Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guide to Bachelorhood: Tip #3

Tip #3: Be “nice”.

Women develop plans for men in their head early on. They love nothing more than to have a guy around to help with chores and errands. Anything from washing dishes or doing laundry to building shelves or taking out the trash can help you gain a woman’s heart. They are just little, simple things, but they are key when trying to win a woman over. Soon they think to themselves, “Excellent, this guy can help me grocery shop, help me move in with him if things go well, and maybe even one day change our guest room into a nursery.” No. No he cannot. And do you know why? Because he’s read this. He’s wise to your trickery, ladies. 

The key to this tip is acting. If a girl can fake an orgasm, you can fake like you’re foreign to dish washing. But you must be careful here. Never let her see you do something that you never want to do again. This is something that needs to be set up well in advance. It’s a two-step process and if Step 1 is executed well enough, you’re in the clear. Step 2 is for emergency situations in which you may be assaulted by a pretty girl’s feelings and love. Ugh.

Step 1: Scare her off from the get go.

Yeah, women in a relationship love guys doing things for them, but they want to feel like they have earned it. While it may seem counter intuitive, doing or offering to do things for women you’re not with gets rid of them quick, fast and in a hurry. Some of them (known as bitches) will let you follow through with some offers. Don’t back down. Go to Sephora with them. Go pick up their dog from the vet. Drive them to and from the doctor and pick up their medication. Play your cards right and… Congratulations, you’re a desperate, clingy pushover! Way to get the hell out of the way of that potential girlfriend.
Ugh... Weekend chores.
However, if you didn’t execute that to perfection, you have just dug yourself into a bit of a hole. Proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Mess things up “accidentally.”

Nice work dumbass. You have failed Step 1 while also letting her know you are capable of doing a few select things. Luckily, if you took good notes, she doesn’t know you can perform tasks you absolutely despise and won’t assume you can do them. And, fortunately for you, two people high on illegal substances decided to fornicate 25 years ago and nine months later I began to develop (very) slowly to come to your rescue. So listen well, and EXECUTE this time. You are in very dangerous territory.

Now that you have a girl hanging around, (we’ll call her… “Bad Idea”) you’re in some trouble. Bad Idea was a bad idea from the start. She has not bought into your crappily acted charade of pretending to want to do things for her. But it’s okay, there’s still an out. 

At this point, she is doing a million things to manipulate you. Consider that a low end estimate. You will need to focus on just two of these things, one constant and one variable. She is determining whether you have interest in her (the constant; you clearly do), and she is sizing you up to see if you are a capable male specimen (the variable). By now, you clearly have fallen victim to all of Bad Idea’s traps. Who wouldn’t? She’s a seductress. She has pheromones, ovaries and boobs. It’s like Mike Tyson in his prime, fighting a midget dipped in concrete. It’s really not even fair. Those things have been making bad ideas seem great since the dawn of time (the physiological things, not Tyson and the midget). And because you didn’t run far enough or fast enough, she’s now asking you to perform every day tasks. Damn it. So, you have to attack the variable, if you can still see clearly through her trickery. Time to fake that orgasm.

Feed Fluffy? No problem!
You’ll need to focus and pay close attention to her for any chances to showcase your lack of skills here. Especially since she knows you are capable of some of the things you performed for her when trying to scare her off initially. So take the next dishwashing opportunity to break a couple glasses. Offer to fold some laundry and mismatch her socks. DVR the wrong show. Tell her all about the weird thing you watched Toodles, her dog, eat near the dumpster on your walk. Buy her the wrong tampons. Make sure to be openly proud of all of this.

“There’s eight dishes left still. That’s like a B! High five!”

“I just thought you would look cute with one pink sock and one black one. Kelly did it one time in Saved by the Bell.”

“I was going to record Dancing with the Stars, but then I remembered you liked that football player who was on it last season. So, when I saw that Dallas was playing Philadelphia I remembered his cousin twice removed was the backup guard for the Eagles. I knew you wouldn’t want to miss that!”

“That condom outside didn’t look used or anything, Toodles is going to be fine. I couldn’t believe he could swallow it! I like Toodles! …But yeah, I probably should have told you before he licked your face.” 

“I went to get tampons when I saw that bulk 2-ply toilet paper was on sale for even less! Phh, who the hell would buy tampons?!”

Now, unless you’re dating Jill Taylor from Home Improvement, you’re set. One day, your Bad Idea wants to get the reward she has earned by fooling you into liking her, the next day, you’re nothing but a story she tells to her friends. Now, you’re Bad Idea’s bad idea. Plus, you have TP for the next couple of months and can sleep a bit better knowing there are two less Twilight novelty glasses in existence. Victories all around.


If you look closely enough at anyone, you are going to find scars. I don’t care how smooth and fine their skin may be, everyone has one scar. Most go unnoticed by anyone other than the bearer. Some look everyone you know in the eye on a daily basis. Some people are proud of theirs, and some people can’t stand theirs, but they’re still there. And barring plastic surgery, it’s always going to be there. But a scar is more than just an abrasion in one’s skin. A scar tells a story. 

“I put my hand on the oven when I was four.”

“I got shot here during the war.”

“I missed my mouth while eating cereal and managed to cut my lip with a spoon.”

There’s always a story. As a matter of fact, a scar is both a story and a lesson. I would go so far as to say that everything you know could even be referred to as microscopic scars in your brain (or even your heart) that are branded in from life lessons, repetition or, in many of my cases, trial and error. 

“Don’t touch hot things. They hurt.” (Trial and error)

“It hurts a lot less to get shot in a video game than in real life.” (Life lessons)

“You’re a moron. How do you cut your mouth with a spoon? Have you never done this before?” (Repetition)

But I feel like not everyone should have to touch a stove to learn it’s hot, or get shot to realize getting shot sucks. Have I ever been shot? No. No, I have not. But I think it’s safe to say, “yes, getting shot sucks.” (If deemed necessary by the three people who will actually read this, I can go do a face to face interview with my grandpa who has several purple hearts, just let me know if I this is necessary.) The bottom line is that, as a collective species, if we all learned from each other’s mistakes, we would have so many less problems that it would astonish us. Less scars for everyone! High-fives all around! (There would also be way less high-fours because less people would be missing digits.) 

So, here is the plan… I did a recap. I stared at myself in the mirror completely naked for 45 minutes (I had to do my research here), and after being thoroughly disappointed by my abundance of body hair, freakishly white skin tone and lack of muscle definition (especially for a skinny guy), I managed to see the scars that give me some of my best life lessons that I will pass on to you. Brace yourself, as you are going to learn the top five most valuable lessons that I have to offer you, directly from my scars themselves. I will be listing them in order of importance (least important to most important). So let these lessons brand themselves into your brain and learn them well.

Lesson 5: Never permit your three-year-old sibling to cut your hair. Even if you are only a few months old.

I am the younger of two children in my family. My sister, Danielle, is three years and 27 days older than I am. She was a child prodigy in the hair artistry world. At the ripe age of three and a half, she opened her own hair salon. Infantile Roy (or, Really Lil’ Roy) apparently consented to being her first ever customer. (Really, it’s all a little hazy. I was hitting the baby formula hard those days. I have since joined a Baby Formula Anonymous club and have been clean for almost 23.5 years now). I am not going to lie to you, I have no idea how many snips were taken, but I estimate that there was exactly one snip. Unfortunately it touched zero hair, and all ear. I now have a small chunk missing from my right ear and always have. I have since learned my lesson, and won’t let it happen again.

Lesson 4: Do not participate in “Rock Wars.”

I know what you are thinking. “Rock War? Does that really need a lesson to never participate in again?” Yes. Yes it does. You see, Lil’ Roy (see “Lil’ Roy Goes to Kindergarten”) had very few friends his whole life. He could have been the talk of the town from day one had he kept letting his fashion guru sister cut his hair, but instead he was a goofy looking outcast. Terry the Bounty Hunter (his dad) realized this, and decided to take action. 

Jay, the leader of the pack of kids that always picked on Lil’ Roy, was recruited to be Roy’s friend. As he was the oldest and biggest kid around, it made sense that it would almost be a form of protection for Roy to befriend him. It was a highly more innocent (and forced) form of those guys in prison who dress like women and offer “favors” to the biggest guy in their cellblock in return for protection. Only “favors” were more like he was welcome to come play video games whenever he wanted. Unfortunately, this also gave twelve-year-old Jay plenty of time alone with five-year-old Roy. This essentially meant that Jay did whatever he wanted, picked on Roy, monopolized all of the cool toys, and forced Roy to do things he didn’t want to do. 

One day, while the two of them were in the back yard, Jay began to throw miscellaneous objects at Lil’ Roy in a less than playful manner. Roy tried to return the assault, but that just made it worse seeing as how most five-year-olds throw like… well, five-year-olds. It was at this point, from twenty feet away, Jay decided to escalate things. Jay picked up a rock and exclaimed, “Let’s have a rock war!” Defenseless Lil’ Roy was standing motionless in the grass while Jay was by the one and only bed of rocks in the yard. Even at five, he knew he didn’t like the sounds of a rock war one bit. Scurrying to look for a rock, Lil’ Roy objected to the proposal, but to no avail. A 3” rock was hurled rapidly toward him and, like a man who had just been picked off from a mile out by a sniper, he dropped and began bleeding profusely from the forehead. Two inches above his eye (and from being blinded for life) there was a large gash spewing copious amounts of dark red fluid. And it was not cranberry juice. While blood flowed from the wound, a manly battle cry (that definitely didn’t sound anything like a dying pig/hyena hybrid) emitted from his mouth. 

TTBH who had been sleeping inside when the crime went down, ran to the rescue, demanded they go to the hospital to get stitches and heroically ripped a bright blue strip of clean towel he found in the dryer (with blatant disregard for the fact that it was one of his wife’s good towels) and wrapped it around the boy’s head. He looked strikingly like Leonardo from his favorite show at the time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (see Lesson 2). And he definitely wasn’t still making that high-pitch, blood curdling screaming--- Err… I mean manly battle cry, anymore. His lesson had been learned. He made a mental note to never participate in a rock war again.

Lesson 3: If a dog looks like he may be interested in biting your hand, move it before he does.

When I was three, my sister and I had a day care we used to go to. To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember many specifics to this lesson. But I think that speaks volumes for the point I am trying to drive home here. I managed to learn a lesson and remember it forever, despite not remembering much else from the exchange. I remember I was small. I remember that this woman had a small wiener dog. I also remember a very awkward exchange between the dog and I where I stood and stared at it. It stared back at me. I had always been slightly afraid of it, and apparently with good reason. This dog could smell my three-year-old fear. It probably smelled slightly like a dirty diaper. Or a lot like a dirty diaper. Again, the specifics are lacking here. Finally, after this monumentally long The Good, The Bad and The Ugly stare down (I was The Good, the dog was The Bad and The Ugly) this dog waddled itself at me ferociously and bit my dangling hand which fit conveniently inside it’s mouth. I still have a scar on the back of my hand. On this day, I learned to trust my instincts and not stand there like a moron.

Lesson 2: Don’t play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles inside.

When I was younger, I was fascinated by things that spun, twirled, or moved quickly. It was fascinations like these that lead me to break essentially everything my father owned up until I was around the age of ten. This particular lesson was learned on a day when I discovered that my bike lock made an awesome swingy thing. Awesome enough to convince myself that I was now an honorary member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), which were my idols at the time. I wasn’t a teenager. I wasn’t a mutant (that I knew of). I was definitely not a ninja. And I was absolutely not a turtle. And yeah, I had no nunchucks, sais, swords or a bow staff, but I did have what I believed could be of infinite value to the clan. A grappling hook! (Again, it wasn’t a grappling hook, it was a bike lock. One of those long cord ones with the little combo piece on the end of it.) 

Now don’t get let yourself get caught up in the fact that the TMNT had little or no, (mostly no) use for a seven-year-old Anthony Michael Hall look alike. Or, that even if they did, they already all seemed to have grappling hooks whenever they needed them. Just know that this boy would surely prove immensely value to the team with his dashing looks, flaming red hair and uncanny ability to swing that bike cha--- I mean grappling hook around like no ones business. If you wanted him to swing it like a helicopter… bam, consider it done. You want him to swing it diagonally? Phh, no problem. He’s got you covered. You want him to swing it up and down like a fan? Check this out --- *SMASH*

I had hopped up onto the living room table in incredibly acrobatic fashion and shattered the chandelier above me. That wasn’t the real problem. The real problem was that a large shard of glass used the wonderful force of gravity to propel itself downward and lodge itself into my ankle. Instantly, I became a fugitive. I rushed into my room with a paper towel and sat and bled all over it until I was found and taken to the hospital to be stitched up again. 

Of course, I got all the blame. Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and gravity all managed to get off scot-free. But I learned a valuable lesson. I would like to say “I haven’t done this again ever since,” but that would be a bold faced lie. I was fantasizing about being a TMNT until I was at least 20. 

Lesson 1: Under no circumstance should you ever attempt to blow dry a cat. 

Really, this should be more like lessons 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 … 1.100. That’s the number of scars I have from this lesson. And it’s precisely why it’s on the top of the list of wisdom I am passing down to you. 

At age six, I hated bathing. It wasn’t fun. I mean, come on… You sit in a bath tub, soaking in your own filth for twenty minutes, touching gross slimy soap bars and potentially getting shampoo in your eyes (side note: add bubbles and I was so there it wasn’t even funny) (side note to side note: I am not sure, but I am not ruling out that I am probably much the same today. Bubble baths were awesome). What was so great that I could be doing instead of bathing? Playing. TMNTs, GI Joes, Legos, video games… All were great fun. So every now and then I would spice up bath time. I would toss a couple action figures or Lego boats in there and have a blast. I would just play until I looked like a raisin. But even still, the toys eventually all run their course. They can’t remain appealing forever (and believe me, I wish they did. I would have so many TMNT right now…) something’s gotta give. 

Bath time arrived one day and I went to get in the tub and who follows me into the bathroom? Misty, our gray cat. Entertainment. Naturally, I immediately shut the door and trapped this unsuspecting animal in the bathroom with me. She would be my companion for this round of bathing excitement. To my delight (and surprise), I set her in the six inches of water I had in the tub without any sort of problem. She didn’t kick, claw or meow. She just sat there. She almost seemed to like it. So I bathed, she sat. I shampooed her and she seemed okay with it. All went fabulously. This was great; I finally had companionship in the bathroom.

I unplugged the drain, hopped out and dried off. This is when it hit me that a towel isn’t going to be enough to get this cat completely dry. I did everything in my power to get her as dry as possible and just couldn’t do it. My parents were not going to be happy about a wet cat running around the house. Thinking fast, I looked under the sink. Bingo! Hair dryer. Without hesitation (or thought), a completely naked damp six-year-old Roy plugged this hair dryer in and, holding the cat up with one hand and the hair dryer with the other, he flipped the switch to “On.” 

Never have I seen anything so displeased with what was happening. After approximately .2865 seconds of blow-drying time Misty performed a flip out of my hand and simultaneously scratched every square inch of my body. It was spectacular. Completely shocked at how rapidly she went from “cool and calm” to “oh-my-God-get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-before-I-unleash-the-fury-of-1,000-suns” mode, I opened the door and she scurried out. None of these sounds (the bath, the blow dryer, the commotion or the manly battle cry that immediately followed) escaped my mother who happened to be in the kitchen. She ran to the bathroom to be faced by a locked bathroom door, on the other side of which was a very naked boy who must have had 100 cat scratches all over his body; all of which were transforming from red marks to puffed up bloody lines before his very eyes. 

That was a lot of fun to explain. So much in fact that I decided to never do it again. 

Please learn from these lessons. Don’t make these words be written in vain.

Lil' Roy Goes to Kindergarten

My father has a million stories. If you knew him well enough, you’d hear Charlie Murphy echo in your head after hearing a story of his saying, “There’s some great story tells in the world today, man. But who the fuck could make up that shit?” Just as who I am doesn’t seem to indicate that I am a product of my father (or a product of my entire family for that matter), my father doesn’t seem to be a product of this planet. He’s something else.

I have never met a man who is harder to characterize. I have never met a man who gives less of a damn what other people think. I have never met a man who has a way with people the way he does, despite butchering names, places… and well, pretty much the entire English language. It’s truly remarkable. Some of his stories might be a slight exaggeration, but you’d be a fool to bet against its validity. Now don’t get me wrong, that isn’t to say he is not an intelligent man. He’s far from unintelligent. He knows what he wants to know, and nothing more. He has better things to do. 

He goes by Terry, but I have been fortunate enough to call him Dad my entire life. To this day I am still trying to determine if I feel fortunate because he’s my father, or because if he wasn’t, I may have had to one day cross paths with this man. No matter. What is, is and what could have been isn’t. All that matters now is that I have the urge to try and describe the indescribable because I am feeling saucy. But Terry Vincent (who I also refer to from time to time as Terry the Bounty Hunter or TTBH) isn’t a man who can be simply described; he needs to be told of. 

You could meet him once, twice, even a handful of times and still not quite have a gauge on him. The man’s real self requires a large sample size to get the full experience. And, since he moved away from home at 14 or 15, divorced my mother just a few years into marriage, and my sister lived with my mother for a bit and moved out before me, I probably know more of his character than anyone on the planet. So piece-by-piece, I can at least try to enlighten you as to what raised me. Or, at least was supposed to raise me. I begin with my earliest and probably all time favorite TTBH anecdote. Hope you enjoy it.

Lil' Roy Goes to Kindergarten

He would just sit at home all day and wait to start life. His mother would entertain him by feeding him those children’s workbooks from the grocery store for cheap entertainment. He would sometimes rip through two a day. Math was his thing. Workbooks were essentially what Danielle, his older sister, had been bringing home from school every day for the past three years. Something she called “homework.” She hated it. He. Was. Stoked. A newly turned five-year-old, Lil’ Roy (as my whole family calls me because I was named after my Grandpa) was preparing himself for Kindergarten, which was just days away. He was so close he could smell it. It smelled like a child’s urine and erasers (I am glad I didn’t go with “…could taste it” here. I feel like urine and erasers probably taste just like they smell). He was that close. For three years Danielle had come home with marvelous stories of class, friends, teachers, something called recess and, what he was secretly most excited for, homework! Envious, it was now his turn to go to school.

The big day had finally come. He was around three feet tall rocking some new clothes that were reminiscent of the Saved by the Bell intro designs, had his crayons, a pencil box and was running around screaming and throwing a fit when he realized he couldn’t find his backpack. The one on his back. Despite his parent’s laughter, he didn’t find it funny. It wasn’t funny. It was his big day. The day he got to ride the bus. The day he got to find out what the hell recess was. The day he got homework. And, the day he was finally going to make friends.

They lived in a circular development in Lacey, maybe 30 or so houses. 3085 Carpenter Hills Loop. He had his address memorized (probably for in case he got stolen or something). His house was at the bottom of a hill, which was exactly opposite the circle from the entrance to the loop. It was here that the bus would pick up the neighborhood children at the entrance of the loop. It was here and on this day that Lil’ Roy begin his conquest to become Roy. 

16 years later...

On foot, there was a path straight through the loop. It was a long narrow gravel trail surrounded by a large park, leading directly from his house, at the bottom of the hill, to the bus stop at the top. He and his sister traversed the hill, turned, and waited with a dozen or so other kids along a tall fence, which was parallel to the main road. These kids ranged from 7 to 11 and were mostly boys. Boys can be mean. Especially to small children with flaming orange hair. If there were a Young Roy hair dye, it would have been called “Freak Show Orange.” 

One of the bigger kids, Jay, was more or less the leader of the pack and for some reason, he didn’t like the cut of Roy’s gingery jib. It wasn’t long before 12 young children pointed, laughed, kicked and spit on Lil’ Roy for no reason other than he was dressed different or weird looking. Probably because of both. He didn’t look ridiculous. He looked awesome. Seriously, if I was a five-year-old girl, I’d have been all over that sweet ass rat tail… but I digress.

He ran back home (but a manly, Will Smith-like movie run, not like a tiny wiener kid run), hysterically crying his eyes out. His conquest had been ceased before it had even begun. He had been defeated. Not only did he not go to school on the bus, he definitely hadn’t made any friends. His father helped him rally and insisted he still go to school. Terry the Bounty Hunter drove him there and dropped him off. The rest of the day went on without a hiccup. And since he was on a half-day Kindergarten schedule, he didn’t have to ride home with the same kids from the bus stop since he was the only one in his grade at the stop. 

The next morning he felt much better. Far less confident than just 24 hours prior, but a lot more confident than 23 hours, 45 minutes prior. So he gathered his things and got ready to roll. He waved goodbye to Danielle as she was on her way to the bus. Riding the bus?! She was a sucker. HA! Confused, TTBH asked why Lil’ Roy didn’t seem to be planning on going to the bus stop with her. Uhhh… did he not remember the day before? Wow. What an idiot. Surely he’d just forgotten momentarily and would come to remember and then take him to school again… Wrong. Lil’ Roy was to march back up there and face these ginger-hating-douche bags again. He was absolutely in need of some encouragement. His father kneeled down, put a hand on his shoulder, looked him dead in the eye and said, “Look, I will watch from the window and if there is any trouble, wave. I will come take care of it.” Terry Vincent was a problem solver. 

Roy swallowed the lump in his throat and tentatively walked to the bus stop with his sister. Never had he walked slower. He could have crab walked faster than this. A gold fish could have flopped on land faster than this. Hell, a pet rock could have out paced him. He finally arrived to the fence, which was hiding the enemy and as he approached it, he went numb. He flashed back to a day before and came to a complete halt before taking the final few steps. He came to the corner, the first spot he would be in sight of the group since, and the last spot his father would still be able to see him… If he was still even watching. 

Despite the fact that the other kids were probably 30 feet down the fence line, the corner of the fence was his station of choice. He wasn’t afraid… I swear. It was because the real estate at this spot on the fence was so spacious and he had elbowroom and well, he pretty much just liked that he wasn’t within 30 feet of Jay and friends. As his sister walked toward the group, she drew their attention. This quickly alerted the crew to the freckly ginger by the edge of the fence. Immediately a few of them broke off, walked over and apologized for the previous day and said they would like to be friends because Lil’ Roy was so good looking and well dressed. They said, “Damn it you are awesome. We didn’t see that when you were covered in saliva, but now we do. We should hang out sometime.” To this day, they are still close friends. It was a day that Lil’ Roy will never forget. How could he? 

Re-read that last bit. Only one part after “…broke off…” is true, and it isn’t the happy fun time part. The only true part is that he would never forget this day. The real reason he will never forget that day was what really happened. The group that broke off included Jay, immediately he rallied the remainder of the gang and began poking fun of Roy’s awesome nylon pants, his charming cowlick, his bountiful freckles and soon enough, his tears. Manly tears though. None of that little girl tear stuff. They began to spit on him yet again and he wandered closer and closer to the edge of the fence, wanting absolutely nothing more than for his dad to be down at the house, staring out the window, ready to pounce. 

The house was a good 150 yards down the hill and Lil’ Roy couldn’t quite make out what was in the windows. For all he knew, he was waving in vane. He waved to request backup. No sign of life from the bottom of the hill. The ridicule continued as manly “sweat” flowed from his tear ducts and he waved again. Soon the group laughed at the fact that he was waving to no one. He remained silent and waved one last wave and gave up. There was no one.

As he turned back to face the harassment, he felt cold and alone. In the words of Andre 3000, “New direction was apparent. He was a child, looking at the floor staring.” Then, when all was lost. When he had nothing to hope for, as the one thing he wanted so badly wasn’t there, he saw from the corner of his eye a very tan man, 6’2” tall, balding but yet also with a rat tail, wearing absolutely nothing other than short bright neon yellow Bad Boy shorts, not even shoes, moving full throttle up the gravel path. His athletic frame moved quickly and smoothly up the hill as he took long strides. These children would soon learn why Roy would one day write that he feels fortunate to have Terry the Bounty Hunter as a father. 

At this point Lil’ Roy now wanted these kids, who were just far enough tucked behind the fence that they couldn’t see their fate sprinting at them with ass-kicking rage in his eye, to get caught in the act. He knew it would diminish his credibility and make it seem as if he exaggerated the story if these bullies were behaving like perfect angels as Terry the Bounty Hunter and his wrath arrived. Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t the case. As one of them spit at him, Lil’ Roy could see the saliva leave his lips, and as if it were all now in slow motion the same boy’s eyes grow to the size of Rocky Mountain Oysters and the saliva hit his jacket and the boy made eye contact with TTBH. 

What happened next was like Ezekiel 25:17. This righteous man definitely found his gravel path and shepherded this weak boy through the valley of saliva and laughter. He was truly the finder of lost children. Only he didn’t need the Lord to help. It was he himself that struck down upon these children with great vengeance and furious anger in an exchange that went like this,

“Who is picking on you?!” Terry inquired.
Roy pointed to the general crowd. Terry could tell by the children’s faces that they were indeed all very guilty. He had the same look that Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta have on their face in Pulp Fiction when that guy jumps out of the bathroom and misses them with all six shots from that revolver.
“The next person to make fun of, laugh at, point at, spit on, kick, punch, pinch or talk bad about my son is going to get the fucking shit kicked out of them! I don’t care how old you are! Leave him alone or I am gonna kick your fucking ass!”
“I am going to tell my mom!” Their fearless leader exclaimed.
“Everyone listen up closely! Go get your moms! Go get your dads! All of them! And tell them I am gonna kick their fucking asses too! “ TTBH retorted.

Needless to say, Lil’ Roy was never picked on by these kids again. I also think that it goes without saying that Roy and his sister were the only people to get on the bus at that stop that morning. The bus driver looked alarmed, wondering where the other dozen kids went, but saw TTBH standing to see his children off and she figured everything was okay. And it was. For Lil’ Roy, everything was finally okay

Parenting 101: Santa

It’s that time of the year, the time when children get all warm and cozy in their beds every night, yet lay awake because they simply can’t sleep with all of the built up anticipation of Christmas. It grows as Christmas arrives and children get less sleep and more impatient. Then one day, the kids ask the dreaded question that for some reason always seems to catch parents off guard. For some children (like myself) it’s at age four. For some children, it’s at age nine (or however old my sister was… I am three years younger than her and knew for probably four years before she found out).

“Is there really a Santa?”
This young man will one day be a very impressionable seven year-old.

Much like with the “Babies” question, you need to figure out how you are going to respond. Are you are going to answer this truthfully? Or risk losing your child’s trust at such a young age? Again, I am a firm believer that honesty is the best policy when handling situations with children. They are so impressionable and whatever you tell them now could last a lifetime.

When I was 17, I stood in Baskin Robbins looking over the various flavors trying to come to a good conclusion. Usually I am a peanut butter chocolate, or a chocolate chip mint guy, but this day was different. And I stood staring at the difference… my old friend rainbow sherbet. I wondered, “What the hell happened? Why did I stop loving you so much?” And my mind suddenly flashed back 10 years. Seven year-old Roy was asked what he wanted as he gazed upon the many flavors at his disposal. He replied “A scoop of rainbow sherbet please.” A tall man of about 30 with a fitted cap and a pony tail looked down at me from behind his sunglasses and said “Son, rainbow sherbet is for pussies.” A statement from my father that would scar me for the next 10 years. I hadn’t thought of that moment or had my ex-favorite flavor for 10 years, and that was largely the reason. Impressions upon anyone under 10 last a very long time, and you need to approach sensitive subjects like this Santa situation very tactfully.

With that said, here’s how I would handle the situation…

“Children, in a word, no. There is no Santa Claus. He doesn’t exist. There are no reindeer, there are no elves, there--- Oh who am I kidding?! Look, for the first time in your life, I am going to be 100% honest with you. But you can never, EVER tell anyone, or I will be in big trouble. Your mother will kill me. And if she doesn’t, I will go to a prison in Cuba for the rest of my life.

Gitmo? How did you know what that is? You’re seven. And no, it’s not closed. That’s just what the Government wants you to think. It’s very much open and harbors the people who get caught sharing this secret. I will be like Edmond Dantes in the Count of Monte Cristo without the Count of Monte Cristo part at all. There will be no comeback. As a matter of fact, maybe I shouldn’t tell you. The answer is no. He doesn’t exist…

Okay, fine! But… Don’t. Tell. Anyone.

The truth is that Santa does exist. Santa is very real. And he is very powerful. He has brought you all of the gifts you see under the tree every year. But long ago, he realized he couldn’t keep pace with the inflation of population and had to narrow down who he should bring presents to. Naughty and nice wasn’t cutting it anymore. There are too many boys trying to plant seeds and grow children that it’s ruining Santa for all of us. He now delivers to only the following: nice people who are believers, and people over 10 who try to reduce the amount of believers. That’s right. If anyone EVER tells you he is not real, it is because they either truly believe it, or are selfish and want more presents to themselves.

Every person over 10 on the planet will tell you he doesn’t exist. Some of those people honestly believe he is not real, and others are just lying to you. That is because once you turn 10, if you still believe, one of Santa’s elves comes to you and delivers a letter signed by Santa himself. The letter, in short, tells you that you can still get presents from him provided you try to convince as many believers to stop believing as possible. It also tells you about the horrors of Gitmo and how quickly you will be transported there if you ever get caught telling anyone about the letter. You never get Christmases again. You have to go to bed early every night, and without dinner or dessert. They make you watch sports and clean your room every day, Sponge Bob doesn’t exist. You also have to brush your teeth twice a day and everyone has cooties, and smell like feet, and they make you take naps. It’s horrible.

No, I can’t show you the letter. It self destructed Inspector Gadget style. True story.

The elf? Yeah, he self destructed too. Look, no more questions, just listen and listen well before someone catches me and sends me to this prison where it’s all clean and I have to sleep and watch sports all day.

Most adults are on drugs and believe the elf and the letter were a dream and pretend it never happened. This is great, because the fewer people he has to bring presents to, the more presents each person he delivers the presents to gets. Yeah, I never have any gifts from him under the tree, but that’s because he delivers them to me in person. With candy. One time he even brought me to the North Pole on his sleigh because I am awesome, but that’s beside the point.

The point of the story is this, children, don’t stop believing no matter what people tell you. Anyone over 10 is probably lying. And also don’t do drugs. Or you will miss out on gifts and candy.”

See? Was that so hard? Now you have a child that will forever believe in Santa. How can that possibly be bad? Oh, and that day I was in Baskin Robbins, I bought my old friend, and he was delicious. I asked my father about it a few years back and he didn’t remember it at all. He thought for a minute and claimed that it was probably largely due to the fact that I never finished it and he always had to eat my leftovers and hated rainbow sherbet. But the reality is, I still think my father tried to trick me into not liking rainbow sherbet because he wanted it all for himself. Who the hell would do such an awful thing? What an ass.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guide to Bachelorhood: Tip #2

Tip #2: Women love stupid things. Love them too.

I am a fairly girly guy. I like romantic comedies, picnics, cuddling and the idea that love might exist. Women claim to be receptive of this. They are not. It’s all a ploy. 

Have you ever heard a woman tell you all about how much they love a book, a show, or a movie? We all have. I have come to learn that if you so choose to maintain bachelorhood status, take good notes during this process. This is your cue to follow it up with something like “You love Twilight?! I love Twilight! I have read the whole series. Twice.” Women claim to like things that suck as a means of determining if guys like things that suck too. From what I can gather, women seem to have a preinstalled reverse psychology mechanism built in. They try to trick you into liking things they like, because they want to laugh at you in secret for actually liking it. (For the record, I have not read Twilight. I have read Harry Potter. It was okay.) 

How many pictures at platform 9 3/4 is too many?
A better way to use this great woman-deterring strategy is to rapidly pop off all of the lame crap you love. Even if you don’t love it. Sample dialog:

Girl: “So what kind of shows do you watch?”
You: “Oh, man, I don’t even know where to start. I always debate who is better… I mean, Ellen? Or Oprah? Really, can you go wrong?” 
Girl: “Oh, I love them! I watch them all the time!”
You: “Oh, I can’t get enough of them, I DVR them every day. Even reruns. My DVR is like 74% full of just old saved episodes of Oprah and Ellen. Oh! And The Barefoot Contessa. I like to cook. No… I LOVE to cook. You should come over some night, I’ll cook for you and we can watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”

Aaaand so on. 

Not many things keep you single like trying to appeal to a woman by liking some of the things she likes. Sometimes it’s best to just nip it in the bud and list it all out in your social network profile. Some things are “gimmes” and some are a little more complex. A good example of a “gimme” is to just list the things you have stored in your head (from the mental notes I told you to take) that the vast majority of women universally claim to love, like American Idol, the song “Fireflies” by Owl City (the illegitimate child of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service) or expensive clothes. A relatively complex (and possibly more effective) way is to add quotes directly from popular book series’ like Twilight, as if you live your life by the various lessons you’ve learned throughout the entire series. You might want to pick the second or even third book in the series to lead on that you have in fact read all of them even though we all know men don’t read. We have secrets we hide from them too, like not actually being able to read or not being able to hear women when they talk and being able to talk to koala bears and turtles. But let’s keep this to ourselves. 

The bottom line is, learn all about the things they love, and mention them in conversation. Potential relationship: Avoided. That was close.

Guide to Bachelorhood: Tip #1

Recently, I participated in “No Shave November” with a coworker to promote prostate cancer awareness. I, unknowingly and simultaneously, also participated in raising “child molestation awareness” and “universal thanks for the death of the porn star moustache.” I accomplished a lot in November of 2009. But in all fairness to the aforementioned child molesters whose moustaches tell them to do horrible things, my moustache spoke to me at times too. I think I just have more willpower than child molesters. Or maybe just a less manipulative moustache. My moustache’s argument for me to molest children and not to shave it was unconvincing and I am glad to be baby faced yet again. On a semi-related note, my large, homemade balloon in the back yard often tells me to set it free and tell people there is a child on it so that I can attract media attention. I have refrained from that as well. During this whole process, I started thinking that I could probably write a long book on how to repel women by doing every day things like these. Or maybe a few notes from time to time instead. I could probably write a million of them. 
He doesn't have a unibr--- Ohhh. I see.
I am working on year 25 of being pretty much single the whole way through. That’s a quarter century. (Granted, for some of that I was learning how to walk and talk and then to read and write and such.) I have managed to accidentally stumble upon several things about bachelor life and how to maintain bachelorhood status, while in the process of trying to do pretty much the total opposite. So, I have decided to write about them when I think of them; the things that men should never do if they have any interest in a relationship. (Along the same lines, women should never encourage these things. I, by default, think significantly less of any women who promote, encourage or tolerate these things.) Some of these things are done by me consciously, some of them are things I don’t even give a second thought to, and some I never think that it will have a negative impact on me in the eyes of women. But these are things that I do and that very clearly ward off the opposite sex. I am not going to say that these are going to be helpful. As a matter of fact, I would say the converse is true. But it’s in my head, and as someone who once made me stare at the hairy ass crack of an overweight classmate once told me “If I had to see it, so did you.”

Without further ado here is my first item in my Guide to Maintaining Bachelorhood:

Tip #1: Grow a stache, just don’t let it talk you into anything bad.

Grow a moustache if you have light hair, strawberry blonde in particular. As a matter of fact, if you have strawberry blonde hair, absolutely always have one. Nothing says “No I will not make out with you!” quite like an eyebrow over your lip. It’s like a light colored unibrow fell down from your forehead. Make sure to keep it semi-long, but not “impressively awesome” long. There’s a difference. The difference is that some women are into awesome moustaches. Now to revert back to my logical mind, I submit to you this; All awesome moustaches on white men are long, but not all long moustaches on white men are awesome. (I threw in the word “white” because Will Smith can do whatever the hell he wants with his facial hair and I’d be okay with it. He could revive the Hitler Stache if he so pleased. Hitler ruined a perfectly good facial hairstyle, seriously, what a dick.) I can’t stress it enough. To be sure it never gets “impressively awesome,” feel free to thin it out if it’s growing in too thick. It works wonders.

To put it into perspective, think about the amazing men who have pulled this off in the past. Two immediately come to mind: Larry Bird who was briefly married in college (up until a man with hair like his could grow a nice women repelling stache) and divorced before he graduated, and Steve Prefontaine, who was never married (yes, he died at 24, but that’s a different tip in my Guide to Maintaining Bachelorhood). Bird didn’t remarry until after he peaked and was no longer a basketball God. He had had enough of being single. Never have there been any men who should have had success with women that would eclipse 99.9999% of men, yet fought it tooth and nail and emerged more victorious than these two. As a matter of fact, it mentally brings me to my knees to think about. It’s absolutely mindboggling. What is harder? Dominating your sport so emphatically that you will forever go down in history as one of the greatest of all time? Being able to be in the top .0001st percentile in success with women? Or being able to do the former and then avoid the latter? For Larry and Steve, it was simple. Just rock that stache. 

Parenting 101: Babies

Gather round, Katie, and listen well.

Why do we always feel the urge to lie to children? My seven year old niece asked my sister a couple days ago where babies came from. I have always been a proponent of telling children like it is. I think when it comes to things like these though, it’s the parent’s responsibility. My sister asked me what she should do, and I began to think of exactly how I would handle this situation if it were my daughter…

“’Where do babies come from?’ You ask. Girls! They grow inside of girls. They start out very small and slowly grow into tiny people by eating all of your delicious food and drinking all of your drinks. They even use the bathroom inside of you. And then one day, they erupt from the most painful place you can possibly think of! There’s blood and guts everywhere.

I know. That is gross. Very gross.

How do they get there? Boys! When boys are born, they try every day to put a tiny invisible baby seed inside of girls. They will stop at no length to do this.

How do they get the seed in there? By tricking you. Boys are very tricky and you should never trust them. You should only trust adults. You know what? No, just trust me and your mother because sometimes adults are evil little boys in disguises. Most are horrible disguises, they drive in vans and wear moustaches that look thin and fake and always have candy.

Why would they want to trick you? That’s simple! It’s because they are very evil. Once there was a world full of pixies and magic dust and fun and rainbows and ponies (that my producer Tera Cates just told me aren’t ponies, they’re actually butterflies but may in fact even be moths). There were unicorns and streams and it was always sunny and the grass was green and everyone was friends and had fun. There was fun and running and playing and family and candy and treats. And there were birds and fun and cakes and pies and Dora the Explorer. Then one day, there were some clouds off in the distance. These clouds start out a fluffy white and turn a little grey. Then they moved to a darker shade of grey as they got closer and then soon turned an awful pitch black as they began to block out the sun. The clouds appeared to start raining, but as the rain drops got closer, you could see that they were actually young boys. These boys were everywhere. They started running around with sling shots and rocks and started killing moth-looking ponies, unicorns, butterflies, birds, everything. And eating them. And laughing about it. That is why there are no unicorns. Boys killed and ate them. Alive. True story.

I know. That is horrible. Very horrible.

How can you avoid being tricked by these evil boys? By avoiding boys altogether. Never get close to boys unless under adult supervision and probably not even then. Definitely try smelling bad. And wearing baggy clothes. And never wear makeup. And, if you want to be extra safe, we can go get your head shaved right now. I would also suggest an eye patch, but I want you to repel with ugliness, not attract with awesomeness.

Yes, princesses are pretty, but that is only in the movies. Boys make those movies. They make them so that they fool girls into thinking that it is best to look pretty and wear dresses when in reality, that’s the worst thing you could possibly do. I know there will be other girls claiming to be prettier than you and picking on you, but they are just foolish and buy into the tricks. Leave them alone. You want them there to take the attention of the boys, so that you can sneak around all bald and smelly and undetected.

So to recap, Katie, babies come from pony-eating, species-ending, false-idea-implanting, eye-patch-loving, tricky, evil little boys who want to cause you horrible physical pain and make you fat by planting a seed in you which grows into a small person that poops in you.

Any more questions? Yes, Dora escaped completely unscathed from the massacre. And yes, she appears to hang out with boys, but Diego is really a stealthy girl. Did you know Diego smells bad and wears baggy clothes? She knows the secret to life and all about where babies come from.

Remind me to tell you about Santa Clause one day soon. Good night!”