What Hump?

What Hump?

It’s a line you either know or you don’t, which I suppose could be said for so many of the lines from that film. It is one of those movies that sticks with you long after you’ve seen it, and carries with it the power to bring people together. It is also one of the few ways I’ve figured out how to reminisce with people I don’t know. You quote a line, and if they are in the know, they’ll quote one back. It’s a great way to have entire conversations with people without really talking about anything.

Spouting off your favorite lines from movies are one of those skill sets that may not have been useful to Liam Neeson in getting his daughter back, but it is a great skill set for getting people to talk to one another at a party while you’re waiting for the alcohol to show up.

The other thing I love about is that in the right circumstances you can reenact the entire film from that moment on. Those circumstances being, the other people in the room love and therefore have watched the movie as many times as you have, thus having the whole thing memorized.

So Cinemark (a movie theater chain) has been revisiting a few classic films over the past few months; showing one old movie for one night only, with a new old movie the next week. Well yesterday, on Halloween, they showed Young Frankenstein. Since this film was released the same year I was born, I’ve never had the chance to see it on the big screen. So between staying at home waiting for little people (kids) in costumes to show up on my doorstep, and plead for free candy, or going to see one of my favorite comedies on the silver screen, I figured the little sugar addicts would have plenty of ‘junk’ without my yearly contribution.

What I didn’t realize until after we got to the movie was that my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh had never seen this film before. I’ll admit, there was a part of me that refused to believe this was true, but as she started laughing at the lines, lines I have been regurgitating for close to thirty years now, there was a certain quality to her laugh that convinced me she was a Young Frankenstein virgin.

There’s a difference in laughing at something for the first time and laughing at something because you have seen it 100 times and your love and appreciation for it keeps you laughing every time you see it.

And even thought I wanted to quote every line right along with the movie, in much the same way as a teenage girl feels compelled to sing along to every song sung at every Adele concert ever, I employed a Jedi’s amount of self-control and refrained, mostly. There were a few times lines slipped out, and I found myself whispering, “Walk this way.”, “There wolf. There castle.” and, “Put the candle back!” at the appropriate times throughout the film.

Monsters, brains, henchmen, and laugh after laugh; all in all, it was a truly grand Halloween.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: What hump, Young Frankenstein, and put za candle back.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

It’s No Longer Complicated . . . It’s So Much More

It’s No Longer Complicated . . . It’s So Much More

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Facebook has added a few additional relationship status options. It appears apart from Single, Married, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It’s Complicated, In an open relationship, Widowed, Separated, and Divorced you can also select In a civil union and In a domestic partnership . This got thinking, since 73%* of people on Facebook use it for relationship related activities, it would be fun to see them add a few more options.

(* A completely random number I just made up.)

Turns out I’m not the only one with this idea. Here is a list of Relationship Status options I’d like to see them add (the first half of which are borrowed from someone else’s Facebook post).

  • Cats only
  • Single and awesome
  • Baby Daddy
  • Experimented at college with
  • Blacked out and woke up with
  • Playing house with
  • Building a pillow fort with
  • Shacking up with
  • In a Relationship with ______, but don’t tell ______ in case he/she like me too.
  • Just seeing where this goes with
  • Smelling glue with
  • Knocked up by
  • Brainwashed by
  • Drinking Kool-Aid with
  • Sharing a jail cell with
  • Has amnesia but everyone says is married to
  • Pretending to be pirates with
  • Climbing trees with
  • Protecting _____ from spiders
  • Got a green card for
  • Sharing a mutual dislike of NASCAR with
  • Dresses up for Star Trek Movies with
  • Together for tax reasons with
  • Putting the toilet seat down for
  • Married long enough that they no longer hold in their farts in front of
  • Riding dolphins with
  • Hoping _____ gets the hint and buys a damn ring already
  • Is a coward and hopes _____ ends the relationship soon
  • Quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail with
  • Petitioning Congress to make it Illegal for Adam Sandler to Ever Appear in Another Movie with
  • Found the Rainbow Connection with
  • On a bender with

Yes, I could keep going, but you get the point. I do hope you got a Smirk out of this list and if you happen to be in a comment leaving mood, I’d love to hear some of your own relationship status updates you’d like to see Facebook implement.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: it’s complicated, pillow fort, and scared of spiders.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

The Lies That We Like

The Lies That We Like

I hear people say all the time that lying is a bad thing. As a child I was taught that lying is wrong, not just wrong, but a sin. We even have laws that demand we not lie and if we are caught doing so we can go to jail, or get fined, or be subject to hours of community service, or all three. The thing is, when you get right down to it, there are plenty of lies that we don’t mind at all, and in some cases we enjoy them quite a lot. So for today’s Smirk, here are a few of those lies that I think we as people thoroughly enjoy.

Let’s start with the Tooth Fairy. Adults tell their kids that some mentally deranged tutu wearing waif with wings, who has an addiction to ivory in the shape of children’s teeth, breaks in to and enters their home while the family is sleeping, creeps into the child’s room and invades the kids personal space by reaching under the child’s pillow, while their sleeping head is on it!, to find a freshly removed tooth. The only thing the keeps her from being a prosecuted is the fact that, apart from being fictional, she leaves a little coin under your pillow in exchange for the tooth, instead of outright stealing it.

Still, when you hear this lie as a kid, you are elated that some fairy is going to be paying you a special visit during the night to pick up your discarded tooth and leave you some cash in its place. You know, if you stop and think about it, the Tooth Fairy is a lot like garbage man. However, in this day and age I think the PC job description would be a door-to-door ivory disposal engineer. The thing I loved about this lie was the reward I got for playing an active role in it. When I lost a tooth I always placed it under my pillow, looking forward to the monetary reward I would be getting for losing it in the first place. Although, now that I think about it, it does kind of teach kids that it’s alright to sell your body parts . . . the more I think about this lady the creepier she gets.

The cash I got from the Tooth Fairy did turn into a bit of a vicious cycle. I always used my Tooth Fairy money to buy more candy so I could lose more teeth to get more money to get more candy. The Tooth Fairy was one of my few money making venues as a kid. If I wanted candy my options for making money so I could get some was teeth (25 cents each), a lemonade stand (10 cents a glass), my weekly allowance (1 dollar), searching the couch for loose change (this varied anywhere from 1 cent to a record $1.87), and birthdays (I could always count on my grandparents giving me a 5 dollar bill each year. Due to these limited money making opportunities I once, and I’m not proud of this, took my little sister’s tooth from under her pillow while she slept and put it under my own pillow in hopes of cashing in on her lost tooth . . . it didn’t work, and I got grounded.

Next we have the over-sized, self-aware, ultra-soft, cuddly woodland creature that has a hide and seek fetish for baskets full of treats and dyed hard boiled eggs. Not to mention, thanks to Cadbury, it is believed that this bunny has the magical power to excrete chocolate eggs.

Side note: Thanks to the marketing campaign of Cadbury every Easter, I do always get a cheap laugh when I purchase my one Cadbury Creme Egg for the year and then, while eating it in front of my friends, mention once or twice, “I’ve really got to stop eating this crap.”

I loved this lie as a kid! The idea of a giant bunny sneaking into my house once a year to expel chocolate all over the place and then steal all the eggs we dyed the night before only to hide them throughout the house, was not only a vast source of youthful entertainment, but it was a wonderful exercise in imagination. It resulted in me asking questions such as, “If I was a bunny, where would I hide an Easter basket?” Plus, if you were like me and not that proficient at finding all of the stashes of chocolate droppings around the house there was always the chance of finding a lost stash of chocolate a few weeks after finishing the last bits of my Easter candy.

One lie that initially carried with it a great deal of disappointment was the lie about lying. No, not the “you should never lie” lie, but the one about the spontaneous combustion that occurs to one’s britches when a lie is told. Seriously, the first time I caught someone lying to me I was more disappointed that their pants did not burst into flames than I was about the fact that I caught them lying to me. This was a lie I did not appreciate as a kid, but as an adult who tells this lie to children, it is a true delight. The most rewarding part is watching them try to comprehend the cause and effect dynamic that they are pretty sure is flawed, but they don’t want to test it out, just in case their pants catch fire.

The list of acceptable lies goes on and on, Santa being one of the biggest, not just by body mass, but by the reaction people had on it once they found out . . . a Smirk I am saving for the holidays.

If you are still leery of this “liking lies” concept there is one lie we all love to be a part of. The “It’s not sour” lie associated for all things sour. We lie all the time about things not being sour when we know for a fact they are. The sole purpose for this is to get the person we are lying to, usually a child, to put something extremely sour in their mouth unbeknownst to them. Then we wait with high anticipation for the lie to pay off when the kid’s taste buds register they are eating something sour and their face uncontrollably distorts in to a wide array of visual hilarity. In short, we lie to people about sour food so they will eat it and make funny faces that make us laugh.

An entire room of adults will take an active role in this lie just so they can all laugh at the faces a five year old makes when they eat a lemon. If you get me anywhere near a baby and a kitchen at the same time, you can bet at some point I am going to be coaxing the little whippersnapper to sample a lemon wedge. And you know what? No one stops me. Know why? They, just like me, can’t wait to see and laugh at the infant’s reaction. The “sour lie” has been going on for generations, and I think as long as humans continue to have kids they are going to be lying to those kids about something tasting sour, all for the sake of laughing at their reaction to an unexpected flavor. It’s a lie that we all love to share.

So, what are some of your favorite happy lies?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: lying, kids pulling teeth, Cadbury Creme Egg, pants on fire, and eating sour lemon.

© Richard Timothy 2011

A “Quit it” Warning that Truly Works on Family

A “Quit it” Warning that Truly Works on Family

Today’s Smirk is brought to you thanks to my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh and her younger sister Rochie-butt. I’m not sure why by for some reason terms of endearment for my wife’s family always includes making sure the name of endearment ends with something related to or connected with the derriere region of the human physique.

So here’s what happened … Rochelle, aka Rochie-butt, was visiting for a few days. Now I don’t know about you, but when I get together with my family let’s just say there is an element of goofiness that comes out, gets passed around and is enjoyed by all. Angela’s family shares this same quality, and when she and Rochelle spent a little too much time together (usually twenty minutes or longer) their motivation to break into song, do silly walks or dances, make sound effect noises, or … well you get the point, these types of actions come to the forefront of their personalities.

When these two get in this type of mood two things happen, first, I openly and loudly exclaim how eerie it is at how similar those two are, and second, I attempt to join in starting off by using Star Wars sound effects or sharing my best “Hulk smash!” impression replacing Hulk’s name with someone else in the room. Hey, when a case of the giggles starts there are no dumb additions to keep the fit going. I won’t say that in looking back there has never been the need to offer a formal written apology to someone, but now that I’m out of my twenties, it rarely, and I mean rarely, happens.

So back to Angela and Rochelle, I hear them walk into the house and it is clear that the giggles have already started, I head down to help bring in some groceries and if at all possible get Angela to do her Chewbacca yell, which she will only do when she is in the type of mood. It’s not that her Chewbacca yell is all that authentic, but it always makes me laugh.

As all three of us are in the kitchen, maneuvering around each other, putting away the groceries and Rochelle manages to say something that inspires Angela to begin doing a little dance while singing out, “I’m Rochelle. I’m Rochelle.”

Rochelle makes it clear that she is about to hit the “no more giggles” wall. This is the point in a community shared bout of laughter that someone essentially sobers up in an instance and everything that was previously hysterical is now dumb and not funny in the least. It’s kind of like driving 80 on the freeway and then putting the car in reverse and stomping on the gas. This bipolar action from everything is funny to nothing is funny takes about .0025% of a second, confusing everyone in the room who is still enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling of group laughter.

Rochelle, still half laughing, warns Angela to “Quit it or I’ll get out my secret weapon!” as Angela continues with her song and dance number. Rochelle then hits the wall and the warning to “quit it” stops and her “secret weapon”, or implement of stopping the family insanity, comes out of her purse as she states, “Fine, you asked for it.”

In her hand is her smart phone and tapping away on her touch screen to pulling up its video record function. Once it is ready to go (this take about five seconds tops), her finger hovering over the record button, she gives her final warning, “Go ahead. Keep it up. I’ll put that shit on Facebook.”

Not only did Angela stop her Rochelle themed song and dance, but the same second Rochelle finished her final warning, Angela simultaneously jumped and hid behind me to hide from the camera. Then, peeking over my shoulder with the phone at the ready she squeaked a defeated, “No.” (As is no she would not be put on Facebook doing her musical Rochelle impression.)

I was amazed at how effective and efficient Rochelle’s threat was. I’ve never seen anything work quite that proficiently, and it got me thinking about the benefits of converting to a smart phone for crowd control purposes at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Note: It is important to point at that the power of this threat does not work on kids up to the age of 12 and adults who have had a few more than too many, apparently adolescents and inebriation both seem to carry with it the characteristic of lessened inhibitions when there is a camera present ready to record your every word and action. It’s as if one’s inner “Born to be a star” personality takes over and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

And, in the case with the drunken adult, it’s a pretty good way to encourage them to pay for all your drinks the next time you go out as payment for letting them delete the only existing copy of the video you made of them off your phone.

The laughter started again about twenty minutes later with no repeat threat of “putting that shit on Facebook” regardless the song and dance number either of them was doing. It didn’t matter though, the rest of the night I replayed the initial event over and over again, smirking every time I got to the point where the threat was made and my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh jumped behind me in an act of defeat before the record button could ever be pressed. Ah, the power of technology and its assistance in controlling the amount of goofiness one’s family is willing to dish out at any given time … just brilliant, and a Smirk, I feel, well worth the sharing.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: sisters laughing, arrested development chicken, taking photo on phone, and drunk photo.

© Richard Timothy 2011

What Weddings have Taught this Reverend

What Weddings have Taught this Reverend

Last weekend (not the past one, but the one before that) I had the honor of performing the wedding of my oldest brother. The wedding went off without a hitch … although if you think about it, isn’t the whole point of a marriage, to get hitched? With this wedding being the fourth wedding I have performed, I thought for this week’s Smirk I’d take a look as some of the things I’ve learned over the past few weddings.

When my first wedding came up, let’s just say that I was very happy I had been in a wedding prior to it or things may have turned out a little lacking in flow. When I showed up I was planning on simply walking the couple through the ceremony on how it was going to work and showing them the logistics for how a sand ceremony works. As it turned out, the couple wanted their parents and a child from a previous relationship added to the ceremony, so I knew I’d have a few people to direct.

It was when I arrived and walked into the space where the wedding was going to take place and the groom asked, “So what do we do?” that I realized they were going to need a little more direction than just were to stand and the queues they need to wait for before they performed their task in the ceremony… and some reason when you walk into a wedding rehearsal a day (or hours) before the official ceremony, and chaos of people find out you are “the reverend”, pretty much anything you say after that becomes the official law for how things are done for the wedding.

I got to put together the precession for who would be walking down the aisle and in what order. I got to choose the sides that the brides and groom’s family were to sit on, and had them practice the march a few times so that the timing and spacing would work out instead of having everyone shuffle in like a train trying for its quickest time for passenger arrival. The couple did have the wedding march songs picked out, which was helpful, but unfortunately they were not sure when they needed to play those songs.

Here are few things to keep in mind if you every find yourself choosing to become a reverend so you can perform a wedding for a friend or family member.

  • Just because you are a reverend does not mean that people get to confess things to you. For some reason when people hear you hold some sort of title that they associate a kind of authority you hear a fair share of stories from people you know (or don’t know) about things they did that you a) never ever wanted to know, or b) just don’t care about. You really can break someone off in the middle of their confession about accidentally killing their little sister’s pet hamster by putting it in that plastic running ball and letting it make a mad dash down the stairs. I mean you could, but I didn’t want to risk it and have them show up later with a therapy bill they expected me to pay for rejecting their confession half way through.
  • Know the preferred language of the couple getting married, the language of their beliefs I mean. If the couple does not believe in god(s) you really don’t want to use Heavenly Father, Shiva, Yahweh, Buddha, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Elohim, Zeus, The Holy Ghost, etc. to bless the couple. Likewise, if they do believe in a god(s) make sure you use the right one(s).
  • Your power to bless the couple is endless. No really, it is. You can use anything and everything to bless them with. I’ve used sand, spices, energy, the sun, coconuts, the ocean, a stick. As long as the blessing holds a positive connotation to the couple and union taking place, it’s all good.
  • This brings me when overseeing a wedding ceremony always remember the Boy Scout motto and “be prepared!” This included being prepared for situations that are not your fault, but require you to be cover for someone. For example, at a wedding I did on a beach in Mexico, there was a part in the ceremony where the couple and attendees were to be given a glass of champagne for a toast near the end. The people in charge of getting the drinks out to everyone was a little lacking in their preparedness and when the time came to pass out the glasses, they had not even opened the bottles yet. Hence, I had to stall. This is where the ocean, and sun, and coconuts, and stick, and anything else lying around that I could see were used as objects of reflection and blessing toward the happy couple. And you know what? No one noticed.
  • Now that I’ve brought up the wedding in Mexico … sometimes you have to lie in order to make a wedding happen the way the couple wants it too. Meaning, I had not authority in Mexico to perform a wedding, but my friends wanted a ceremony on a white sand beach, they not only deserved a wedding on a white sand beach, they were going to get a wedding on a white sand beach. It was a beautiful amazing wedding where they wanted, how they wanted, and when it came time to filling out the paper work, turns out they “officially” (wink, wink) got married in my back yard in Utah, on the exact same day we were all in Mexico together. Thus is the magic of matrimony.
  • Never guess on titles, especially on how the bride is choosing her name. The last thing you want is to finish your ceremony by announcing the couple as Mr. and Mrs. James Brown (or whatever the groom’s name is) and have the bride, who as it turns out is a devout feminist set on equality, bring the entire ceremony to a screeching halt by saying, “Excuse me!?!!” while giving you the evil eye.
  • When telling others about performing wedding, it is best to express that you are performing the ceremony and not marrying someone. The amount of confusion and odd looks you get from others is astounding. For example, telling someone “I am marrying my brother next weekend in Arizona.” brings up an entire set of different mental images about you and marriage laws in Arizona than if I were to say, “I am performing ceremony the wedding for my brother in Arizona next weekend.” The only real confusion that might occur in that second statement is that someone might think that both my brother and I perform weddings and that we was supposed to perform one in Arizona and can’t so I am covering for him.
  • Do not abuse your power to control the actions of others during the ceremony, namely the kiss. The couple is waiting for you to give the green light to smooch town and surprisingly they will wait longer than you would expect to get the go ahead from the presiding reverend. Stay focused until they couple exits they ceremony area.
  • Oh yeah, your job is not done until the couple has signed the certificate. Say want about ceremonies and where they take place, in the US all of that is fluff, because you are not married according to the government, until you sign that piece of paper given to you by the state that you are married. Which also brings up and important point, if you get suckered in to performing a wedding for a coworker’s sibling of that you don’t know at all. Get wedding paper signed and get the hell out of there as soon as you can, because being the reverend at a wedding for people you don’t know really kind of sucks, and you don’t want to get stuck at a strangers wedding.

One last thing, creating a wedding ceremony for someone you know well and hold dear in your heart is truly one of the best experiences. The ceremony gets to come from you and is a gift you get to give to them. If you get the opportunity, take it, because when you love the people you are performing the ceremony for, it hold more meaning, emotion, appreciation and power than any ceremony some stranger or vague family acquaintance will ever be able to create and perform for the happy couple.

Also, if there is an ex involved and they contact your with suggestions, smile and nod. Say, “Thank you for that suggestion.” You can even take notes if you want. Just remember that when you get home, burn every note you took and reject every single suggestion they gave … even if it didn’t seem like that bad of an idea … because it was. The end. Don’t even try to second guess it. Just walk away and don’t look back.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: wedding officiant, wedding procession, la la la I can’t hear you, be prepared, telling a fib, signing wedding certificate, and wedding group hug.

© Richard Timothy 2011

The Art of Souring the Young

The Art of Souring the Young

When friends, family, random strangers, or vague acquaintances ask me if I like kids my first impulse is to tell them, “I love kids … especially covered in barbeque sauce.” This usually ends in two ways, either people laugh, or my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wife-pooh hits me and then people laugh. Surprisingly, there is the rare exception where people get all bent out of shape because I make a joke about eating children. In my experience these are also the first people to say, “I just want to eat you up!” then they are squeezing the cheeks of their own kids. Yes, it does seem a little hypocritical. The only thing I can figure is that it’s the joke about cooking them, as opposed to eating one raw that gets then all bent out of shape.

Having spent a bit of time with little people this month, specifically spending the Fourth of July with my almost two year old nephew and with my friend’s over two year old boy (and the rest of the family) I realized something about them … Smirk inspiring in fact. It is the inherent desire to get them to eat something I am 90% sure they will not enjoy, which will be clearly expressed in the face they make after trying the food. I do this for the sake of getting them to make a face that will make me and everyone in the room laugh. The thing is I think all adults have this innate craving to feed kids things (usually sour) that is going to trigger facial distortion from the child all for the purpose of comedic amusement.

There is always the one person that tells the instigator, or sour distributor, not to do it. The thing I’ve noticed is that they never do anything to stop you from getting the little whippersnapper from puckering up, proving that all adults secretly want to give food to kids that are going to make them facially freak out all for the amusement of all the adults in the vicinity. I think the motivation for expressing opposition to the action is in the rare event that the little one freaks out and starts crying, the person who objected can step in to care for the child while proclaiming, “I told you so.” These people love telling this to others and will express their opposition to everything in life just for the opportunity to say this phrase to others.

I am not one of those people. In fact I am the opposite of one of those people and anytime I see a little person in a public where I know the child or the child’s parents I will attempt to get the kid to pucker up as a result of some sour food consumption all for the purpose of laughter. And when I go in for the feeding, all the other adults turn their attention towards me feeding the child the sour food with the expectation that the youth’s innocent response to something completely new is going to make then laugh.

As a veteran in getting kids to consume sour products, there are times when it can backfire, which consists of the kid having the exact opposite response you were expecting them to have. When my baby sister was around a year and a half I managed to get my hands on a lemon wedge and her at the same time (yes, I started this skill very early in life). Everyone was watching in anticipation to her reaction to the lemon. Her first bite resulted in a rather intense squint, which was followed by her little hands grabbing onto the wedge and refusing to let it go while she proceeded to suck the thing dry. Occasionally she would squint intensely when she got an extra dose of sour, but overall she was more smitten with the flavor and not. In the end it was Stephanie: 1, lemons: 0. The thing was her love/hate reaction to sucking on the lemon wedge, along with her refusal to let the sour thwart her desire to eat it into submission, was hilarious to watch for everyone in the room, and therefore a complete and total success … even if it was a backfire.

After years of souring kids, there is never a sure win to getting kids to blindly munch away on whatever you hand them. Around the two year old time frame kids are already developing preferences to what they will and won’t eat. Sometimes kids will refuse the food your give them due to its color or texture when they hold it. This causes them to turn their head from you every time you try to get the food close to their mouth. When this happens there are still ways to get them soured up, it just takes a little preparation … and creative sneakiness.

During the barbeque I attempted to give my friend’s two year old a little taste of lime. I did manage to get the lime wedge in his hand, but upon smelling the lime he quickly dropped it to the ground. Clearly this one needed a different type of motivation to get puckered up for the amusement of everyone else at the barbeque. I noticed that he was a rather big fan of the whipped cream that was on one of the pies that had been set out. So I got a spoon, dipped it in the whipped cream, and then squeezed a lime wedge into the spoon, allowing it to collect behind the whipped cream. Then when I placed the spoon in front of him there was no hesitation in him. He opening up his mouth and taking the whole spoon full of flavors. The buffer of the whipped cream did delay the kid’s puckering up, but only by a second. And when his face contorted into soured bewilderment, ahh, it was laughter filled perfection.

There are times when you can accidentally get comedic facial distorted value from simple food replacements. At the same barbeque, the same two year old was munching away on some blueberries. My nephew (the almost two year old) has a deep affinity for pitted black olives and loves placing them on his index fingers so he can eat them off his fingers, just like you use to do until your fingers got too big to put them on before eating them. Anyway, so one was eating blueberries and loving them and the other was eating olives and loving them, so I figured let’s switch them up. The thing was to the eyes of both kids, the two foods were very comparable, small, dark colored round things that they considered very yummy, but two completely different flavors.

In both cases there was no apprehension to eating the switched food, and the result produced almost the same response from each child. After the first initial chews it was clear that the complete and utter lack of the flavor they were expecting registered in their brain and the food popped out of their mouth and onto the ground, accompanied by a look of utter bewilderment … similar to that of a Firefly fan when they first heard the show was being canceled, only cuter and without all the tears.

So if you happen to be “that person” that is the lead instigator of souring kids in your circle of friends, remember there are times when a simple exchange is not going to cut it and a little improvisation is going to be required. Also, do not forget about the subtle look-alike food exchange. I know it’s a little off the normal play on sour foods, but the comedic facial expression you can get is just as potent as the traditional sour face response. It will almost always get a worthy laugh.

I do need to point to those of you that are just starting to venture out in this role as the instigator of getting the little kid to pucker up; you should only do this once, occasionally twice, to the same kid at a gathering. If you are at a family reunion and have a large family where there are five kids all around the ages of eighteen months to four years old, you are fine getting each one of those kids once, with a total of five different sour face moments. However if you are at an event where there is only one kid, it is completely inappropriate to play the sour face gag on the one kid five different times.

If someone beats you to the souring the kid, the kid is now off limits and you will have to wait until the next party before you are allowed to sour them. It is a “the first person to sour is also the last person to sour” position. If you arrive late, or if someone beats you to the first souring, sorry but you are not allowed to sour anyone. If someone beats you two it, do not start running around to sour any remaining kids at the gathering. You will only look like a lame copycat and not an impromptu creator of comedic joy. You may however round up other kids to take to the one that started the souring process and assist them in the dispersion of sour items to the unsuspecting kids.

Note: It is never EVER acceptable to attempt this on children whose parents you do not know, or who are not in the area when you attempt feeding the child the sour food, unless you are a close friend or relative of the family and have already soured the child at a previous event when the parents were around.

To any of you that are thinking that this is a cruel and wrong, I am going to have to disagree. Little kids love laughter and by eating a fruit of the sour variety practice you are giving the child the opportunity to evoke laughter from an entire room, which they love, and at the same time you are giving them a dose of vitamin C, which is good for them. It’s a win / win.

Oh, one last thing, you must use real fruit for this exchange and not candy. People who are giving fruit to a child are, at heart, good people. If you are doing this via candy, you are secretly considered a jerk for attempting to get the child addicted to processed sugar. Sour candy is acceptable on children that are ages six to twenty-nine. Giving sour candy to a child almost always replaced most, if not all, of the comedic possibilities, to judgments about you as a person along a most of the women at the function secretly hoping you never reproduce. Plus, you risk angering the mother of the child, who (90% of the time) is in the stage where they are refusing to feed their child any sweets.

After committing this party foul you must secretly leave the party early, and skip the next party invite as an unspoken apology for what you did. You will then be promptly invited to the next party where everyone will have forgotten your souring faux pas.

I know there are a lot of rules, but should you learn to correctly execute the souring of children, you will fill your life with a collection of laughter filled moments and coveted respect for being “that person” willing to act out of the social norms and gets kids to make sour faces for the comedic benefit of everyone around you. And I, for one, have no regrets.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: sour face, eating lemons, eating olives, and laughing group.

© Richard Timothy 2011