Monday, December 31, 2012

Chili, Fire & Hooch

That's right, baby - we ended the year off proper. I was worried that my old man's recipe for Shit-Hot Chili might not clinch it, so I also boiled up a bunch of eggs and made my own doctored-up version of deviled eggs. Man, next year's gonna stink. 

I spent the morning running around the city buying last minute ingredients. Chili is apparently not native to Germany, so it took quite a few stops at specialty stores to get the good stuff. After almost a decade of marital confinement, I've grown to be a very patient man, so I calmly waited in line at three different stores along with two hundred other idiots who also chose to go shopping just hours before the stores closed for New Year's. What a buncha maroons!

After the last-minute grocery run, I locked myself into the kitchen. Angie chose that point in her universe to announce that she was going clothes shopping with her mom. Rather than bicker with the mother of my children on the timing of her shopping spree, I wished the mother of my wife pleasant spending and racked my brains on how to tame wild ones.

Bingo! Thank you, Nintendo.

Shortly before our chili cook-off, Nicole showed up and took over distraction duty. In addition to Nintendo, David has recently become addicted to Monopoly. We now have the Monopoly Junior, the regular Monopoly, the Star Wars Monopoly and the Monopoly Banker editions. I can only hope that David's fascination with the credit card machine in Monopoly Banker is an indication of a future profession. Make Papa rich, buddy!

Speaking of addictions, Sarah showed Tommy how to cook things with spoons after dinner.

When I questioned Tommy's Godmother as to why she would be teaching my third-born the art of crack cocaine, she got all defensive and claimed that it was just another bizarre German tradition. We go through this exercise every year, but it still ceases to amaze me. Apparently, my wife's people melt hollow chunks of lead and then throw the liquid metal into water. They then analyze the resulting shape, which will supposedly tell your future. I thought it was complete crap, but I tried it and my metal blobby thing looked like a beer bottle. Hey, who am I to argue with fate?

After drinking a beer for the gods, Sarah busted out an equally fun game - Qwirkle. Sebastian was quick to scoff and point out that the game was for ages 6+.

So, yeah - after ten minutes, Sebastian still hadn't gotten the grasp of the game. We sent Peter over to be a special 'advisor' on Sebastian's team. Two minutes later, Sebastian and Peter were winning. Coincidence? I think not. 

I know, I know, Peter is older than 6+. Sorry, but so is Sebastian. 

After hours of fun, we checked the clock. Seven minutes 'til midnight. At that point, Angie and I collectively realized that on average it takes fifteen minutes to get our boys shoed and jacketed, not to mention that we had Chiara and Alessio. Oh, shit.

As the women and children freaked out, I did what any self-loving man would do in a stressful situation and secured the alcohol. Mumms the word.

Peter and David have both had their 'Wow' year when it comes to fireworks. It only happens once in a kid's lifetime. The year prior, they're half asleep and slobbering on your shoulder as the sky explodes. The year after, it's all 'yeah, cool, but I've seen that before'. Last year, Tommy was drooling at midnight and could not be bothered with why his ears were bleeding. This year, he was definitely in 'Wow' mode.

The big boys were also in 'Wow' mode, thanks to Papa buying a shitload of fireworks. My only mistake was allowing Angie to help light them.

So yeah, in addition to dinners, fingers are apparently on Angie's short list of things that she inadvertently sets on fire. At least David reacted when his mother starting screaming like a banshee and waving a flaming digit.

I applauded David's moving display of concern. Even so, I felt that a breathalyzer test was in order to determine the origin of the fire.

'Angie, front and center!'

Amazingly enough, Angie passed with flying papers. Tommy, on the other breath, was running on fumes and starting to get his giddy on. It's hard to believe, but he was giggling more than the adults. Keep winking Angie - you're killin' him!

'Tommy, are you getting tired?'

'No, Papa, you are the tire! Hahahahahahaha...'

I ignore weird family members on a tri-daily basis, so I walked away from Giggle-boy and One-eye and ventured off to check on Peter and David, who were trying desperately to blow up a park bench. I weighed my parental responsibilities and came damn close to showing them where they would need to place the charges to actually get the bench airborne. Instead, I wondered back over to check on my third-born.

'Hey, buddy - are you sure you're not getting sleepy?'

A picture is worth a thousand winks, so we closed the outdoor events with Zombie-boy's goodnight stare.

When we got back to the house, two interesting things happened. The first is that Sebastian decided to torment our cat with remote-controlled cars that are apparently irresistible to felines.

The second noteworthy event was that Tommy got his second wind. He also donned a pair of sun glasses and announced to parents that didn't care in the least that 'I a cool boy why I these glasses have'.

'Yup. Cooler than a mime. Now go to bed!'

'Okay, g'night!'

I was shocked, but I didn't show it. Don't jinx it man, just walk away.

After letting the kids settle themselves, the adults hunkered down to get our game on. We ruled out Qwirkle, but mainly because Peter wasn't around to 'advise' Sebastian. In the end, we settled for a long morning of me spanking everyone in poker. I know, I know - same shit, different year.
Ladder Talk: [In addition to Papa, the young pups were in no condition to do Ladder Talk]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
David: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
Tom: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
David: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
Tom: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
David: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............
Tom: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

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