Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reading Between the Lies

Kids are not very good at lying, but this is only because they haven't had as many years of practice as their parents.  Parents love to lie to their kids.  Well, let's face it, parents simply love to lie.  But it's so much more fun when someone believes you, so we tell the lies to the most gullible people we know.

Parent: You better be good because Santa is watching and if you're bad you'll get nothing but a lump of coal in your stocking.
Kid:  What's coal?
Parent: I meant bologna loaf.
Kid: Eeew!  No!

Parent: If you leave your tooth under your pillow, the Tooth Fairy will come at night and leave you a quarter.
Kid: My friend Amber said the Tooth Fairy left her a dollar!
Parent: Amber is a liar.

Kid: Why can't I have Dr. Pepper?
Mom: It's bad for you.
Kid: Then why does Dad drink it?
Dad: It's only bad for kids.  Now finish your McNuggets.   

When Buzz was three, we were on a long flight to Kansas to visit Lois's parents.  Buzz kept getting out of his seat and wouldn't hold still.  Finally I whispered to him (so Lois couldn't hear), "If you don't stay in your seat, the pilot is going to come back here and yell at you."  We didn't have any more trouble with him the rest of the flight. 

Lois's uncle, Dr. Teeth, is an orthodontist.  At a family reunion a few months ago, he told all of the kids that if you don't brush your teeth, bacteria will get in your mouth and eat the food left on your teeth.  What happens after you eat?  That's right, you poop.  And where do you think the bacteria will poop?  That's right, IN YOUR MOUTH!  For all I know, this is actually true, but I don't care because whenever Buzz or Rocky give us any trouble about brushing, all we have to do is remind them of what Uncle Dr. Teeth said. 

So we shouldn't be all that surprised when our kids start to invent falsehoods of their own.  Has your kid ever told you that he hasn't been in the chocolate stash when there are tell-tale signs all over his face?  A while ago I caught Rocky with his finger in his nose.  I said, "Don't, Rocky."  His reply, "I wasn't!"
"You weren't what?"
"I wasn't picking my nose." 
"Who said anything about picking your nose?"
"...Well, I wasn't."

A lot of times, my kids know when I'm full of it.
"Dad, what are you drinking?"
"Broccoli juice.  It's really good.  Do you want some?"
"No it isn't, it's Dr. Pepper!"

"Dad, are you eating chocolate?"
"No, I'm chewing tobacco."
"Oh, I mean, I'm eating broccoli."
"It smells like chocolate."
"Huh.  That's weird."  

Studies have shown that it is the intelligent kids who are the most effective at lying because it takes a strong intellect to recognize the truth and then invent a plausible alternate reality.  So think about that the next time your kid lies to you.  And if they're not lying to you, that just means they're smarter than you are and you haven't figured it out yet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Spews Forth

My brother Fritz pointed out to me that it has been over six months since my last post.  He apparently thought that six months was a long time.  It's all a matter of perspective, though.  I mean, if we're talking about how often I shave, then yes, I suppose some people would say that six months is a long time.  But if we're talking about how often I shave my legs, then I think six months is just about right, right?

Anyway, I really just haven't come up with a lot of good material lately (and if I have any readers left, you can submit suggestions to  I might even read them!).  Usually something random pops into my brain, and then it starts writing itself. So I figured I'd just start typing and we'll see if what spews forth ends up being funny.  Spew is kind of a funny word, right?  Maybe I could just make a list of funny words.

Taco 12 Pack

Hmm... my list seems to have morphed into the Taco Bell menu.  Isn't that just the typical way of things? 

I suppose I should address the rather large elephant in the room and tell you how things went with my attempt at Veganism.  I am afraid that I did not successfully stay meat free for the full 40 days.  My downfall was cheating during my trip to DC.  Once I again tasted shrimp, chicken and beef (and I think an ostrich burger came into play too), there was just no going back.  And cheese, oh wonderful cheese.  There just weren't enough reasons left that I could think of to continue on with the experiment.  I did manage to stay away from Dr. Pepper for about 2 months, and I also managed somehow to get rid of the extra pounds that gradually snuck up on me since high school.  I suppose my body was afraid I might subject it to more tofu, collared greens, and flax seed.  But anyway, I am now once again happily eating food that once walked and frolicked and had parents.  And odds are that I probably ate their parents, too.  Mmm... tasty, tasty parents.

Lois, of course, is still faithfully eating only things which sprang forth from the ground.  I thought she was nearly cured when she mistook mustard greens for kale and had a very nasty green smoothie one morning (I mean, nastier than usual).  But no, she threw out the smoothie, used the remaining mustard greens in a miso soup, and right now she's probably happily crunching away on a raw zucchini.  And I am dying to try this braised partridge recipe I just found. 

And another thing:

Hoi Polloi

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Rob to Hate Less

I’ve always been a skinny guy, despite the fact that I make no efforts to watch what I eat, and I rarely exercise on purpose.  It has amused me over the last 10 years or so to be able to declare that I weigh the same as I did in high school.  For some reason, the people I say this to don’t often seem to appreciate how awesome this is.  In fact, more often than not their response has been, “I hate you, Rob,” or, “You suck, Rob,” or, “Stop posting your pie recipes on my weight loss blog, Rob.”  I really don’t understand people sometimes.  

Lois and I took Buzz and Rocky the other day to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.  They have a large platform scale, big enough for around 10 people to stand on at once and it will tell you which dinosaur you weigh the same as.  When I stepped on with Rocky, I was mildly surprised to discover that we tipped the scale to 210 pounds, which was only 30 pounds short of the Herrerasaurus.  Rocky doesn’t look like he weighs 60 pounds, but he is rather tall for a three year old.  What has Lois been feeding him anyway?  Rocky quickly got bored of standing on the platform for some reason, so he ran off to growl at a nearby Gargoyleosaurus.  This is where I went from mildly surprised to “What the…buh, wha?!?”.  The needle should have gone below Protoceratops (158 pounds), but it stopped well above him and was getting rather cozier than I thought appropriate with Tanycolagreus  (180 pounds).  

This cannot be.  I weigh the same as I did in high school, but I didn’t weigh 170 in high school.  The large bold letters in the middle of the scale proclaiming, “No Springs – Honest Weight” suddenly took on a mocking tone, which I found rather annoying.  

How did this happen?  Has the Pastrami Burger finally turned on me?  Or is it the fries?  Surely not my Westerner sandwich?  Yes, it has two meats, but how can something as delicious as beef brisket with Polish sausage be bad for you?  The whole thing is really a mystery.  Lois thinks I put too much cheese on my omelets, but I’d like to see you make a seven egg omelet with less than half a pound of cheese.  Sure you could do it, but then you might as well just give it to the dog, and why are you making omelets for your dog anyway?  But the most important question is, why do all my pants still fit?  

Okay, I suppose I’m not getting any younger, and I may have developed one or two bad eating habits.  But I really like my eating habits, which sounds a lot like eating rabbits and now I really want some hasenpfeffer.   Argh, no!  I think it may be time to go cold turkey, which also sounds really delicious, especially if it were on an onion roll with swiss cheese, mayo and mustard.  And some pastrami.  Gah!  This is not helping, and I could really go for two or three helpings right about now.  

My calendar says that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent which, according to my limited understanding of Catholic customs, is a tradition in which you choose a bad habit to give up for 40 days.  Then, I suppose at the end of the 40 days it’s party time again.  I’m not currently Catholic, but perhaps I could give this Lent thing a try.  Lois’s crazy Vegan diet is supposed to make people lose 10 pounds within the first three weeks.  I’m not going to be a Vegan, because we all know that Vegans are, I say, crazy.  But I’m going to act like a Vegan for 40 days starting tomorrow.  It will definitely be a challenge, but I suspect the crazy will find me after just a few days, and I’m counting on that to keep me going for the duration. 

This means no meat and no dairy.  And apparently, no Dr. Pepper.  I very patiently explained to Lois that there’s not a trace of meat or dairy in Dr. Pepper, and it even has real juice in it (somewhere).  But no, she insists that while not technically forbidden under the Vegan by-laws, sodas and anything with refined sugar are on the naughty list if I really intend to make this experiment work.   She also says that I should put in some exercise while I’m at it, but this is where I remind you that Lois is a Vegan and, therefore, crazy.  

I am going to allow myself to cheat a little bit.  I’m going to be traveling on business for a few days later this month and my company pays for my meals when I travel.  And well, when The Man is picking up the check, I’m having prime rib and lobster and I don’t care who knows it.  And probably cheesecake.  And while I’m cheating anyway, I find that a nice Dr. Pepper pairs well with those particular culinary items.  

Aside from that, I fully expect to make it through without even a… hang on, I just remembered that I still have some gruyere in the fridge.  It’s not quite midnight yet… time enough for a grilled cheese.  Hmm, I don’t think I can make it in time if I go out for a Dr. Pepper run.  Well, it’ll still be Tuesday somewhere by the time I get back.  Bye. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just when you think you know someone

After 11 years of marriage, Lois and I have gotten to know each other pretty well. I know that Lois likes her chocolate dark, her movies romantic, and the heat set to 72 degrees. I also know that when I get home from work, if I sneak up quietly to the room she’s in and then yell, “RAWR!” that it will scare the absolute bejeebers out of her, and I will be in trouble for anywhere from 1-3 hours.

One thing I did not know about Lois, however, something that she definitely did not disclose during our courtship and revealed only recently, was that she is a vegan. This came as quite a surprise to me. She hid it so well over the years, and I don’t know what she did with all that meat and dairy that I was sure she was eating.

Lois claims that she wasn’t a vegan before and only decided recently to try it out for a while. How does that even work? Maybe I’ll “decide” to try out having O positive blood for a while. Or maybe I'll “decide” that my astrological sign will be Virgo instead of Libra. And maybe I could just “decide” that I’m going to be a Democrat instead of a Republican. Balderdash.

Luckily Lois does not insist that the rest of us participate in the odd rituals associated with being a vegan, like the consumption of the green smoothie each morning. I don’t know what all she puts in there, but I know it includes copious amounts of spinach, a frozen banana, and a vile weed called kale. She claims that it is delicious, but she is a vegan after all, so I don’t know why I should believe anything she says.

About a year ago Lois’s sister, Chloe, had her wedding rehearsal dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant. Rather than ordering from a menu, the restaurant staff would regularly bring out various dishes and we would help ourselves. Some of Chloe’s friends from New York had flown in for the occasion, many of whom are vegetarians. They were all sequestered to a specific table so the staff could make sure to get the appropriate dishes to them. I remember how relieved I was not to be sharing the table with them. Not just because I’d have to eat their food, but because vegetarians are just weird, man. What do you even talk about with a vegetarian? And what if they tried to convert me? Would they be offended at how prominent my canine teeth are?

Without being overbearing, Lois has undoubtedly hoped that her new “healthy” lifestyle would rub off on me. On the contrary, however, for each healthy change Lois makes, I find myself needing to keep things balanced. When she ate only a salad for dinner the other night, I was compelled to make a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich to go along with my meatball sub. When she checked out Vegan Planet: 400 irresistible recipes with fantastic flavors from home and around the world from the library, I checked out Man Eats Man: the story of cannibalism. And for every batch of vegan cupcakes Lois makes, I shoot one of the neighborhood cats. Granted, I was going to do that last one anyway, so…

I'm not really sure how long Lois is going to keep this up.  I've been trying to entice her back to carnivorism, but subtlety isn't really my strong point.  If anything, the gusto with which I devoured that brace of pheasants the other night seems to have made her retreat even farther into her devotion to veganism.  In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have butchered them in the kitchen while Lois was hosting her book club in the next room.  And perhaps I should have taken more care to avoid getting blood on her Flirty apron.  On the plus side, as long as she remains vegan, that means more dark chocolate for me.