Saturday, August 20, 2011

Toe-jam Tommy

Today was the 10th anniversary of Anno 1589, Judy's gallery that's full of valuable paintings and things that are made of glass. It's a great shop for anyone in their double-digits, which leaves another seven years and two months before I consider letting the collective Zoo crew inside.

After a brief trip to breakable city to say hi, I chaperoned the kids to parts of the city that they could break.

It only took an hour of trying to kill themselves and others at the playground before the boys asked if we could go buy new 'Wheelies' because, according to David, 'I are so good being'.

'But what is a Wheelie?', the kidless readers ask.

Well, like the name implies, it's a wheel. That's pretty much it. You can roll them. And you can...uh,,....did I mention that you can roll them?

Okay, Wheelies are dumber than My Pet Rock, but at least they are cheap and they keep the yappity ones quiet. Hmm, maybe I should pick up one for Angie?

We picked up Barb along the way and headed off to the store that sold bags of broken car parts to morons with cash. The boys thought it was cool that the store had a revolving door. Of course, they also thought it was cool that we were buying a wheel.

On the way in, I carried Tommy. On the way out, I did not. Mea culpa.

What happened was Peter went first and like a normal human, he continued to walk outside when it was time to 'get off'. David went through next and like a normal David, he did not get off and instead kept going around in circles laughing.

I was holding Tommy's hand when it was our turn to 'get on'. At that point he saw David jackassing his way back into the store and decided to run in the opposite direction of the revolving door. If you ever wondered what it sounds like when someone's foot jams a revolving door to a grinding halt, it goes something like this:


So, just to recap - I'm stuck inside with Toe-jam Tommy trying to unwedge his foot. David has proudly made his way back into the store and is gleefully announcing to the forming crowd 'That is my BROTHER!'. Peter is stuck outside bawling his eyes out and screaming 'I'm sorry!' and will most likely be traumatized for life.

In the end, Barb was the one that came crashing to the rescue with a full-on shoulder attack against the glass wall that was pinning my third-born down. As Superchick pried back the wall of pain, I snatched up flat-foot and raced outside. Tommy and Peter were still screaming their heads off, but at least David had the sense to rejoin us on the sunny side of the death machine.

In America, I would have sued the shit out of the store for not hanging up a sign that clearly warned stupid dads against wedging their kid's foot under a revolving door. I'd be ree-yatch.

We were in Germany, though, Land of Customer Friendliness. Needless to say, we fled the scene before one of the helpful store workers could present us with a bill for a broken door. Dankeschön.

As we made it back to the shop, Barb asked if we wanted to come in to say goodbye. My response was a mix between an answer, a curse and a laugh. Barb gave me an understanding nod and went inside to tell Grams and Opa that they would have to come outside to say goodbye to Toe-jam Tommy and the Wheelie boys.

Friday, August 19, 2011


As early as seven years old, I always knew that my brain was special. I discovered this one day while riding my bike. The sun was warm and soothing and I had just eaten lunch.

My gifted brain convinced me that, because I had done such an awesome job of driving my bike in a straight line with my eyes open, it made perfect sense to try it with my eyes closed. Brains are overrated.

It actually worked for about ten seconds; when I opened my eyes, I was still cruising a straight line down the middle of my block. Great! Lovely! I bet I can do a full minute!

It's a damn good thing that brains have no spending cash for betting; after approximately thirty-four seconds my head smacked into our mail box in a not-so-subtle gambling lesson to 'keep your eyes open, moron'.

Tommy is apparently a competition freak - he pretty much has to be with two older brothers and a father that rivals Evil Knievel. His challenge began in the kitchen as Mama was telling me about her day. Who the hell let Angie into the kitchy?

'Blah-blah, the kids had a ball at the blah-blah playing with the blah-blah-freakity-blah. Have I told you today how hot you are?'

'Yes, several times. Umm, why is Tommy wrapping a towel around his head?'

Before either of us could scratch our heads, Tommy took off running, full speed, towards a corner coming soon to his face.

'Smackouch' does not begin to describe it. As the scream levels rose, my inconsiderate brain chose to taunt me with thought-snippets like 'you waited until you were seven? That kid's got you beat by FIVE years. Wuss.'