Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Husband Makes Dip of Himself

Husbands can be real dips sometimes. My wife was reminded of this recently while dining out with me at a new downtown grill.

The ambiance was very impressive, thanks to a truckload of money spent on renovations. But the speed of the wait staff's service was reminiscent of a snail with a limp. The menu looked interesting though, featuring several wood-grilled items.

"Mmmmm, mushroom dip," I gurgled like Homer Simpson while reviewing the choices on the menu.

My wife thought it was a little odd at first that I was considering mushroom dip for a meal, but she also kept in mind that this was her husband. She knew I could make a meal out of anything.

About an hour later, the waitress finally brought the food out. From what I've been told, I looked a bit like a deer caught in the headlights of a semi. The food looked good, but something was wrong.

"What do you think so far?" I mumbled, obviously a bit irritated.

"Ummm, it's good I guess," my wife shrugged. "Why do you ask?"

"Why?" I replied. "Isn't it obvious? What the hell is this?"

My wife looked down at my piping hot vat of mushroom dip. Nothing appeared to be wrong or out of place.

"What is it?" she asked. "Is there a hair in it or something?"

"No," I said. "I'll tell you what's wrong: I ordered a mushroom dip."

"Yeah?" my wife asked. "And?"

"Those bastards," I said. "I thought I had ordered a sandwich."

"A sandwich?" my wife choked, starting to laugh hysterically.

"Yeah, you know, a mushroom dip," I said. "I thought it would be like a French dip."

After laughing for 20 minutes, my wife was finally able to regain her composure enough to resume the conversation.

"You thought mushroom dip was going to be a sandwich?" my wife snorted. "A bunch of mushrooms on a bun that you'd dip in au jus? C'mon! You're kidding, right? Don't tell me you think artichoke dip is a sandwich, too!"

I then explained how I'd envisioned either a regular mushroom sandwich that you'd dip in cream of mushroom soup, or a huge portobello mushroom sandwich that you'd dip in marinara. But all I got was a vat of mushroom dip and a piece of flat bread. Oh, and a side of fries that would have been much better with a sandwich.

After this incident, my wife now thinks I might be high on mushrooms of a different sort.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Christmas Story For The Dogs

One of the best stories out of my family's Christmas past involves my sister Bubbles. It's a classic that's truly for the dogs.

For those of you who don't know, one of the biggest traditions in my family is to get other family members to fall for bogus stories we make up. Dad and I are usually the storytellers while Mom and Bubbles are usually the gullible victims.

It's more fun than riding in a one-horse open sleigh, if you ask Dad or me.

Anyway, Bubbles' dog day afternoon started when she came back to Fargo for Christmas break in 1995. As soon as she walked in the door, Dad decided to have a little fun with her.

He told her that Mom finally broke down and let him bring home the Christmas present he always wanted: A bulldog named "Shorty."

Of course, Bubbles fell in love with the bulldog she hadn't seen yet. But the story got better.

"Where is he?" Bubbles squeaked. "I wanna pet him. Ooohhhh, Shoooorrrrrrttttyyyyy!"

Then Dad got a look of deep sorrow on his face like he had just witnessed the Hindenberg disaster.

"No... he's not here anymore," Dad sniffed. "We couldn't keep him."

Bubbles' jaw dropped. "Oh, no! But why? Was he sick?"

How Dad kept a straight face for his reply I'll never know.

"Well, we had to bring him back because he was snoring and farting all the time," Dad said. "Mom just didn't want him around the house."

"But you guys do that stuff around the house all the time," Bubbles giggled. "Why hasn't she gotten rid of you and Rocky, too?"

Dad chuckled a little, and even imitated how Shorty walked when he had gas. "Yeah, I know. I guess I thought Mom would kind of get used to him after a while like she did with Rocky and me. But it didn't work... we didn't have Shorty long enough..."

"Waitaminute," Bubbles snapped. "You're pulling my leg, right?"

Dad just rolled his eyes and threw his arms up in the air.

"Made it up?" Dad said. "Now who the hell would make up a story that we couldn't keep a dog because it farted too much?"

Bubbles though for a moment. "OK, I believe you," she said. "Well, what did you have to do... give him away?"

"Well, we tried..." Dad choked. "But... no one wanted a dog like that."

Bubbles really started looking concerned now. "Well, did you have to give him to the humane society, then?"

"Well... even they wouldn't take a dog like that," Dad said. "We had no choice but to put him to sleep."

"WHAT??!!!" Bubbles yelled. "You put Shorty to sleep just because he farted and snored?!!!!"

"No! Gotcha!" Dad laughed. "And Merry Christmas!"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Breakfast of Champions My Ass

The pro athletes that have been featured on the cereal box cover all seemed to confirm the same thing: If you eat Wheaties before a big sporting event, you will be a winner.

Breakfast of Champions my ass!

Every time I've eaten Wheaties hoping it will enhance my athletic abilities, it ends up being the shittiest performance of my life. Literally. I end up spending more time in the bathroom than I do participating in the sporting event.

How do these pro athletes do it? If they're eating their Wheaties as much as they say they do, they must have soiled themselves multiple times by the time they're hoisting up those championship trophies.

I'm surprised the Wheaties box cover folks don't get double endorsement deals and have their pictures plastered on Depends packages, too.

Take Sunday. I was going bowling with some buddies of mine later that afternoon. Granted, none of us are professional bowlers like those guys in the movie Kingpin. But still, we're somewhat competitive and do have beer frames, so it's important to bring a little game.

I figured three or four bowls of Wheaties in the morning would whip my game into shape quickly. After all, it helped Bruce Jenner win the gold medal in the 1976 Olympic decathlon. It probably also helped him father six kids.

Well, the Wheaties whipped my ass into shape all right. I was doing pretty good for the first five frames. A strike, three spares and an open 9 put me at an 86 after my first roll in the sixth. Unfortunately, my first roll in that frame also left me with a 7-10 split. Could my Wheaties consumption help me pick up the spare?

Not even close, although I did manage to "split the uprights." Coincidentally, that 7-10 split also marked the beginning of a 7-10 shit. I had to run to the bathroom so much during the seventh through 10th frames, my game literally went down the toilet. I ended with a 123, easily clinching last place.

This butt blugeoning made me wonder: How did Jenner make it through the decathlon without changing shorts at least 10 times? Surely, he would have lost control of his bowels during some of the events, especially the triple jump. Hop, skip and jump my ass. More like hop, skip and dump!

How did Tom Brady lead his team to three Super Bowl victories in four years when he should have been struggling to "win" the Tidy Bowl after every offensive series?

Something tells me that if Michael Jordan really ate Wheaties before gametime, he still would have been hanging on the rim with his tongue hanging out. The only problem is, he'd be on the toilet, not the basketball court.

Somehow these athletes battled through high fiber intake and still became champions. After what I went through in a comparatively meaningless bowling outing, they truly have my respect and admiration.

When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and the Chicago White Sox did it in 2005, there's no doubt a lot of people thought "No shit?!" Well, now I think we all know the answer to that question.

And those brown stains on their pants? Don't let them fool you into thinking they came from sliding into second base!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cat Scratch Fever

Ted Nugent's famous song has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

It all started when I brought some junk upstairs to the attic Sunday. Some day, I'd like to make the attic into a master suite, but now it's a dumping ground for shit we don't know what to do with (that comes in handy when company is coming).

Anyway, I lugged some things up there and was in its only "room." I was supposed to be alone, but felt like someone or something was watching me. I turned and saw one of our cats, Ringo, sniffing around.

Shit! I had to get him out of there. The attic has a lot of exposed insulation and even worse, I'm not sure what kinds of nooks and crannies my spelunker kitty could fall into.

I rushed out to grab him, then saw Frankie, our female kitty (pictured at left). She's older and is supposed to know better. Not this day.

So I tried to nudge her down the steps with my foot while carrying Ringo, figuring the overly curious male needed the most restraint. I got about halfway down the stairs, which are so steep, they are almost like climbing a ladder. Frankie all of a sudden started getting sneaky and was trying to scoot by my leg. I realized she was now more trouble than Ringo, so I ditched him on the steps, and nabbed Frankie just as she had almost made it to the top.

Ringo started heading up the stairs again and at this point I realized I wasn't going to be able to juggle kitties for long. I called out to my wife who was on the main floor watching TV. Somehow she heard me yell for something and started running up the stairs, shouting "What?!!" All of the commotion got Frankie tensed up. I felt her muscles flex and her kitty claws come out. Her transformation into hellcat was almost complete. All she needed was one more noise to put her over the edge. I tried to creep down the stairs as if I was carrying feline nitroglycerin.

My wife opened the attic door very quickly, which made an unfamiliar sound. The last nail in the kitty coffin had just been hammered in. Frankie dumped a payload of piss on her unsuspecting brother below with a little bit nailing my hands and shirt. It was a lot of piss. It was like she was one of those helicopters that picks up a big load of water and then dumps it on a forest fire.

Ringo (pictured at left) just froze on the steps, trying to figure out why he was the recipient of this golden shower. Meanwhile, Frankie was totally freaking out and started to claw her way up my shoulder. She practically peeled my T-shirt off, but it just bunched up around my neck. I was more worried that she might fall and get hurt on the stairs than what damage her claws would do to me, so I just kind of let nature take its course.

Next thing I know, Frankie is clawing at me like Wolverine turning an enemy into a scratching post. It's like my back was a slippery floor and she had those claws dancing all over looking for traction. When she did find her paws, she tore up my back a bit more and gained about 3-4 inches. Finally she was able to jump off my back and up onto the third story floor.

When it was over it looked like I tried to break up a fight between Roy and his tiger, Montecore. The scratches were so deep I doubt even Siegfried would have been able to make them disappear.

My wife turned into a nurse, cleaning my wounds and applying an immense amount of neosporin. She also told me Frankie spared Blue, the affectionate name I gave to the bull tattoo I got about 13 years ago. She then gave Ringo a bath and settled Frankie's nerves. Soon all was back to normal at Rocky's residence.

Luckily, my wife saw the incident happen, so she wouldn't suspect the following: 1) The scratches came from the hands of some pussycat doll from St. Paul's Frogtown area; or 2) Halle Berry went slumming in her Catwoman outfit and found me.

As far as the back attack, I forgave and forgot. Frankie didn't mean it, she was just a "fraidy cat." The bottom line is I'd rather have a pain in the back pet than a pain in the ass pet any day.