by Richard Timothy | Jul 23, 2010 | Mini-Smirk, My List of Things that Don't Suck, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
It’s funny how our brains cycle through things. I have a list to subjects that I will be writing about at some point… probably, most of them definitely, with a few maybes. The thing is as a result of the few pieces I did on little people my brain has started pulling up more little people storied that I have in the story database in my mind. Of all these stories coming to mind, today I find myself sharing another story of about a friend’s kid, which always puts a smile on my face. And again, out of respect for their privacy, I’ll be changing a few names.
This little story took place about 8 years ago, in Logan Utah, when both my friend Hanson and I were going to school at Utah State University. Hanson and I have been friends for a long time, so it was nice when we eventually both ended up at the same university. By this point in his life, Hanson had familyified himself, err… well he has started a family I mean. He was already married and had two adorable olive skinned girls by this point in his life. Hanson’s wife is full blooded Argentinean and was kind enough to pass along her pigmently enriched flesh tones over to her children. Hanson has always been grateful for this, due to his personal experiences being pigmently challenged and spending a lifetime wearing hats or bathing in SPF 45 before going outside to play.
So one evening, while we went out enjoying some sushi at the only sushi restaurant in town, he relayed this little story to me about his oldest daughter Elise, who was four or five at the time. Elise had been playing over at a friend’s house earlier that week. As is often the case with little people playing outside for an afternoon, there is a placed between lunch and dinner that kids find themselves famished and waiting until dinner is usually a suggestion met by much hostility, a little whining, stomping, flailing about, screaming, and more often than not, tears.
When Elise’s friend, Janet, told her mom that she was hungry her mother took this as a perfect opportunity to avoid fighting with her daughter and told her she would fix something for her and Elise. Fish sticks were the first thing that popped into her mind, because she knew Janet would eat them. Janet’s mom then asked Elise if she would like some fish sticks.
“No.” said Elise. Then after thinking for a moment added, “Brown people don’t like fish.”
Janet’s mom was a little unprepared for this and asked, “What do you mean Elise?”
“Well, my dad’s white and he likes fish, and my mom’s brown and she doesn’t like fish, and I’m brown and I don’t like fish, and my little sister Anna is brown, and she doesn’t like fish either. So brown people don’t like fish.”
“Ok,” Laughed Janet’s mom, “I’ll fix you something else.”
Janet’s mom then walked into the house, over to the phone, and called Elise’s mom to share Elise’s logic as to why brown people don’t like fish.
Hanson and I had a good laugh about that one. We marveled at Elise’s process of logic based on her limited access to information. Even thought it was an extremely inaccurate statement, based on her current knowledge base about fish and brown people and her deduction based on that, she was 100% correct. Hence the logic of a five year old, always exercising their right and determination to be right, even if they are wrong, in a way, they are still right. And in a way, even as adults, I think we all have moments like that from time to time. Thinking we’re right, even when we’re wrong, but based on what we think we know, we’re still right… No matter how much we change, sometimes we’re all still the same.
What are some of your child logic experiences?
Google Images, key words: cursing kid, fish sticks, and no fish.
by Richard Timothy | Jul 21, 2010 | Mini-Smirk, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
Today I was asked if I play the lottery, which got me thinking about the concept of gambling overall and I came to the realization that sometimes yes I do play it, I just never really realized that I was. My earliest gamble was at the age of 8 months old were I was gambling on whether or not I the wedge of yellow fruit was going to be a pleasant experience if I was able to get it in my mouth. I lost, but I have since then learned to appreciate the taste of lemons. At the time all I could do was spit out the wedge, and yell profanities at my giggling father, which of course sounded like, “Whaah!”
As an early teen I was always motivated to take part in the lottery supported by the postal system. This was thanks to the envelopes mailed to my parents with Ed McMahon on the cover informing them that they had been entered I to win 10 million dollars… that is only if they purchased magazine subscription for a year… which I had them do… at least four different times. You know what I learned? Ed was a liar, well, a half truther anyway. Don’t get me wrong I still opened up those letters every change I got, but that was because they always gave you an entire sheet of stickers. I never really had stickers, so the page of self adhesive magazine covers was usually the closest I ever got to having any.
I also did a little stock trading once, which really just feels like a nicer way to say gambling, and because it officially not called gambling it is legal to gamble this way in every single state, even though in most states gambling is illegal. As for my experience gambling stocks, well, it mostly just felt like watching a very slow paced, black and white, foreign drama where you were always watching the bottom of the screen so you don’t miss and of the subtitles so you know what’s going on, but at the same time you miss all action scenes, which usually encompasses watching someone clean a window, or rearranged match books. What I learned… just because your gambling has subtitles does not enhance the tedium of the experience in any way, actually it only makes it worse.
As for the ‘Lotto’ lotto, I don’t believe I’ve ever actually purchased a ticket or scratch game, although I have thought about it. I have developed a brilliant system for then this feeling comes up though. If I feel the urge to play a game that has balls with numbers on them, I’ll call my friends and we’ll go play some pool. If the feeling maintains I just use the money I would have spent on a ticket and buy a nice bottle of wine instead, which, for the record, always pays out.
What are some of your gambling or lotto moments that, at first glance, don’t really look like lotto or gambling moments?
Google Images, key words: keno and reading stock ticker.
by Richard Timothy | Jul 20, 2010 | I Think There's a Point, Mini-Smirk, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
In the spirit of yesterday’s Smirk I felt compelled to share this little story about an experience a friend of mine had with his youngest a while back, and by while back I mean anywhere from 6 months ago to 2 years ago. Out of respect for my friend, I will omit the names of him and his family members, unless of course he chooses to out himself in the comments.
It was during the school season and the weather was beginning to turn a bit brisk. His wife had to go to the university early that morning to take a test and it was his responsibility to get the kids ready for school. His oldest, I capable and self sufficient lad, made the process of getting ready for school a rather pleasant one. Then there was the youngest, which I’ll call Ben. Ben is the definition of the Yin and Yang… better make that an adorable sociopath. He is an angelic looking little boy with a fiery personality that is in such opposition to his innocent appearance that world domination will be no problem for this child over the next two to four years.
So as my friend is trying to get Ben ready for school he’s met by a brick wall of assistance, the kid is refusing to help. My friend’s frustration begins to grow as the arrival time of the school bus gets closer and closer. With only minutes to spare Ben is finally ready… until he asks for his coat. As the prospect of taking his kid to school starts to look more and more like a probability, and not being terribly fond of this possible outcome my friend slips out with, “Where the f*** is your coat?”
Ben stops all of his disruptive and unhelpful behavior, and with eyes full of surprise and concern looks up at his father and says, “You can’t use that word. That’s mom’s word. Only she can use it.”
All his frustration towards Ben melted away in that instant. He smiled, doing his best to keep from laughing, and replied, “You’re right. That is mommy’s word. I’m sorry. Now let’s find your coat bud.”
Ben nods in acceptance of the apology and in a sudden surge of teamwork runs to where his coat is hiding, puts in on and heads out the door and off towards the bus stop. Arriving right as the bus pulls up.
I’m not saying swear at your kids, fact is if you swear the kids will pick it up, they’ll just make sure that they, like you, only use it around their friends or when they think you’re not around. “Mom’s word”… ha! What a grand way to keep the little ones from getting expelled for language… at least until get they to high school. Truly one of most brilliant little people stories I’ve had the privilege of hearing and sharing. Thanks Ben for knowing the rules about “Mom’s word” and thanks Ben’s dad for sharing it.
Google Images, key words: surprised kid.
by Richard Timothy | Jul 16, 2010 | Mini-Smirk, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
I was trying to figure out a good way to start this and I figured why not rely on the always feel good lyrics from the usually feeling good when he was still alive reggae legend Mr. Bob Marley… who was also a ghost in the story Christmas Carol… no relation. I give you the opening lyrics to the song Three Little Birds…
“Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.“
For the record, it wasn’t my fault. It was either him or me… well, it or me (no idea if it was a he or a she). I was in a sort of hit and run this morning on my way to work. Although to be accurate, it was more of a kamikaze bombardier run into the front of my car followed by a medium sided sounding thump and ball of black feathers ricocheting away from my car and into the turning lane before I could even hit the brakes. I thought about hitting the breaks once I saw the bird bounce off my car, but really didn’t see the point.
My first feeling was one of sadness. Poor little thing didn’t have a chance. It was a little like watching a six ounce bird trying to stop a one ton car using nothing but its wings… oh wait, that’s exactly what it was. Ok well how about, it was a little like watching a strip of gauze tied between two trees as a way of stopping an out of control semi, or using bug repellant to keep from being eaten by a bear, or filling a pint with cranberry juice and becoming sad when you discover you’re not getting intoxicated… ok so maybe I got a little of track.
Still, I was a little sad. My first thought was of a nest full of eggs what would remain unprotected from the elements. Then I figured that the nest was empty by now considering we are well into the season of summer. The bird probably had teenagers by now, which could help explain its motivation to call the whole thing off. I just hope the little thing left a note so that its friends knew not to expect him back at any point in the future. I also hope that the friends feel compelled to hit the local bird bath to have a drink in its memory. I’m sure it would have appreciated that.
As for me, at first I was a little unsettled about my unplanned assistance in this event. I felt as though I had unwittingly become a Kevorkian Doctor Doolittle and was concerned that if word got out I’d have a constant barrage of bipolar or terminal creatures’ swan diving into the front of my car every time I left the house. I mean, I don’t think I have the insurance to cover that kind repetitive onslaught. Not to mention, I’m not good at washing my car on a regular basis and am not terribly excited about the prospect of that little job become an everyday occurrence.
Eventually, I came to terms with the notion that I was helping this summer fowl complete its commitment to life… by dying. And let’s not forget that as a result of it dueling my car and being a topic of unintentional satire, it is will forever be remembered as, “The little bird that couldn…” actually let’s go with, “The little bird that chose not to.” It has a better ring to it.
Google Images, key words: cemetery bird and full bird bath.
by Richard Timothy | Jul 12, 2010 | I Think There's a Point, Mini-Smirk, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
This Sunday held a few hours of pick-up, move around, and plug it all back in. During last week we finally got our basement floor repadded and carpet put back into its proper place. It wasn’t until Sunday that we had the time to get everything back to where it belonged. Thus freeing up our front room and giving us access to a television again. It did seem to take a lot less time to put things back than it took to get everything moved out of there in the first place. This surprised me because when we were moving everything out of the room to save it from water damage you would think that we would have moved everything with a bit more in haste.
All speedy setting up aside, we did feel the need to reward ourselves with time… time together to watch a film and relax a bit before bed. It would mostly quite lovely. I mean picture it, there you are sitting next to your significant other, wrapped in a blanket and looking onward towards a rectangular box filled with colorful moving pictures as you sip on some wine and enjoy a little cheese with your crackers, or crackers with your cheese, depending on what part is your favorite. Oh, one last thing, you are sitting in the middle of an empty floor. Yeah, we have away our old couch and have yet to get a new, we do have it picked out, so at least we have that going for us. Still, it will be a little while before we get it.
Angela was very adamant about letting the old couch go the way of charity. It’s not that it was a bad couch, or that the flooded basement was even the couches fault, it’s just that, well, it didn’t tie the room together. I’ll admit that sitting on the floor watching a film was a little remnant of early college days when most of your furniture was a result of cinder blocks and 2x4s that you permanently borrowed from a local building site. Still, after spending two hours watching a movie about South Africa and the 1995 Rugby World Cup, your now square neither region does seem to carry a very noticeable argument as to why sitting on a couch is a much more preferred method for film watching appreciation.
On a plus note though, it is a fabulous space for doing yoga or thinking about doing yoga, which ever school of thought you adhere to on that one.
Google Images, key words: free couch and Invictus (film).
by Richard Timothy | Jul 11, 2010 | Mini-Smirk, My List of Things that Don't Suck, Non-Fiction, Observationally Speaking
While I was sitting at my desk yesterday, writing up the A-Team theme song experience my phone rang. This in and of itself is not all that common of an experience for me. I mean subtracting the calls I get from Angela I get maybe ten to fifteen calls a week. So when I check the caller ID I was surprised to see that it was my oldest brother Dave was giving me a ring. The surprise comes not from anything negative; it’s just a rather rare event in comparison. I believe it was the second call this year from him. So with my interest already peaked, I answered the phone.
All small talk aside, he was very direct and up front about the reason for his call… there was a sale on some MST3K boxed sets. Apparently there is a site called woot.com that does a daily sale, and it is only a 24-hour sale. Meaning if you want what is being offered you have to buy it that day because you will not be getting that price again. He noticed that Saturday’s sale was for a three pack MST3K DVD 4-pack collection, which is rather confusing when you write it out. It means that there were three different MST3K collections (Volume 16, 17, and 18) and each volume has four different movies in it. At first I wasn’t sure, but eventually figured, “What the hell.” I only needed one of them, but it was a really good sale and now I have two birthday gifts that I don’t need to shop for when the birthdays arrive.
After he let me know about the sale, then began catch up time. Surprisingly, he’s moving to Arizona in the next few weeks! Who knew? He’s only been in Jackson for 16 years. It was, sadly, a much shorter conversation that I would have liked. While we talked, Angela and I got ready and headed to go see the rest of the family for family reunion that we had been planning for the past few weeks. I do hope that the move and new job will give him a little more free time, so that he’s easier to get a hold of. In the past, getting a hold of Dave was a lot like trying to drink a Shush Puppie without getting brain freeze.
Once we finished talking and hung up I started thinking and the whole call, and started laughing to myself because of all the things that are going on in Dave’s life that I didn’t know about and that I feel would be good reasons to give me a call, it was a sale on Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs that got him to not only think of me, but that got him to take action and actually give me a call. Even now it gets me chuckling a little bit.
I started thinking about some of my identifiers for my family and some of my oldest (longest) friendships. Things that will always remind me them no matter where I am and what I might be doing. These are things like:
Butterflies = my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh, Star Trek = Anson, The Razors Edge by W. Somerset Maugham (or the films) = Dave, Good Omens = Kyle, The Music Man = Dad, Police Academy film (the first one) = Steph, ABBA = Mom, Bugs Bunny = Mike, and wiener dogs or Mickey Mouse = Fee.
Out of all the things out there in the world I have to admit that having my family and friends think of me when MST3K is seen or mentioned is just pretty damn cool.
What are some of your reminders for friends and family?
Image Source: Google Images, key words: checking cell phone, slush puppie, and MST3K.