Friday, August 31, 2012

In Yo Face

Ah, the cool refreshing sensation of sand in your teeth.

Today is our last day on the island, so we wasted no time in storming the beach. David wasted the entire time without venturing in further than his knees. He was too fascinated by the waves crashing in and then retreating back out. He spent almost an hour giggling about how the undertow tickled his toes.

Tommy also did not go in past his knees, but this was more due to him screaming and running for his dear life every time a wave broke.

At some point, Tommy lost his shoes. He didn't really give a shit until he discovered that sand gets hot. Then we had half of the beach looking for his shoes. A British guy summed it up rather nicely.

'He's lost his what? His shoes? Just how does someone go about losing their shoes?'

Yeah, thanks a lot, good chap. We'll just leave you to ponder that one as we head back to the hotel. Along the way, David found Tom's shoes under one of the cars just outside the parking lot. 

I don't know how he managed that one, but it was good that he found them because the pavement was hotter than Tommy's begetter.

On the way back, Angie wanted to buy some postcards so we stopped in a tourist shop. Peter immediately cornered the shop lady and demanded to know if she had any 'super-duper laser pens'? The woman nodded and whipped out a Mickey Mouse flashlight that even made Tom yawn. 

'No, no. Not so boring. This one has a green laser and can shoot dots and disco and tac-tic-toe boards!'

At this point, I was worried that Peter had soaked up a little too much sun and was ready to leave when the woman turned to me. 

'I know what he mean, but I say you, it's asspensive.'

'What isn't in this shop?'

'I just say you now - this pen is a veri asspensive. You want me show you?'

Peter shouted the answer for me and the woman fished out a key hanging on a chain around her neck and dramatically opened a locked cabinet behind her. She then reached high up on the shelf and pulled down a box covered in mysterious Chinese characters and dust. Peter was shaking with excitement.

The store owner knew that the bait had been taken and wasted no time in yanking on the line to make sure that the hook was firmly planted. The price for the stupid laser pen was insane, but the cost of admitting to your oldest son that you are a cheap-ass bastard somehow clinched the deal.

As I paid, ever-observant Tommy shouted at the top of his lungs 'WHOA, PAPA! WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY FIFTIES IN YOUR WALLET?' The shopkeeper laughed her ass off as I quickly exited the store. Suddenly, I had the eerie sensation that shifty eyes were watching me with sinister intent. Peter broke my irrational panic.

'Can I open it? Huh? Huh? Can I open it now? Huh?'

'Not now. Something tells me we gotta go. Now.'

I somehow resisted the urge to break out into a full mad-dash sprint for the hotel. After successfully making it back to the hotel bar un-mugged, impatient Pete decided to interrupt my second victory beer.

'Can I open it? Huh? Huh? Can I open it now? Huh?'

'Sure, but don't break it. You're not getting a second one.'

I remember getting a Daisy air rifle BB gun as a kid and staring at it with the same awe and admiration that Peter gave to this laser pen. Whoa, this IS the greatest thing. Ever.

Just like Dad with my BB gun, I warned Peter not to aim the laser at anyone's face. Just like me with my new BB gun, Peter promptly ignored his father's advice. In yo face!

At least Peter didn't accidentally shoot his older sister in the ear. Neither did I, but only because my aiming at the time was complete crap.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing facial laser tag. It ended with Peter going to Dr. David for a checkup. Open up and say Hulu Hulu.

Tommy was not impressed at all and had ventured off to steal some poor kid's raft. I decided to stick to the ten-second rule. When no ankle biters came up crying that Tommy had stolen their ride after ten seconds, it was ours. Right on, right on.

Tommy had an absolute blast. At first he was too nervous to get on, but being the excellent father I am, I simply tossed wailing boy onto the 'borrowed' air mattress and shoved him into the deep end. As expected, he came back laughing. You so wise, Papa. 

Time flies when you're a hairy-chested adult figure with a wallet full of fifties who can bench press his own IQ. Before I knew it, it was Mini Disco time. I cried a tear of relief knowing that it would be our last Mini Disco. Then I remembered that Ali Baba had conned us into buying the entire freakin' soundtrack and cried several more tears.

Peter was the only one really old enough to grasp the concept of it being our last night on the island. He even used this to his advantage, which I found manipulatively interesting enough to grant his solemn request for 'just one last Cola'.

Ah, the cool refreshing sensation of sugar water on your teeth.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: Getting that laser pen was the coolest thing ever.
David: When I find Tommy's shoes by the beach. 
Tom: When I go on the balloon in the water.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That Mini Disco was over for good.
David: That I am so sad why we are going tomorrow home.
Tom: When Mama, she mad on me why I cry so much why I tired am.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Go home and see Luke!
David: To go on the airplane again.
Tom: I want to go to the pool again one more time.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Buttons and Pillows

'Hey, Peter - Susan Sarandon called. She'd like her sunglasses back.'

It's no secret that whatever I find funny typically annoys Angie. It's also no secret that whatever annoys Angie - I typically find funny. It's a funny-funny arrangement that we've lived with for years. Secretly.

At breakfast, I unexpectedly discovered another 'button' when Angie got mega annoyed at me for making fun of Peter when he started prancing around wearing lady shades.

To be safe, I pushed the button a few times, just to make sure it was still working. I won't go into the ballistic response that confirmed that it was still operational, but yeah, it was working.

After breakfast, I decided to restrain my distance from women that freak out on me and used my zoom lens instead.

I was reminded of a quote from the movie 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles'.

'Those aren't pillows!'

I'm smarter than a roomful of two-year olds, so I wisely chose not to vocalize my inner thoughts. Instead, I grabbed Peter and David and left Tommy to butt-nap while we played pool.

Each time we play, we refine the rules a bit. David now understands that blocking the pocket with his hand is equally as unacceptable as plugging the pocket with his elbow. The boys were actually getting pretty good. I promised them that we would practice when we get back to Germany. I do admit, the only respectable place to practice is in a pub and my interest in their billiard-skill-development might have been under the influence of my liver, but whatever - at least it was respectable. Let's go down by the beach.

I never had a brother, so I often live brotherhood through the eyes of my three sons. At sundown, they were in rare form, but they somehow managed to tone down their freak-o-meter enough for me to get a snapshot of pure carefree bonding.

As we came back from watching the sun go to bed, Ali Baba cornered me and informed me that the extremely expensive custom t-shirts that I was pressured into buying were ready. Pay up.

Surprise, surprise - Peter was the first one to strike a pose.

Ali Baba then informed Angie and me, in front of our children, that we could also purchase a copy of the complete soundtrack to Mini Disco. Angie and I were beside ourselves with excitement.

After forking over more cash to Ali Bastard, I decided to call it a night. For a change, Tommy agreed. He even announced to all of his island friends that he was sleepy and wanted to be carried off to bed.

'Yeah, nice one, Tommy. Walk on.'

Tommy Walker made it about halfway before turning to Mama to ask her if she happened to know of any sexy man-hunks that could possibly carry him the rest of the way. Mama dramatically scanned the beach, looking left and then right. In the end, she wisely avoided a major ego smack down by suggesting that I carry him. I did, by they way.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That we could go to the quiz and the water was not too cold.
David: That I could stay so long up like a big person and say dabadadoo-doo to Tom.
Tom: That I did get in the pool and that I got the ball that fall down.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: I didn't have one - today was SUPER!.
David: That the water was so cool by the pool. Hey, that rhymes! Funny.
Tom: That I fall down and did owa-owa-owa!

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to jump in the pool.
David: Maybe buy a Nintendo or do a game on the iPod.
Tom: Want I play computer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beach Gangstas

It's amazing how something as simple as a hat can turn you into a bad-ass gangsta. Had I known that, I would have bought a Dick Tracy hat years ago and told Angie to cook me a chicken pot pie, yo. She would have still burned down the kitchen trying, but at least I would have been able to stylishly scowl at her like Peter.

A few hours before we bought Peter's attitude-changing headgear, David was entertaining hotel guests with a breakfast show.

I thought about looking for a hat that could alter David's attitude, but in the end I simply did not want to. He's a jackass by nature, but it's also what makes him Disco Dave. I also wouldn't want Angie to suddenly figure out how to use a computer. Or cook. Or unexpectedly be able to actually find things. We are who we are, and if you don't appreciate goofy faces complimented by farting noises at the breakfast table, then maybe you should just go jump in the pool.

After jumping in the pool, we decided that at some point during our trip we should leave Mariachi Bay and actually venture into the city. As we approached the bus station, the boys cried out 'Ali Baba' in unison. I should say that Ali Baba was on his free time and less than pickled tink that Hulu Hulu kid and his wild brothers would be joining him on what he had probably thought would be a quiet bus ride into town.

Kos was the birthplace of Hippocrates and Angie is a natural-born hypocrite, so the pilgrimage to visit her origins was a logical choice. As we got on the bus, David was making faces out the window at a group of local goat herders. Angie screamed at him to stop making silly faces. A few minutes later, I got a rather telling snapshot of the newly nicknamed Queen of Hypocrisy.

I don't actually know what the hell had gotten into Angie and I'm sure you're shocked to read that I didn't care. I was too busy wondering why Ali Baba wanted to sit so far away from Lizard chick and her funny-faced offspring.

After making the other bus passengers seriously consider taxis in the future, we got off the bus and ventured into town. Along the way, Angie busted out an impromptu lesson that even impressed me.

Mama Nature stopped the Wild Scouts and explained to them that the leaves of the Mimosa tree are extremely sensitive to loud children and will curl up when touched. David and Tom then spent the next fifteen minutes yanking on and screaming at this poor tree until the shop keeper came out looking ready to go completely tzatziki on the boys. Right, move on!

At one point, Tommy became very interested in watches.

'Can I me buy me one?'


'Why no?'

'Because you don't know how to tell time.'


'Doch!' is the German equivalent of 'Yuh huh'. Tommy says it quite often, but in his defense, it's because at the ripe age of three, he already knows everything.

I made the mistake of ignoring him and walked on. About a block later, I turned back to see a rather proud Tommy flaunting his new wrist bling. After some minor screaming lessons on shoplifting and some major apologizing to the shop owner, I was able to keep Sticky Fingers Tom out of a Greek prison.

Like his mother and my wife's father, Tommy can be a bit headstrong. He insisted that he wanted the watch. I counter-insisted that he could have the watch when he could pay for it himself.


That's right. Our third born took to peddling the streets of Kos to scrape up enough cash to buy a watch. Luckily the people passing by did exactly what I do when Tommy goes off on a temper-rant and simply ignored him. Even lucklier, it was hot as hell and Tommy only lasted three minutes. Right, move on!

Peter had his manly-man talk yesterday and suddenly demanded a hat that was fitting for a manly-boy who had recently unlocked the secrets of the universe and beyond. Um, okay.

I tried to keep a straight face as Peter struck a pose on every corner. I haven't watched TV in years, but Peter certainly does. Apparently, all the cool characters nowadays cock their head to one side and squint their eyes. Not sure where the lilac t-shirt comes into play, but as I said - I haven't watched TV in years.

As we walked on, we came across statue after mutilated statue.

At one point, David's curiosity got the better of him.

'Papa, why all those people have no head and no arms - were they bad?'

'Yup. They probably failed to listen to their fathers. Tragic, isn't it?'

Raising a kid would be so much easier if it weren't for opinionated moms with big ears. Angie immediately swooped in, overruled my answer and went on to babble a bunch of Greek history trivia that only Ken and Karen would appreciate. Who?

Ken and Karen are regulars at the Pub Trivia night that Angie hosts every Thursday. We've also had them over to the house for a BBQ and they passed 'Zoo Indoctrination 101' with flying colors.

Angie sees them every week, so we weren't exactly expecting to see them in Kos. They probably weren't expecting to see us either. Instead, they heard us. Tommy, to be exact. He was screeching away when Karen called out from a cafe.


'Karen! Hi! What are you doing here? Is it Thursday?'

After confirming that Ken and Karen weren't stalking Angie for an impromptu trivia quiz, we found out that they were island hopping. It's an amazingly small world when you have loud children.

After saying goodbye, we dashed off for our train. What train?!

Okay, calm down. There was no train. See, we had made a conscious decision to help out the Greek economy by paying outrageous prices for what turned out to be a tour of the city's many, many construction sites on a bus that was dressed up to look like a train. Um, can I have a receipt, please?

Meanwhile, back at the cool side of the ocean, Peter was still trying to impress the locals as a hat-wearing, head-tilting, lilac-shirt-wearing bad-ass from Deutschland. 62's my prison number, yo.

After knowing myself for more than 38 years, I've grown accustomed to big egos in little bodies and decided that the best course of action was to ignore and feed.

That's right. We had flown all the way to the Greek island of Kos, with all of its wonderful cuisine of exotic fish and fresh seafood, only to cop out and hit the only McDonald's on the island.

After meals that made the kids happy, we went to the bus station. We were thirty minutes early, so I told Angie that I would take the boys on a search to find the super-duper laser-pen toy that some other kid had used at Mini Disco last night. As per usual, Angie ignored me and asked one of the bus drivers at the smoke shack when our bus would be leaving.

I initially thought this to be a completely asinine question, considering that I was clutching the bus schedule in my hand, which clearly indicated a take-off time of 16:30. It was on 15:55, which, according to my brain, meant that we had 35 minutes to find this damn laser pen that the boys wouldn't shut up about.

'You go now. Bus leave now. Bus full. You go now, okay?'

In case you've never read any of our adventures, I can tell you that Angie likes to gloat and her gloat is ugly. As it turns out, the Greek bus system pays absolutely no attention to the schedules. They just park somewhere close to the designated area and when they fill up, they leave. Even if this is 35 minutes before the scheduled departure time and there won't be another bus for four hours.

When we got back from our 'Why did you take us there, there was no pool?!' trip, the boys were a little tired. Peter didn't really sign up to help, but he also didn't kick David off when he jumped on his back for a 'Peter-back-ride'.

After finally getting the wild creatures to bed, I ventured into our bedroom to find a rather interesting development. By 'interesting', I of course mean that Angie started going 'bizerko' again.

In case anyone is wondering what the hell Angie is doing (I sure was), she is drinking a glass of water upside down in an attempt to get rid of hiccups. In case anyone is wondering if drinking a glass of water upside down gets rid of hiccups (I sure wasn't), it doesn't. 
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That we was in Kos city and that we went to McDonald's.
David: That we build this cave here.
Tom: That we could go in the Kinder Disco.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That I slipped and hurt my spine.
David: That I couldn't jump in the pool.
Tom: That I fall down on Mama's bed.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Jump in the pool.
David: I wanted to, maybe, just maybe, load a wrestling game on the iPod and maybe buy me another water pistol.
Tom: Want I look TV.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Age of Innocence

After a rather energetic breakfast, we headed down to the hotel pier for a scheduled catamaran tour. It was all going according to schedule until we couldn't find the boat. Angie is crap at finding anything, but it wasn't exactly a big pier, so by 11:00 we finally had to accept that the wind storm that had hit early this morning might have cancelled the 10:30 pick-up. Oh, well - shit happens. When life gives you lemons, you form an impromptu boy band and let Peter rock the stage with his air guitar solo.

As we goofed around on the pier with the wind in our face and the sun on our backs, I couldn't help wishing yet again that I could freeze time. In the snapshots of my memory, I will always think back to this pier and the pure innocence of youth. The boys are coming of age and soon enough I will be pulling Peter aside to talk to him about the birds and bees. Six hours later, to be exact.

As we strolled the beach, I made two discoveries. First, there was not a damn shell to be found anywhere. The second, which took us over an hour to figure out, was that Angie is physically and absolutely mentally unable to leave a beach without finding at least one seashell.

Two hours later, my stomach starting growling and my liver was getting thirsty. I seriously contemplated sending Peter on a mission to go buy a bag of the tourist seashells that they sell in the hotel shop and secretly scatter them in front of Angie's path. I even quietly pitched the idea to Peter.

'Are you with me?'

Judging by the shit-eating grin, I'm pretty sure he was on board, but I'll never know for sure. David's victory wail interrupted our scheming as he raced towards Mama. 

'I found one!'   

'No, David. That's a piece of broken glass. Keep looking.'

David's not an idiot; I think he knew it was broken glass, but it does show the level of desperation among the male contingency. We were willing to try anything to get Shell-chick back to the hotel. In the end, it was the disgusting level of garbage on the beach that started to pile up, oddly enough, as soon as we got out of eyesight from the hotel that did the trick.

'Right, grab that box!'

We picked up an empty cardboard box and instead of seashells, we started collecting pollution on the way back, which we then promptly deposited in the hotel trash bin as we made our way to lunch. It wasn't a box of shells, but at least we collected something and I felt that Angie was okay with this. I ignored the uncontrollable twitching and mutters of 'shells' over and over again and chalked this up to the fact that Angie just needed to eat.

'Everyone stop making eye contact with Mama and go wash your hands!'

After lunch, Angie wanted to go back to the beach and asked us if we would like to join her. Tommy cried, David laughed, and Peter ran away beating his head as I shouted tidbits like 'hell no!' and 'are you freakin' nuts?', leaving Angie with the choice of a lone search for wild geese in the middle of a sandstorm or lounging by the pool with her book as the manly men played darts. Mmm, decisions, decisions.

Ali Baba might be cooler than Miles Davis, but he certainly won't be winning the Island Safety Award. Perhaps a few points to explain.
  • We were in the middle of a wind storm. 
  • The darts were made of a lightweight plastic.
  • The wild animals flinging the flimsy arrows were crap at aiming.
  • Ali Baba was not wearing shoes.
By amazing luck, Ali Baba did not end the evening with the need for a tetanus shot. Even more incredible was that Peter stuck all three of his darts, including the green dart being a millimeter away from a bulls-eye.

After an hour of human pin-cushion avoidance, we rounded up Mama and headed off to dinner. Along the way, Angie informed me that Peter had been asking her questions.

'Tell me about it. The boy never shuts up.'

'No, Steve. I mean he was asking 'questions'. You know...'

'Ohhh. Okay, got it. I'll talk to him.'

As the boys attacked the buffet, I mentally prepared my impromptu father-son talk. With bellies full of cooked food, the collective serotonin levels kicked in and brotherly sunset bonding ensued.

I was once again hit with emotions as I watched Peter enjoying the simple life and struggled with whether or not I was ready for him to become wiser in the secrets of life. In the end, I had to remind myself that it was Peter who had been asking which meant that he was obviously ready. If I didn't step up, he would find the information elsewhere and I would forever lose a bonding moment.

'Hey, Peter, let's go for a walk on the beach.'

'Okay, cool.'

As I walked along the beach looking for an ideal rock to sit on, I stopped Peter. I wanted to capture a picture of the age of innocence that I reluctantly knew would be slipping away soon.

Peter still had no idea why I had asked him to walk on the beach with me. Even so, the more I look at this picture, I get the sense that he knew. Maybe not exactly what, but I'm pretty sure that he was aware that we weren't just going for a stroll on the beach.

In the end, we probably walked further than I had planned as I still collected my thoughts. Trust me, it's not easy. We passed many a fine sitting rocks and in the end settled for a deserted bus bench near the pier of a different hotel.

I won't detail the father-son talk, but I will absolutely recommend this talk for fathers everywhere. It's awkward, it's uncomfortable, it's revealing, it's informative, it's never too much detail, no matter what you think, it's bonding, it's wonderful, it's needed. And most importantly, it's appreciated. Just do it.

When we got back to the hotel, Mini Disco had started. David and Tommy had unknowingly initiated a contest to see who could be the biggest jackass. In a surprise decision by the self-appointed judge, Angie won.

I tried comforting the winner by explaining that it was a close call, but she flat-out refused my request for an acceptance speech. Whatever.

Peter proudly whispered into the Champ's ear that he had had the 'Father-son' talk and then ran off to hang out with the other innocent youths.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I had my father-son talk.
David: That I won by pool and said ba-ba-da-goo-goo to Peter.
Tom: That we could go hundred times in the pool.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That I cut me by the pool.
David: That Tommy said shaba-doo-doo to me.
Tom: Mama throwed my water pistol on the wall and then it was broken.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to jump in the big pool by the deep side.
David: I want to say to Tommy Nase Pfeffer Nase Banana Pfeffer.
Tom: Look wrestling on T.V.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Darth Weirdo

Peter Force'd me to take this picture of him for Nicole. See, a few weeks ago she went hiking in Austria and came back with a kickass shadow-picture of her that looked like Darth Vader. Peter was impressed and compelled to one-up her by getting a snapshot of Darth walking on chopsticks. The Force is strong with this one.

Anakin then twisted my arm and asked if we could go to the bar. I agreed, but told him that he was not having any more Coke. He responded with a dramatic wave of his hand.

'These aren't the drinks you're looking for.'

'Oh, come on, Peter. Let it go. If you want a Coke that badly, just order one.'

By the same rationale, I ordered lunch. May the Foam be with you.

While Peter, my beer and my belly bonded, Tommy was busy finding new friends. Several, actually. After last night's Mini Disco's disastrous meltdown, Tommy was now known around the island as the 'Hulu Hulu' kid. Tommy thought it was cooler than me that this kid was a BIG kid who didn't speak English or German. It didn't stop him from tossing Tommy around in the pool screaming 'Hulu hulu!'.

We eventually worked out that the kid was from Holland and I began frantically looking on my iPhone for the online Dutch translation of 'my son can't swim - please stop throwing him in the deep end'.

David, who normally comes racing to Tommy's rescue, completely ignored the fact that he was almost drowned twice by Dutch-boy. He was dead-on focused on a new game that he had invented called pool-ball.

It's kinda like baseball, only you whack a rubber nerf ball with a boogie board as hard as you can until it flies over the fence and into the ocean, forcing hairy-chested beach dads with firm bottoms to rescue the ball over and over and over and over again until they get so freakin' annoyed that they ban pool-ball for the rest of their kid's life. Game over.

Angie unplucked her nose from her book long enough to hear the veins in my neck snapping and thought it would be wise to move to the hotel lobby for some quiet board games. Yeah, wise.

I have no idea where David learned to put on his 'game face' but I can say that it was far from quiet in the hotel lobby. At one point, I noticed one of the receptionists making their way over to us and I nonchalantly raised my wrist. All inclusive, baby.

After a not-so-subtle and slightly over-reluctant pause, the guy returned to his counter. My blue bracelet had won round one, but I knew that our lobby time was limited.

'Who's hungry?'

For a brief moment, I thought I had unlocked Pandora's secret to getting kids to actually shut up. It's a giddy feeling, somewhat akin to the many, many times where I was absolutely certain that I had finally discovered perpetual motion. Not so surprisingly, Angie was the one to pop my crazy bubble and lay down the law.

'Yeah, we're going to go eat now, but you're not allowed to touch the dessert bar until you've eaten your dinner.'

In David's defense, they do tempt kids that are listening-impaired with their flamboyant display of yumm.

So, yeah. What happened was that I put down our bags and left to check on David, who had run off giggling like a madman. I spotted him next to the desert bar and immediately raced over. When I finally got there, I noticed a blur racing past me. The giggling told me that it was David, but before my anger could even register, another man spoke to me. He was standing next to an enormous Jell-O sculpture and spoke with a Russian accent.

'Did you see that?'

'Not unless you can prove it in a court of law.'

'That kid just took half of this big Jell-O sculpture and ran off laughing.'

'Well, you better hurry up and snatch up the half that's left.'

'Good idea.'

I left my comrade to scoop up the last of the Jell-O as I ventured on to discover the root cause of David's hearing malfunction. I found David sitting at the table, contently and rather quickly shoveling spoonfuls of wiggly sugar into his gelatin hole. Before I could voice my reaction, Angie intervened with a gentle reminder.

'Oh, come on, Jelly Belly - we're on vacation.'

'You're right, Butter-buns.'

Based on Angie's belief that we should completely break down all forms of discipline based on the fact that 'we're on vacation' I decided to ignore Jell-O thievery and just play pool with the hooligans. At least it didn't involve boogie boards. 

Peter had never played pool before, but he surprised me by understanding all the rules right away. He still sucked BIG time, but come on, he looks cool. What else do you want?

Davey looked cool from the starting gate, but his short limbs and utter disregard for rules led to a rather interesting game.

After a few shots, I explained to David again that 'no, you are not allowed to block Peter's ball from going in with your hand.' David nodded his understanding, which did nothing to calm down Peter's twisted scowl and angry breathing. On Peter's next shot, I shit you not, David raced over and plugged the corner pocket with his elbow. As the three ball bounced off of David's arm, several things happened at once.
  • Peter screamed like the daughter Angie always wanted.
  • David looked at me and shrugged 'What? I didn't use me hand.'
  • I involuntarily cracked up and almost high-elbowed David, who was giggling insanely.
  • Peter let out a growling war-cry and started swinging his pool stick at David as he chased him around the pool table.
  • I clutched my belly and started fumbling for my camera.
  • Angie came racing out of the nearby gift shop screaming 'What the hell is going on here?'
  • The shop keeper came racing out after Angie screaming 'You no pay for that!'
  • At that point, I completely lost it and started laughing hysterically.
  • Angie glanced down at the hat she was clutching and casually asked me if I had any money.
  • I paid the shop keeper for the stolen hat as Angie went ballistic on Caine and Able.
  • Tommy wandered over from the air hockey table and declared 'I are being a good boy.'
Shockingly enough, Tommy was being a good boy. This probably had something to do with serious threats made three minutes prior that he would not be allowed to attend Mini Disco tonight if he didn't stop beating the already cracked window with a pool stick.

See, Mini Disco had become a major nightly ritual at Mariachi Bay. Angie kept nagging that the place was called Mastichari Bay. Whatever. The point was, we had inadvertently discovered a newfound method to tame wild animals. I know that parents don't normally resort to threat tactics to get their kids to behave, but we sure as hell did. And it worked like a charm. 'Heeeeeey Macarena!'

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I was good by the Kinder Disco and by the pool.
David: Kinder Disco and that I play pool so good.
Tom: That I could go in the pool with mine Freund.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That we couldn't play 10 o'clock or something pool in the lobby.
David: That I got a mosqweeto bite.
Tom: That I fall down my nose.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: One of those laser pens I want to buy and jump in the pool.
David: I want to buy a computer or maybe a thing like that.
Tom: Want to look wrestling.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Life's a pool

'Hey, nice nose ring!'

If you're wondering why Tommy's nose is covered in White-out, you obviously didn't read about Tommy's carpet crunch. First of all, shame on you. Since you're obviously lazy, though, I can sum it up for you. Tommy flung himself wildly from a hotel bed and cushioned his fall with his nose.

I was actually curious to see what sunburn does to rug burn, but Angie is such a boys-Mama that she slathered on five layers of Ultra Block SPF 5000 to seal and protect Tommy's sniffer. As White-beak made his way to the shallow end, I turned to Angie.

'Is that stuff water-proof?'

'Beats me - it's all in Greek.'

Rather than make any comments that might get me thrown in the deep end, I ventured off to find David.

I have no idea why Captain America was prancing around the pool. I also have no idea why David decided to start pummeling Super-freak in the belly, but I was wearing a blue plastic bracelet that, according to me, entitled me to laugh and take pictures. All inclusive, baby.

I left Destructo Dave to battle his nemesis and wandered off to get drinks with Tommy.

'I'll have a couple cokes.'

The shady guy behind the bar glanced slowly left, then right, and then he leaned over towards me.


I deal with Angie on a daily basis, so I am oh-so-accustomed to being misunderstood.

'I said that I would like a couple of cokes. You know, Coca-colas...'

'Oh, okay. Hahaha. See, I hear 'cokes' and on the island that means cocaine.'

I didn't bother asking the guy with the Balkan accent why he thought I would be trying to score an eight ball in the middle of the day with my three-year old son who was by my side screaming for a straw. Come to think of it, why exactly do you need that straw, Tommy?

I left the poolside drugstore with two sugar-waters and a newfound conviction that the kids are not allowed to order drinks by themselves anymore.

Meanwhile, back at the pool, Peter was curling up in a ball. For a change, it did not involve crying.

I was still shocked and awed that Peter had finally crawled out of his seashell. He had gone from 'drunken Sea-Monkey drowning' to 'I am Peter, hear me swim' in less than 48 hours. Bravo, now quit splashing me, punk.

I went to check on how the swimming lessons were working out for Davey and Tommy and was confronted by two super soakers in the shallow end that didn't realize yet that they were playing with their shallow lives.

'Guys, I have the camera, so don't even think about it.'

There was a brief moment of intelligent hesitation before I heard a familiar scream from the bleachers.

'Yeah! Go for it! Get him!'

So, yeah. The boys learned a few new words as I dried off the camera. Angie is supposedly in the education industry, but she flat-out refused to learn any of the lessons I shouted at her and continued to send mixed signals to her derelicts by cracking up and yelling things like 'right on' and 'shoot him again!'.

I tend to shy away from crazy women and their young, so I decided instead to head out for lunch. Lunch has proven to be a rather entertaining event. Not really for us, but for anyone within a 150-foot radius who still has the unfortunate ability to hear.

See, Tommy's voice has not yet dropped, and that is putting it quietly. Over the course of Angie's teaching career, she has advertently subjected me to ankle-biters of all ages and I have never, never, never, never-ever-ever heard another child with such a high pitched owl-screech as Tommy when he is excited. The fact that he was mega excited on a bi-minute basis meant that everyone in the dining room knew when we entered the room.

At first, I just assumed that the stares were for me. As a famous blogger with perfect teeth and thighs that make chickens jealous, I get my fair share of looks. Okay, they're normally from Angie and they're probably closer to glares, but the point is that I do get checked out.

After Tommy's audible tour down decibel lane, there were very few people who would stand next to him.

Oh, that's right. [Note to self: check Peter's hearing when we get back home]

After lunch, I felt like a nap. When Angie visually shot down this idea, I went for plan B.

Plan B tasted so yummy that it quickly turned into plan F. At that point, Angie grumbled something about going to Mini Disco. Hulu hulu.

This is Ali Baba. Also known as 'the energetic hotel entertainer that turns lazy kids into sweaty balls of energy'. If you don't believe me, check out Tommy's sweaty nose. I mean head.

David was so far into his element that I thought about patenting noise. Between him and Tom, I'd be re-yach.

The grand finale came at the very end when Ali Baba shoved a microphone in Tommy's face and started getting Tommy to repeat him.

'Hulu, hulu!'
'Hulu, hulu!'


'Hakuna Matata'
'Hakuna Matata'

[even faster]

'Black and Decker!'
'Back in pepper!'

[super fast]

[crickets chirping]

For a split second, Tommy just stood at the front of the stage and scowled at Ali Baba. The brief silence was broken by a roar of laughter from the crowd, including me. I'm definitely an excellent father.

Tommy mistakenly thought the whole crowd was laughing at him and ran off to his brothers crying. Aside from the whole public display of snot blubbering like a three-year old, I thought it was cool that he ran to his brothers instead of his Mama for comfort.

When Mini Disco ended, I almost cried, too. I'll let you decide if they were tears of joy or sadness. Either way, I was bed-bound with David and Tom. Peter...I'm sorry, BIG-BOY PETE was able to stay behind for Trivia Quiz night for the adults. My only condition was that he take the camera and, without breaking it, that he get a photo of Mama getting her quiz on. He managed to take 65 pictures of the quiz, but this is the only non-blurry mother-approved shot that I could use.

After Mini-Quiz for adults, we racked out. We have an island to conquer tomorrow and by dolly, we're hell-bent on putting the Tza back into Tzatziki.  
Ladder Talk:
[Tommy refused to do the Best and Tomorrow and insisted on only doing his worst moment]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I jumped in the pool and that we drank cola almost the whole day.
David: That we build the cave.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That I banged my head on the stone where it is going deep and I say 'ow'.
David: That I couldn't so long be by the pool and I could not play shaka-boom in my head.
Tom: That all of these kids laughed at me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play pool and play in the pool.
David: Go to Kinder Disco.