A Dynamic Duo

Two of the most dreaded things in life:

Going to the doctor…

And waiting.

Pair those two things together and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Especially when you add a couple of kids to the mix.

Then things really start to get ugly.

Yeah.

It’s a disastrous combination.

Meow Mix tastes like crap!

When is that guy coming in here again?

This, evidently, is how my boys enjoy passing the painful expanse of time waiting for the doctor.

Eww! Who farted?

Are you sure it wasn’t you?

Poop smells terrible…ly good!

What is the matter with you?

I’m tired! And I’ve had too much caffeine!

The room goes silent for a brief moment before they move on to battling it out over the leather spinning stool.

Oooh! It’s so soft and smooth. It’s like hugging the inside of a cow!

(As a vegetarian, this thought is especially unpleasing to me.)

They direct their attention to whatever Nintendo DS game they’d brought along for the ride.

This level sucks! Freaking Mario! You suck so bad!

The door to the room opens, and my older child redirects his attention.

He accusingly points at the doctor and indignantly exclaims:

We’ve been waiting forever for you! What took so long?!?

Don’t talk to the doctor like that! I’ll slap you!

Here, I’ll take care of that.

And he slaps himself.

Can we go to 7-11 and get Slurpees after this?

I don’t think so. Stupidity equals no Slurpees. 

I’m gonna stick a cactus in your eye!

If your murder me, you’ll go to jail!

I’m gonna throw you off a three-story building! No, off a ten-story building! No, off the Empire State Building!  

(Note: this is not at all what I envision when I encourage them to aim high.)

Keep that up and you’re going to be on America’s Most Wanted.

What’s America’s Most Wanted?

At this point, the doctor good-naturedly interjects:

You don’t want to be on wanted posters in post offices all over the country, do you?

Ooh, yeah! I want to be on America’s Most Wanted!

Can you hurry up and give him his shots now?

I’ll throw you out the window!

No, you won’t.

Last time you had to get shots, you screamed like a girl!

Why you gotta be so rude?

Augh! Don’t you dare! Don’t you do it!

Hold still or they’re gonna send a football player in to tackle you for your shot!

Wanna go? Come on. I’ll take you down!

The doctor’s gonna whack you with his reflex hammer if you don’t knock it off.

Oh, yeah?

Hey, good job! You did it! 

And just like that, it was all over.

Can we go out to dinner?

Ha! Like I’m going to take anyone anywhere after that mayhem.

But at least we made it out of there without any of us ending up on America’s Most Wanted.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Have a fantastic weekend!~

Why settle for brawling at home when you can share the joy by brawling in public?

Why settle for brawling at home when you can share the joy by brawling in public?

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An Ode to an Oldie

I’m his favorite sister.

And he’s unquestionably my favorite brother.

This may be largely due to a technicality, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.

It’s sort of a process of elimination by default.

But I have to admit, it sure makes it easier when you only have one sibling to choose from.

It’s about to big a huge milestone birthday for this favorite brother of mine.

The big 4-0!

And with that said…

Happy Birthday, Dante!

My awesome, absolute favorite brother.

He is every bit as unique as his name.

But then, it’s not like anyone in my family is capable of doing normal very well.

He and I are obviously related.

Despite the fact he used to try to convince me I’d been adopted.

(News flash: We look far too much alike for that to have been true. So there!)

Sure, he’s more than a whole foot taller than me.

(He enjoys teasing me about how I’d clearly stunted my growth by becoming a vegetarian at too young an age.)

But we both like to write.

(Yup! He writes, too!)

And we’re both funny.

(His favorite word is haha.)

At least, I think I’m funny.

Hmmmm…

I must be pretty funny, because he’ll typically reply to my texts with one of three responses:

  1. haha
  2. lol
  3. funny

He’s got a delightfully dry sense of humor, but he truly is a man of few words.

For this reason, we tend to text far more frequently than we talk on the phone.

Whenever we do have an actual phone conversation, he’ll mutter an occasional word here and there.

Which helps reassure me he didn’t get eaten alive by his feisty dog mid-conversation.

And then he’ll proceed to breathe intermittently into the phone like Darth Vader.

Oh, well.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up.

Growing up, he was paradoxically my best pal…

And worst nightmare.

Thanks to my favorite brother, I learned how to swim.

Or perhaps more accurately…

I learned to swim because he’d otherwise have kept trying to drown me in our backyard pool.

For fun, of course.

Because this, apparently, is what bored children do to keep themselves entertained.

(Note to parents: Think carefully before you send your kids outside with painfully vague instructions, like “Go find something to do”. Nothing good ever comes out of this.)

We’d make the most of our excruciatingly short pool season in New York by excitedly jumping in as soon as the pool temperature warmed up to a bone-chilling 59 degrees.

Hey, it seemed like a totally bright at the time.

But this may well be one factor in why there are clearly some things wrong with us.

Bloodlines run deep, but crazy runs deeper.

He also got me permanently banned before I’d ever had the chance to play an instrument.

My parents made the fatal error of allowing him to play a trombone in the school band.

He wasn’t exactly what one might call a natural.

The odds of him winning a medal for his performance weren’t sounding very favorable.

And I suspect I wasn’t the only one who’d felt that way.

A year or so later, we ended up selling that trombone to the first person who showed up at our garage sale, just to make it go away.

But alas, so started my future path to choir.

At least I wasn’t making everyone’s eardrums bleed.

And then there’s what I affectionately call Dante’s Shop of Horrors.

He used to set up shop in his bedroom, with an assortment of toys, stuffed animals, and other goodies on display, in an attempt to make a few quick bucks.

Did I mention most of the items in his shop already belonged to me?

But I’d always feel sorry for him, and so I’d end up buying my own crap back out of pity.

After all, the boy had a real hunger for life.

He’d count his earnings and walk to the store to stock up on more crap.

Including an assortment of treats, like dozens of those cheap apple pies that contained no real apples.

Money well spent, I know.

But then he would always surprise me with cute little stuffed animals he’d won from the claw machine.

Which made up for a lot.

Like when he’d change the channel on the one tv in the house and kill my few remaining brain cells with never-ending marathons of Beavis and Butthead.

(Those brain cells have yet to return.)

Or when he’d blare Metallica’s Enter Sandman on repeat, shaking and rattling the house all odd hours of the night until the vibrating floor would eventually lull me to sleep.

(I’ve known every word of that song by heart since 7th grade.)

But I think of him affectionately whenever I hear She’s a Maniac.

(It’s one of his favorites.)

And whenever I hear Journey’s Any Way You Want It, I can’t help bursting out in laughter.

(I still can’t figure out why he hates that one with such passion.)

I can’t help myself.

I always crank that one up and sing along at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on the radio.

I wonder if, subconsciously, I like that one only because I know it annoys the hell out of him.

It’s entirely possible.

Aren’t siblings the best?

Anyway, I’ll leave you all with this wonderful picture of baby me playing nicely with my big brother.

(And just to be clear, I was sooo not adopted.)

~Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!~

Don't feel too bad for him. He probably started it...

Don’t feel too bad for him. He probably started it…

Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell!

Evidently, this simple three-word phrase is heavily frowned upon in some places.

Especially in Bible Belt country.

And especially when used by a child.

In school.

(Gasp!)

How do I know this?

Well, from recent experience, of course.

I honestly don’t believe that is, by any stretch of the imagination, the worst thing a person could possibly say.

At the same time, I also don’t personally go around telling all my friends to go to hell…

Plenty of people struggle to speak a single, coherent sentence without the added flair of numerous, strategically placed curse words.

I am not one of those people.

Yes, I do occasionally use such words here on my blog for comedic impact.

But not in my everyday conversations.

And certainly not when speaking to my kids.

My child-free brother, on the other hand, ironically tends to pepper his speech so heavily with curse words that nobody even seems to notice anymore.

Including him.

Or my kids.

It’s like our brains have been trained to filter through to register only the important information.

In fact, I asked my sons whether they ever notice their uncle cursing.

After careful consideration, they both answered at once:

No!

But then my older one paused for a brief moment before correcting himself.

Well, there was that one time, on Easter.

One time?

And on Easter, of all days?

Seriously?

But that was more a question of curiosity, on my part.

Besides, my poor Easter-cursing brother lives too far away to be all that big of an influence.

If anything, YouTube is by far the bigger offender of the two.

It’s paradoxically helpful and a bad influence, all at once.

Damn it, YouTube!

But anyway…

This past Monday, I received a somber phone call from the assistant principal informing me that my little darling would be spending the entire day in in-school suspension for this uncharacteristic transgression.

I had to marvel at the severity of the consequence.

And, of course, I also had to question how that statement had even come about in the first place.

Oh, that!

Yeah.  

So-and-so said “hi!” to me in a weird voice.

So I told him to “go to hell”!

Right.

Because I can’t imagine any other plausible way to respond to such an appalling greeting.

And the best part?

That’s actually the kid’s real voice.

And, the child seemed to find this response humorous enough to laugh.

Geez.

The joys of middle school.

The struggle of trying to figure out who you are.

The struggle of trying to discover where you belong.

The struggle of simply trying to fit in.

This, evidently, is where the smartypants humor kicks in.

Who doesn’t love the class clown?

I know I’m a sucker for humor.

If someone makes me laugh, they’re my friend for life.

There’s no escaping my friendship.

Ever.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

At any rate, I had to attend a conference at school the next morning.

And I had to put on real pants before going, because it seemed like it would probably be a good day to do so.

Perhaps I should’ve worn my World’s Okayest Mom shirt, too, but I didn’t think about it beforehand.

At least I didn’t burst out in laughter at any point during the meeting.

But I wonder if I should’ve pointed out that Hell is also a place in Michigan, and so perhaps my child was merely recommending a vacation idea…?

Or perhaps not.

Oh, well.

At least this makes for good writing material, right?

So…

If Hell is a place in Michigan…

Is it okay to tell someone to go to Michigan?

Sigh.

On a side note, maybe we really ought to go to Hell…

Hell, Michigan, that is.

Hey, you have to admit, it does sound rather intriguing…

~Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you all have a heavenly break from it all!~

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Spring Break Stupor

Spring is almost here!

Sure, it’s still technically winter.

But it’s already Spring Break.

Ummm…

Yay?

The house looks like a tornado zipped through it.

The laundry is piling up to the ceiling.

And being the unofficial official referee of this crazy clan is taking its toll on me.

Mommy needs a drink.

If this is a preview of what summer holds, I may be tempted to run away with the circus.

ASAP.

What’s that?

Joining the circus is no longer an option?

Damn you, Ringling Bros!

Damn you for not keeping up with the times and taking away that last glimmer of hope.

Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love Spring Break.

No, actually…

I love some parts of Spring Break.

No homework.

No teacher emails.

No phone calls from the principal.

I’m pretty well convinced we are on the school’s speed dial system.

So yeah, I’m a fan of any type of school-related break.

Besides, sleeping in is always a nice luxury.

Even if it is only until 7am.

Hey, it’s progress.

Anyway…

On Day Oneboth boys managed to land themselves in time out without any electronic privileges.

But then they behaved well enough later in the week for us to actually get out a few times.

And so I found myself going places I’d rather not go.

Like Chuck E Cheese.

Home of the Yuck E Cheese pizza.

That inedibly nasty excuse for pizza always sits in my stomach like a sinking rock.

What’s in that crap, anyway?

On second thought, I’d rather not know.

And then there’s Dave and Buster’s.

Two hours and a zillion dollars later, we walked out of there with our prize:

A Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game that we could have purchased for $19.99 at any big box store.

But if we stayed home, the whole eating around the clock cycle of fun would’ve continued, à la Hungry, Hungry Kiddos.

Let me tell ya, that gets old really fast.

Between the demands and lack of gratitude from at least one child at any given time, it’s been a most rewarding week.

Get back to school already, will ya?

Spring has not quite sprung…

Daylight savings is about to begin…

And we’re running out of food and sanity.

Wait.

Break’s almost over?

Already?

Noooooo!!!

~Happy Friday, everyone! If you’ve also had the pleasure of being on “break” with kids this week, I hope your sanity is still intact. Have a wonderful weekend!~

Spring Break is fun! Spring Break is awesome! Spring Break is...ugh, never mind.

Spring Break is fun! Spring Break is awesome! Spring Break is…ugh, never mind.

Sanctimoniously Sacrilegious

Chaos.

Calamity.

Arguing, brawling, and squabbling.

All the way to church.

That’s right.

Church.

Once upon a time, my brother and I used to create the most unholy mayhem.

Frequently.

Even at church.

Especially at church.

Evidently, our less than role model type conduct was downright mortifying.

The car wouldn’t even be fully backed out the driveway before we’d initialize our ritualistic slugfest.

Usually, it would begin with one of us discretely cracking an Etch-a-Sketch over the other one’s head.

And things would only get more exciting once we’d exit the confines of the vehicle.

While everyone around us would break into hymns, we’d provide the accompanying music-

Armpit farts.

Not the time or place?

You don’t say.

About to receive Communion?

Good time to get rumbling!

Donation money basket going around?

Decisions, decisions.

Confession time was always particularly challenging.

With plenty to confess, we’d have to keep it vague.

So I’d simply just apologize for fighting with my brother.

But there were definitely things left unsaid.

Then we’d get back to engaging in a few rounds of bloody knuckles, sometimes even throwing in a headlock or two.

We were easily distracted and equally as easily amused.

What can I say?

We were hands-on type of kids.

In the rare moments of sitting still, we’d pray.

Pray for service to end so we could take our free-for-all out to the parking lot.

It’s fair to say we were embarrassing to be around, as we failed to exemplify any holy qualities, in any public setting.

On the positive side, we managed to obey The Ten Commandments.

Mostly.

I mean, at least the most important one-

Thou shall not kill.

And we didn’t kill anyone.

Surely, that counted for something.

But then again…

We were siblings, after all, so there was never a guarantee that wouldn’t change at any moment.

Ultimately, my parents probably considered themselves lucky…

Even if only for the fact that my brother and I never once attempted to bathe or swim in the tub of holy water during Mass.

Hallelujah!

~Hey friends! I’ve got a favor to ask of you. I just set up a Facebook account for Comically Quirky! And I’m on Twitter, too. Please drop by and follow me, and I’ll follow you back! You can leave your links in the comments. Thanks a million, and have an awesome weekend!~

Naughty, nice, and everything in between...

Naughty, nice, and everything in between…

Two Romeos and a Mob of Juliets

Valentine’s Day may be a few days past, but testosterone is still in the air.

Did I say testosterone?

I meant to say, love.

Truly.

At any rate, my two boys have been in full-throttle paramour mode, with the unfettered spirit of Valentine’s Day lingering.

The younger one bashfully leaving anonymous gifts of stuffed animals and chocolate to a special someone before sprinting off in the opposite direction.

The older one brazenly standing outside, waiting for the bus, come hell or hypothermia.

One gifting with presents.

The other gifting with presence.

One shy.

One bold.

Very bold.

With his less-than-subtle, sudden need for fresh air on a rainy, 35-degree morning, it leaves little question to the motives of Romeo Number One.

Every day before and after school, this child stands outside at the bus stop.

Did I mention he doesn’t even ride the bus?

Let me tell ya, this boy has quite the collection of girls.

One minute, he’s going out for ice cream and a movie with one girl.

The next thing I know, he’s talking on the phone for hours…

With a different girl.

And then the next day, he’s eagerly waiting to escort yet another girl to/from the bus stop.

It’s good to have options, right?

Meanwhile, he avidly avoids Stalker Girl, who freaks the hell out of him with her steady stream of obsessively psychotic texts throughout the day.

But getting back to my sweet younger son.

Romeo Number 2 spent the day before Valentine’s Day freaking out over whether to get a card or gift for a certain girl that he thinks he likes.

Did I mention that she used to like him…

Back when he didn’t think he liked her very much?

That’s right.

She liked him first when he didn’t know if he liked her.

And now he likes her.

He thinks.

Which left him with a dilemma.

To buy a card or not to buy?

Or get a gift or give her nothing?

To tell, or not to tell?

Torn between craving the glorious attention…

Or hiding under his desk like a turtle retracting into its shell.

The joys of girl trouble and tween issues. 

It’s soooo complicated.

Both of my boys spend hours each morning in front of the mirror like mini Adonises, getting their hair just right…

All while protesting showers and forgetting to put on deodorant.

Ah, the sweetness of childhood amour.

Paired up with the joy of adolescence, it’s a sure recipe for…

Well…something.

Love?

Romance?

Stinky love?

As in Love Stinks, that song from The Wedding Singer?

Except I highly doubt Adam Sandler was singing about adolescent hygiene.

Teenage lust.

Isn’t it great?

Oh, but it gets better!

Romeo Number One will soon be trying out for School Mascot!

Which is technically part of the school’s Spirit Team.

Which means being part of the Cheerleading Squad.

As in, being the only guy among all those cheerleaders. 

Coincidence?

I think not.

Love is still in the air, and my two Romeos are on the loose.

Perhaps we ought to move to Utah and start a polygamist colony…

Love is still in the air...

Love is still in the air…

Tell Me No Lies

I had time to kill, as I waited for the bell to ring.

A long overdue heart to heart chat with an old childhood friend was decidedly in order.

And so the questions began.

Will I win the lottery this week?

Cannot predict now.

Will I be happy this year?

Don’t count on it.

(Ouch.)

Will we go on an amazing vacation this year?

It is decidedly so.

Will I be famous someday?

Outlook good.

(I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.)

Will I win the lottery?

As I see it, yes.

Will my writing career blossom this year?

It is certain.

(Whew!)

Will I get run over by a tractor?

Outlook good.

Will I get mauled by a bear?

Most likely.

(Good God.)

Is the sky orange?

Signs point to yes.

Will I win the lottery this year?

You may rely on it.

(I’m liking the consistency on this one.)

Will the Cubs ever win the World Series again?

Without a doubt.

(Cubs fans, rejoice!)

Will I get sucked up by a tornado?

Outlook not so good.

(Way to burst my bubble.)

Should I buy a pet dolphin?

My sources say no.

(Damn it!)

Will Donald Trump be our next President?

Cannot predict now.

Will Hillary Clinton be our next President?

Reply hazy. Ask again later.

Will Homer Simpson be our next President?

Signs point to yes.

(Would that really be such a bad thing?)

Will I be stuck in No Man’s Land for a while?

Better not tell you now.

Will I get kicked by a cow?

Without a doubt.

Will I ever see a real, live unicorn?

Outlook good.

(Ha! In your face, doubters!)

Am I going to Hell?

Cannot predict now.

(Fair enough.)

Will 2016 be my best year yet?

Very doubtful.

Will 2016 at least be a good year?

You may rely on it.

Will I win the lottery?

It is decidedly so.

(And there you have it.)

The car door swings open and jolts me from my thoughts.

“Why are you talking to my Magic 8 Ball?” my older son asks.

“Because I need help, buddy. I need lots of help,” I tell him.

After all, the sky is orange, Homer Simpson is about to become our next president, and I’m in danger of being mauled by a bear in the very near future.

Clearly, I need all the help I can get.

But it’s okay.

I’ll soon be able to get the best help money can buy… once I win the lottery.

The Magic 8 Ball told me so!

But what if I can't handle the truth?

But what if I can’t handle the truth?

Laundry Loot

Things I found in my son’s pocket today:

1-Green Crayola crayon
3-Starbursts wrappers
1-SweeTarts wrapper
2-Earplugs
1-Tooth

A tooth?!?

laundry loot = countless creative opportunities

laundry loot = countless creative opportunities

 

High on Scented Markers

Smell the rainbow!

Okay, that just sounds wrong. But it works for Skittles, with their Taste the rainbow slogan.

Oh well. At least there’s still the joy of sniffing. Repeatedly.

Good old Mr. Sketch markers.

I came across them a couple weeks ago at Target, and a wave of nostalgia hit me hard. Man, I used to love those things!

Watermelon and licorice were among my childhood favorites, but cherry and grape were great, too.

In retrospect, I’m surprised I never tried to swipe a pack from school; the obsession was that strong.

The best part of elementary school was art class, because that’s where the treasure was kept. That’s right. The stash of Mr. Sketch markers lived in the art room.

I still wonder to this day what kind of delusional teacher thought it was a good idea for each table of six kids to share a single pack of those delectable markers.

Discreet pig-tail pulling ensued over who got which color. The occasional fist fight would break out, too.

Was one of those marker colors by chance called Blood Eraser? You know, one that smelled like antibiotic ointment from the first aid kit?

Elementary school ended far too soon.

But one incredibly awesome day in 9th grade Honors English, a girl named Jen brought a pack of Magic Scent Crayola crayons to class.

One of the crayons was appropriately named Dirt, but I personally preferred Bubble Gum and Banana. It wasn’t quite the same, yet the wonderful memories quickly came flooding back.

It was the best 55 minute class in my entire four years of high school.

Sadly, the Magic Scent line was discontinued a year later. Turns out kids were eating the crayons. Evidently, it just wasn’t fun enough to take a whiff and then draw something creatively cool.

No, those renegades had to go and eat the whole pack of crayons (and probably the box itself, too) and ruin it for all kids, big and small.

And really, parents. Shame on you. That’s like handing your toddler a Lotso Bear plush from Toy Story 3 and expecting it to not have the strawberry-scented stuffing eaten out of it like cotton candy.

But hey, at least the crayons were non-toxic! Unlike that Chinese-imported stuffed bear.

Anyway…

Yes, I bought the markers. They weren’t even all that cheap. Eight dollars for a pack of 12 markers. Which fool spends that much on a set of markers? Oh, right. That would be me.

The chance to relive my childhood clearly justified the ridiculous price tag, though, because buying those markers turned out to be the highlight of my day.

When the kids came home from school, I hid the markers in my closet.

I’ll eventually share.

Maybe.

Truth be told, I’m enjoying them. Perhaps even a tad bit too much.

Which leaves me to wonder- how is it that I once got carded for buying canned air, but this is somehow okay?

I’m blissfully buzzed…from the sheer delight of re-experiencing one of childhood’s greatest pleasures!

Mr. Sketch Markers

Mr. Sketch Markers. Mmm Mmm Good!