Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hammer Time

It all started this morning with a frown and a scowl that reminded me too much of Angie's 'frumpy' look. Tom woke up and for some reason today became the day when he came to the screaming realization that 1) Peter, he have a ladder, 2) Davey, he have a ladder, and 3) Tom-tom, he no have a ladder. For a two-year old, he certainly has a firm grasp on the concept of equal treatment.

Papa had also come to the same realization several months ago and his wise ass bought a ladder for the rather loud third wheel. The problem is - Tommy's father is the undisputed king of procrastination when it comes to anything involving tools. That's right; I was waiting for the moment when Tom would break down into blubbering snot bubbles out of sibling ladder-envy. I'm a betting man, so I had really thought it to be a risk-free long-shot, but this morning only confirmed Angie's nagging nag that sometimes, she's not entirely incorrect. That moment came at 06:34 this morning when Angie was cracking me up by asking if I could cook her an egg.

As any construction guy will tell you, the first thing you need to do is assemble a good crew. I started with the line worker.

Okay, the kid's obviously a moron. I mean, come on - he can't even put his hat on the right way. Still, you gotta admire the boy's loud determination and ear-piercing spunk. You're hired.

Line workers, provided they can actually see, are the backbone of any good business. But line workers wouldn't get any work done without the leadership of a good supervisor.

Okay, the kid's obviously a moron. I mean, come on - he can't even put his goggles on without getting an eyeful of hair. Talk about the blind leading the blind. Still, you gotta admire the boy's grinning determination and shit-eating grin. You're hired.

Then we got to my level - management.

This kid is brilliant! I'm totally convinced that the entire company would crash and burn without such insight, wisdom and can-do attitude. You're hired.

With the right crew, you could build sky scrapers on Mars. It would be a rather stupid thing to do, but that's not really the point. The point is, the team really pulled together and I managed to finish the project in just under two coffees. Right on, right on!

Okay, the kid's still a moron. I mean, come on - he can't even properly deliver a 'thumbs up', despite the fact that the spicy-hot CEO is standing there giving him visual cues.

After successfully completing assembly, the board member responsible for honor and integrity stepped in to demonstrate how to apply very old stickers to newly built ladders. Stickers, I might add, that were part of a childhood collection that Angie stole years ago from her loving and sometimes overly trusting sister. Thanks, Barb - our kids love them!

As it turned out, the line worker was a quick learner.

Soon after discovering the secret world of applying stickers, Tommy also discovered that applying said stickers to his bedroom window tends to anger his mother, while at the same time making his father chuckle uncontrollably while said mother scrapes the window with a razor.

The day ended kind of like it started; only Angie was the one sporting a frown and scowl. As I put the kids to bed, Tom surprised me by acknowledging that 1) Peter, he no have a diaper, 2) Davey, he no have a diaper, and 3) Tom-tom, he do have a diaper.

'That's right, Tommy - does that mean you're now a big boy and ready to stop crapping your pants?'

'No, Papa - I poopy. You change me now!'

For a two-year old, the stinky line worker certainly has a firm grasp on the concept of commands. As part of his grooming for a future management position, I took the liberty of teaching him the art of delegation.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I play with my roller skates.
David: That I try my bike and you say I so close am.
Tom: When I was Tom the builder with you.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That Papa screamed 'cause I did something bad.
David: That Peter not give me my stuff.
Tom: You say no more stickers on my ladder.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Drive roller skates to Arman.
David: Play with Peter and Tommy.
Tom: Play with the animals.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brain Dead

There is no way to jump start this one without knowing that I will end up on the sofa, so I'll just come out and say it - Angie was a moron. Twice.

It all started on a Wednesday afternoon, when Moron-lady drove her Smart car back home from work. Because those things are micro-tiny, her humongoid school bag does not exactly fit in the trunk. Clever Angie used the passenger seat to store her bags of squishy balls and other torture toys that she beams at kids when they misbehave.

Not-so-clever Angie proceeded to drag her bag from the passenger seat and over a button that switches on a light when she got out of the car. The same light, that when left on overnight, will drain the battery dead. Smart car, my ass.

This in itself was stupid, but innocent stupid. Kinda like when you stick a fork in the toaster, like my sister Christine did last year. Not overly smart, but you would hope that these thought-challenged people learn from their cerebral lapses. Hope is overrated.

Angie has demonstrated long ago that she is not like other people, so I wasn't surprised when she repeated exactly the same steps, not even two days later. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that - NOT EVEN TWO DAYS LATER!!!

The cool thing is, Angie now has the number for ADAC (AAA for you American types) memorized. Not so cool, ADAC now has our street address flagged in their system as belonging to 'that hot woman with the Smart car that isn't so...' well, I'll just let you finish that sentence; I'm already lounging on the sofa side of trouble.

Yes, ADAC-guy chuckled. He also laughed, mocked and pointed fingers, which won my respect and admiration. I can only hope that Angie learned her lesson, but a car is only as smart as it's driver. I'll just leave it there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

To Catch a Thief

I woke up this morning to a ransacked apartment and immediately shouted for Angie.

'Holy shit! We've been robbed!'

I raced down the hall to check on the boys and was relieved to find them innocently snoring away in bed. I thought about calling the cops, but decided to first launch a preliminary investigation of my own. Papa style.

The first clue my trained eye picked up on was my cell phone, which I had asked Angie to put on the charger the night before.

My keen sense of sleuthery immediately made another rather disturbing discovery. I don't claim to understand the inner workings of Angie's mind, let alone a criminal's, but this was just too far beyond what my gray matter could comprehend. The cold-hearted criminals must have unplugged the charger in a mocking attempt to ensure that my phone was completely dead at exactly the moment when I wanted to call the SWAT team in. Bastards!

I explained my deductions to Angie, who turned red in the face and left the room, a clear indication that I was on the right track. I continued on with my investigation and soon after found the next clue, which provided deep insight into the minds of the culprits.

I paused for a second to analyze this latest revelation. The well thought-out finger-graffiti on the base of our TV stand indicated that the perpetrator either has Angie under surveillance or has a sense of humor, possibly both. It's also quite clear that the culprit has an abdomen that you can wash clothes on and a hairful of chest. Just the facts, ma'am.

As I continued my search, I came across a witness cowering in the corner.

At first glance, the potential informant seemed slightly less than traumatized. After a few probing questions, though, it became quite clear that the pint-sized 'victim' had more culpability than he was willing to admit. I then asked him to come down to the kitchen for a few questions and it became clear that the boy had issues.

After stripping down naked and beating on a trashcan for reasons that can only be explained by genetics and the boy's mother, the accused broke down and admitted to trashing the living room.

Released on bail, the juvenile delinquent was closely monitored as he warmed up with Peter for his Saturday morning sports.

Notice that Tom has his jacket on. Since I still had my detective hat on, I gathered that Peter's squat partner assumed he was also attending the 'big boy fun play' that Tommy only understands on a primitive level. One primal scream later, Tommy also understood that he had put his coat on for no apparent reason other than to amuse his sadistic Papa.

After explaining the facts of life to Tom, I took Peter to sports. After sports, we went to the playground, where Peter growled to me that he was a crouching tiger-bird. Ummm...okay.

I left Bruce Lee's crazy nephew and went to check on my other mentally challenged offspring.

Tommy was totally fixated on his Bobby Car. From experience, I knew that he would ride around for hours and hours; it was a state of mind that I like to call 'leave the boy alone'. Following my clever advice, I left Big Wheel Kid to find out what David was destroying.

I found David perched, poised, and more than willing to completely annihilate a mud puddle until a certain sexy stranger grabbed his ear and explained yet again the concepts of pain and suffering that could or could not result from not listening to one's elders when it came to jumping on watery clusters of dirt.

Confident that I had sufficiently instilled fear and compliance in David, I moved on to Angie, who was grading papers in a fashion that rivaled the Ford assembly lines from the early 1900's.

Angie is a creature of habit and, being German, she habitually resists change. By 'resist', I of course mean that she flat-out refuses to entertain the possibility of changing anything that her brain has deemed orderly. It shouldn't have been so surprising to discover that David has inherited Angie's innate ability to resist authority, yet I was still shocked and awed.


This was the question that David posed to me as he was trying to sneak back into the apartment. Instead of a self-induced aneurysm, I chose to ignore the fact that filthy-swine Davey had yet again neglected to head my advice. Instead, I hosed little piggy down, slapped on some pajamas and got my poker on.

Shortly into the first round, I expected one of three loud animals to start barking. As Lady Luck would have it, the animals did not wake up, even when Simone and Flo stopped by for the monthly poker lesson.

In poker, it's always the subtle tell-tale signs that give away the loser. Flo, for example, hides his mouth with his cards and stares at them when he has a good hand. Angie, on the other hand, squints and sticks her tongue out when she is trying to bluff.

I found Angie's technique to be a bit strange, but I'm used to odd people. Sometimes I even marry them, despite their obvious deficiencies in poker. At one point, I looked over and took notice of Angie's pile.

'Holy shit! We've been robbed!'

At least this time, the culprits were sitting across the table from me. As per usual, I had a big fat fatty pile, so from a family perspective, we were breaking even. When Angie tried to buy more chips for the third time, though, I had to intervene. Papa style.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I played with Paul and Sebastian.
David: That I can play with Tom.
Tom: I like the pirate thing.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: I didn't have one.
David: Play not with Tom.
Tom: I play not mit David and Peter and Paul.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Grams and Opa's.
David: Play with Tom.
Tom: Play memory.