few other (ahem, how can I put this nicely) “enhancements” that I MIGHT have passed along to my son in hopes of getting him to eat or . . . heck, I don’t know. Do something.

First of all, broccoli isn’t made of chocolate. Neither are carrots.

President Obama isn’t actually the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

You’re not, in fact, put in jail if you miss a question on a math test.

Babies don’t come from Amazon.com.

The health of my heart isn’t ACTUALLY determined by how many hours of football I watch.

Or how many cheeseburgers I eat.

The Shake the Weight device doesn’t actually work.

Oh wait! That’s not one I made up. Whew.

As you can see, I have fallen short as a parent. BUT, I plan to do better. From here on out, I won’t sugarcoat anything. Or make up anything just to get him to manipulate him.

Of course, I can’t start until tomorrow. Afterall, it IS a federal law that kids have to be in bed by 7 p.m. . . .

 

 

 

My OCD is a bit OOC

I love technology. I’m a sucker the latest, bestest new gadgets that hit the market. In fact, I just bought a new smart phone. I MIGHT have it figured out by the time it’s time for me to upgrade to a new phone. Maybe . . .

But even though I love technology, I’m not always as crazy about some of the things that come along with it. For instance, I love to text just as much as the next teenager, but I’m not crazy about all the abbreviations. I’m about sick of all the LOLing and BFFing and IMOing and BTSOOMing.

Ahhhhhh. If I only had enough room at home to store THIS MUCH peanut butter. I'd be livin' the good life!

Ahhhhhh. If I only had enough room at home to store THIS MUCH peanut butter. I’d be livin’ the good life!

But there is one abbreviation that does still kinda ring true, and that’s OCD.

Sigh.

I suppose the fact that I’m all uptight about abbreviations might be a clue. In fact, I’m beginning to think that my OCD is a bit OOC – Out Of Control.

I’ve got to admit, I was doing a LOT better on the OCD front. I wasn’t having meltdowns if my sandwich wasn’t cut right. I didn’t lose sleep if my underwear wasn’t folded properly. And I never missed a beat if my plate wasn’t turned just so before I ate.

Well, ok, I’m lying on that last one. But I PROMISE I’m doing better on the others.

Well, I was, that is, until I was brought down by a simple food staple.

Peanut Butter.

Yep, ole Peter Pan got me.

It started simply enough. My son was eating a lot of peanut butter. So I would start buying the next jar before we ran out. BUT THEN I found myself buying the new jar ASAP after I finished a jar. Even though I buy the yacht-size jar, I JUST KNEW we would run out quickly if I didn’t buy the next jar.

Ok, I guess I can live with OCD in ONE AREA. Unfortunately, my daughter likes CHUNKY PEANUT BUTTER. So . . . then I started having to buy the auxiliary jar AS SOON AS we ate the last morsel of the current jar. In fact, in the peanut butter arena, I felt an uncontrollable urge to dash to the store RIGHT AWAY, day or night.

Maybe that’s not so bad. And maybe it wouldn’t have been either, if it hadn’t been for those darn trash bags. Yep, I soon found myself with a very pressing need to have a second package of trash bags on hand. And I sometimes found it hard to eat if I didn’t have a spare package on hand.

Well, maybe not hard to eat, but hard to do some other, less important things, like work, for instance.

And other items have been added to the OCD shopping list. Important stuff, like milk, bread, apples, Ding Dongs, Pop Tarts, and yes, even the drinks I put in my son’s lunch everyday.

And even and ESPECIALLY the ziplock bags I use to pack items in his lunch. If we should somehow fall under 500 bags . . . well, I don’t EVEN want to tell you what happens.

But I really didn’t realize I had a problem . . . until the other day, when I found myself wanting to have a THIRD jar of peanut butter on hand.

Ok. So maybe we have a wee little problem here . . .

But I swear I’m working on it. I REFUSED to let myself buy that third jar! See? I’m already making progress.

Of course, it is Friday, and I may or may not be wearing my Friday underwear.

And there’s a good chance at lunch I won’t rotate my plate in ANY direction to have it just right before I start eating.

Well, I won’t rotate it IF I set it down right to start with . . .

Grilling with my son

My son often likes to help me around the grill, which is kind of strange because he won’t actually eat anything that’s cooked on the grill. I tried cooking some peanut butter on the grill one time, but I’ve been forbidden from ever speaking of that incident.

So it was no real surprise when he wanted to help me grill some hamburgers and hot dogs on Labor Day.

We set the grill up in the shade, and placed two lawn chairs nearby in the shade. It wasn’t outrageously hot, anyway, so it was actually quite pleasant sitting out. burgers on the grill

We got the charcoal lit, but not without some trepidation about just exactly how high the explosion from the lighter fluid might be.

The fire began to settle down, and so did we, father and son sitting next to each other, me sipping an iced tea.

We sat in silence for a while. Comfortable. Content.

“Dad, do you think I’d make a good dentist?” my son asked.

I told him of course he would. He was smart enough to do it, and his literal and direct bedside manner would . . . well, he’s smart enough to do it.

There were some reservations on his part. “I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’d like to have my hands in other people’s mouths.”

I didn’t think it would be that bad, I said. It would just be part of the job. Then I suggested that instead of a dentist he might become an orthodontist.

“What do they do,” he asked.

They’re the doctors that put braces on people’s teeth, I explained.

He wasn’t sure about that one either. We sat quietly for a few more minutes. I worked on the fire, trying to get it just so before starting to cook.

“Dad, what’s it like being an adult,” asked my son, now on a completely different topic.

Hmmmmm. How do you answer that one? In fact, I hadn’t really thought about it.

Basically you just work and pay bills and take care of kids, I said jokingly. But I instantly wished I hadn’t because I could see how serious he was.

It’s good. You get to do things that you like to do. You get to visit friends and go places . . .

“But I already get to do all of that,” he pointed out.

Hmmmmm. He had me there.

But you get to do other things too, I said, much like a used car salesman trying to gloss over a few minor dents to make a car look a little more appealing to a hesitant customer.

You get to do work that you want to do, work you enjoy. And you get to have a family.

We returned to the quiet as he digested all of that.

It was time to put the burgers on, and again, we sat in silence, the only sound the sizzle of meat on the grill.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Labor Day weekend.

My son then broke the silence. “Dad, when you’re in your seventies, will you tell me what it’s like to be a granddad?”

I’d love to, I replied. And honestly, I couldn’t think of anything that would make me happier.

Son finds use for seldom used words

You know the old cliché of boys hiding under their covers in bed, reading comic books with a flashlight.

Well, I think my son might be doing that. But I’m afraid to pull the covers back because of what I might find him reading. I’m a bit worried that I might catch him reading  (are you sitting down?) a thesaurus.

My son has the uncanny ability to use a weird word at an awkward time.

My son has the uncanny ability to use a weird word at an awkward time.

I don’t suspect this because he seems to be lacking sleep or anything. I mean, normally I don’t make him go to bed until the late movie is over anyway.

Nor is he putting on a display of big six-syllable words.

Nope. Instead, he finds a way to employ some seldom-used words in rather unique ways.

For example, just a few weeks ago we were watching some Arena Football on TV. Yes, I understand subjecting him to non REAL football could be part of the problem. But as my grandmother would have said, Arena Football beats NO football all to pieces.

So we’re sitting there watching the game (well, I was watching the game. I think he was reading a book on physics or something). He asked me what the score was.

Now, I understand that they do, in fact, keep score, in Arena Football. But I was really just watching just to be watching football. In fact, I barely even knew who was playing, much less who was winning. But I looked at the score on the screen and told him.

His reply? “Oh, no. I bet the losing team is heartstricken?”

Uh? Heartstricken?

My first thought was that I need to ban him from watching Lifetime movies with me anymore.

My second thought was that I’m not sure that the players in Arena Football keep up with the score much more than I do.

Ok, so maybe the players do get a bit down after a loss. But I’ve got a feeling that by the time they’ve showered and cleaned up, they’ve probably shaken off any strickeness of the heart by the time. In fact, they’re probably ready to grab a beer and relax for a bit.

But his take on football doesn’t stop there. Last night, I was watching some of the opening games of the college football season. I don’t really like any of the teams that were playing, but I think it’s a law or something that when there’s football on TV, then your TV has to be turned to football. Or maybe it’s in the constitution or some such document.

Anyway, I had on the game between South Carolina and Texas A&M, and I’m thinking how great it is to have football back after so many months away.

It was at this point my son turns to me and says, “I don’t really like college football all that much.” When I asked him why not, he said, “I don’t like all the hoopla surrounding it.”

All the hoopla surrounding it . . . ?

Ok, I’ll admit that if Howard Cosell and Hillary Clinton had a kid together, my son might be him. But using the word “hoopla”? Has it come to that?

I think my son’s vocabulary can best be summed up with this story. As we were leaving my office the other day, my son was carrying his backpack over his shoulder, but was carrying a book he was reading in his hand. As we left, someone asked him if the book was good. His reply?

“I’m really not sure yet. I’m just in the wee pages.”

The wee pages? What is he doing, spending his nights flying to Scotland after I go to sleep. “Ah, lad, tis a good book so far, but I find myself only in the wee pages.”

The co-worker said that wasn’t a word you hear very often. “Now,” I said, “you understand my life.”

That experience led me to only one conclusion. I need to buy that boy some comic books!