Tonight’s Dinner Special: Roast

POSTED BY JESSE

Since the girls wear uniforms to school all day, we do not have a dress code for the Tanner family dinner table (other than, you know, being dressed). It is advised, however, that you bring your layer of thick skin.

This family game has been played before, and will surely be played again, and I’m not even sure who started it last night, but it was probably the world’s funniest 8-year old girl, Michelle. It started with her (or someone else) declaring: “I’m going to be Jesse,” and proceeding to imitate the family member that has been named. Everyone else quickly follows suit by naming someone they will ape and soon we are sitting around the table having a “conversation” that consists of each person repeating their chosen subjects’ favorite meal-time catchphrase: Stephanie (as Danny) incessantly asked everyone how their day was, Michelle (as me) talked about watching basketball, etc.

But the real fun comes when we all take turns playing the same person at once. The script and performance are both pretty short, and I doubt Saturday Night Live will be beating down our doors any time soon, but we sure did crack each other up for about ten minutes. Even though the parroting typically consisted of a one-liner and a prop, some of them were pretty spot on. Here’s a quick review:

  • Michelle: singing loud and laughing; fidgeting and clinging on other people, even if they were trying to eat their own dinner; asking to be picked up and tickled. Best Actor award: Me, for my portrayal of Michelle at meals, rocking, kneeling on, or standing next to her stool while eating…and then going the extra absurd step of rolling on the dinner table.
  • Stephanie: a lot of OMGs and other “net-speak”; name-dropping of 5th grade boys that she “definitely does not like” even though their names are heard a lot; complaints about “tons of homework” that will somehow get finished before American Idol starts. Best Actor award: Danny, for his role as “slow-eating Steph”, pausing between bites to take in the scenery and chewing at a cow’s pace.
  • DJ: a lot of “Oh my gosh” (note: different from “OMG”–I guess net-speak becomes less cool around 8th grade) and other teenage tone and dialect, fast-flying thumbs and a refusal to look up from a newly purchased smart phone, play-by-play recaps of what happened in Latin and science classes, and a rundown of how incompetent/unfair the rest of the world is and how it is adversely affecting her. Best Actor award: Michelle, for her cheerleader routine and broadcasting the word of a newly purchased sports bra.
  • Me: donning of a baseball cap and lots of sports-talk; an eye-lock on my phone screen while announcing funny/interesting tidbits that are rolling across Twitter; responding to kids’ stories of the day with a different viewpoint on the situation or attempting to teach a lesson. Best Actor award: Stephanie, who moved to the piano to bang out some chords and sing at the top of her lungs. (am I really that loud?)
  • Danny (who, of course, tried to end the game before his name came up): reading glasses and dumbbells, weird exercise positions, commenting that everything would “make a good blog post”, not knowing how to work his phone. Best Actor award: DJ, who drew the night’s biggest laugh for her depiction of “Father drinking milk from the carton”, turning up the gallon jug and then exuding faux-machismo by strutting around the kitchen talking about how it’s “my milk” because he “bought it from Harris Teeter”.

And with that, this round of Tanner family roasting was concluded.

Some people might think we’re cruel to each other, but I think if observed objectively most would conclude it’s a net positive: everyone gets a fair share and we don’t really dwell on others’ insecurities as much as their habits. And it can be funny and sometimes quite revealing to see which words and actions you put out there, and what the first thing that comes to someone’s mind when they’re “being you.”

Additionally, I have conceded that when it comes to physical pain, the Tanner girls are kind of wimpy and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. I have induced tears from what I perceived to be light tickling and caused seemingly (at the time) irreparable damage to fingers during attempted sports outings in the driveway. I know they didn’t grow up being mercilessly flung into bushes and tackled onto tree roots by Ryan Combs, the 6-foot 6th grader with whom I played backyard football in my youth, but I had hoped to at least teach them the “brush off the dirt and keep going” routine. I don’t think it’s going to happen.

But there are different types of wimpy, and I can tell you that the Tanner girls are going to be emotionally resilient and mentally stalwart, armed to handle the inevitable rejections and insults that will come their way as they grow and learn. Hopefully, they won’t need all the good training we’re giving them in how to let things slide off your back. And hopefully they’ve already faced the toughest thing they’ll ever have to get through.

Notes From The Beach…

POSTED BY JESSE

The girls are at the beach with friends so Danny and I, through the kindness of a good friend who lent us his house for a couple days, decided we did not want to wait out the anniversary week of Lisa’s passing (does that need a catchier name? Lisa Week? Eh, that would be more fitting on her birthday. Death Week? Seems a bit morbid. We’ll work on it…) at home in a quiet, familiar, childless house. Instead we came to a quiet, unfamiliar, childless house, so it’s not like we’re having a party or anything. I think the thought was to get away, let ourselves mope a little bit, and then return with fresh faces to see the girls and face the 24th. It’s gray and windy here at the beach, and if I didn’t know any better I might think that we were creating the male version of the tear-inducing “Beaches”, and that one of us was the one with a terminal illness. But, no, we’re just a bit melancholy, missing a wife and sister. Here are a couple other things I’m thinking about:

What day was that again? I’ve found it interesting the way people consider dates, especially for something in recent history. Lisa passed away in the early morning hours of February 24th, but as we’ve been playing things back in our heads, we typically run off the weekly schedule of life. For example, we remember things like, “Friday so-and-so came to visit her, Saturday was the day we were told this, Monday was the day we had the family meeting…” etc.

 I have always worked better under this system, mostly because I’m terrible with dates, but also because it’s easier to use other events for context. I can’t tell you the date I started going out with a girl, but I can tell you the first time we kissed was the night of the UNC-Georgia Tech game that year. Danny joked he’s got enough emotion to “celebrate” both the day of the week and the actual date Lisa passed away, so we don’t need to worry about picking which one is the date we’re choosing to remember her passing.

“How’s Lisa?” That is not intended to be funny–Danny and I were talking on the drive down here about still coming across folks who don’t know. Recently, my Mom emailed with a family for whom Lisa had nannied for multiple summers. She loved the job, the family, and really enjoyed her time in Marblehead, Massachusetts. We were thinking about visiting since we’re headed to Boston this week to visit Sallie and Matt and their kids (Danny and I have godparenting to do!), but everyone feared that when we reached out to Lisa’s summer family, we’d also have to let them know she had passed away. We were right.

I also recently bumped into a guy who had worked at the Y with Lisa and Danny for a number of years. We greeted each other, and he quickly stated how he and his wife had just been talking about Lisa the other day and all the good times and stories they remembered of her. I assumed he was bringing this up because she had passed away and he was letting me know how much he thought of her. Then he caught me off-guard, “How is she doing?” Uh…

On the drive down, Danny relayed that DJ had a similar incident, only she had no clue who the person was. A lady, almost certainly a friend of Lisa’s, approached DJ, showered her with praise, told her she looked like her mom, and then promptly asked “How’s your mother doing?” I think Danny fears that such a question will send his daughters into a tailspin (since, admittedly, there have been times when someone will ask about her, or Danny, or the kids, or anything and the only answer that comes to mind is overwhelming sadness, and tears come before words), and that they might stuggle to answer. He asked her what she told the woman. DJ correctly pointed out, “Well, I couldn’t just say ‘she’s fine’, could I?!”

It sounds like DJ politely and unawkwardly told the woman that her Mom had passed away about a year ago. I think I need to take lessons from her. I still get terribly befuddled when people ask me how many siblings I have. Two? One? Had two, have one? How do you draw the line between being uninformative and avoiding a conversation that neither party is looking for?

This blog is a DOWNER Danny asked me on the drive down if he thought the blog was getting too depressing. I answered that I thought, yes, it had recently taken on more of a somber tone, but I thought it was more reflective of our current mood and what’s on our minds than anything. I told him I didn’t think it was a big deal and would not drive loyal readers away in droves if we had a week or two (or month?) of more thoughtful, somtimes even sad posts. However, f it’s still this way in April then we probably need to examine things, or not be surprised if people look for a more cheery place to visit on-line.

So stick with us, readers. This should be the blog at its most despondent. Things are getting better all the time🙂

How are the girls doing? Nothing makes me feel like a more inadequate guardian than not having a good answer to this one. With the temporary exception of one of the them seeming not her normal self for a stretch last summer, I feel like I have not noticed any major changes in the girls. In fact, people are always telling ME the things they have seen in the girls that are different, and I wonder if I’m too aloof to notice things or if I’m right and everyone else is just looking too hard. The girls are….girls! DJ is figuring out which high school to go to and probably more stressed out about the adults around her talking about it than she is by making the decision. Stephanie wants to sleep in on Saturdays and has a birthday party at Embassy Suites every other week. Michelle got a lot of Valentine’s Day candy and wants a later bed time. I have not been a parent, but all of this comes across as fairly normal to me.

I am not suggesting losing their mother will have no effect on them. I must admit, when 8-year old Michelle was filling out her “Letter to My Summer Counselor” for camp, and she wanted to describe herself as “sarcastic”, I worried a little bit that the influence of having two knucklehead adults in the house and no tough-love mom was probably taking its toll. (but I was still tickled to death. We convinced her to just go with “funny”).

Stephanie may prefer an extra hug this week, and DJ, true to form, is hunting for new traditions she can start to commemorate the 24th. But the girls are great, and I promise my lack of a better answer isn’t because I haven’t been paying attention. And that definitely mean don’t ask–like I said, I just feel silly when I don’t have much more of an answer than “great!”

“Big Time Rush” Got To Meet The Real Full House!

POSTED BY UNCLE JESSE

OK, so it’s probably more accurate to say we got to meet them, but, hey, we got 10,000 views this week, so there’s a chance they’ve heard of us. Though they are clearly more famous (and richer, and better looking…) I must confess, I had no clue who they were. But I do now:

My boys Kendall, Logan, Carlos, and James

“Big Time Rush” is, I have learned, a Nickelodeon made-for-TV boy band. Kind of like The Monkees. Their back-story is they were four hockey playing friends from Minnesota who moved to L.A. to join the music scene. Now they’ve got the show on Nick, as well as some songs getting some run on radio and iTunes.

They are big-time (pun intended) enough that you could tell Michelle and Stephanie were very excited and completely in awe. But the most telling may have been DJ. She was probably more jazzed that she got to see a sneak preview of Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never the night before, but she was definitely not feigning excitement when it was her turn to meet the guys. Or, as she explained it, “My friends would all say BTR is dumb, but they know all the words to the theme song, and they’ll be jealous I got to meet them.”

I don’t doubt their fame, but I don’t think any of my friends are jealous I got to meet them. Our good friend Catherine, who works in radio, got the Tanner girls in the see the guys and Danny had a morning meeting, so I got to do the honors.

But I’ll give the guys credit: even more than their handlers/PR people, the BTR guys were very good about being open to the room, taking any and all photograph and autograph requests, giving out hugs, chatting up the kids and adults, and not watching the clock/door for the earliest possible exit.

Overall, the girls were pretty pumped and I was pretty impressed. Check out the pics:

The car ride there. We were singing all the "Big Time Rush" songs we know. It's like two.

waiting for the guys to show up with our friend AP. They must run on "Hollywood time"

Getting autographs. Feel the rush!

 

the boys fielded requests for friends as well, so Kimmy Gibbler got one

Steph brought her own poster! These guys must train for this. I didn't see them shake their hands out once.

Michelle with Big Time Rush

Stephanie with Big Time Rush

DJ with Big Time Rush (she was taller than Carlos)

Michelle and AP making sure we captured the moment

One more Big Time pose with Logan (the hottie)

Breeding Tar Heels

POSTED BY JESSE

Of COURSE Stephanie's favorite Tar Heel is Rasheed Wallace

I feel the need for 'Sheed

As a child growing up in the Triangle in the 80’s, I was adrift as far as my allegiances were concerned. I don’t even remember when I learned that my father began his college career as an undergrad at Duke (he later dropped out and joined the army and finished at Maryland) but I know they had already been nixed from the list of possibilities. But as a reared Raleighite, I was able to attend a number of N.C. State games growing up, and some of my pre-school friends’ parents swear I was a pretty big Wolfpacker in my time.

 

I’d like to think that I was already seeing the light (blue) by the time Lisa attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (I believe I was 9 at the time), but I do know that is what sealed it. Lisa was a proud North Carolina alumna. I wouldn’t say she was fervently passionate about the sports teams, but we tackled it in tandem: she gave me my first behind-the-scenes, in the dorms, in the Dean Dome experiences in Chapel Hill, and I, in turn, kept her abreast of anything significant she needed to know about the basketball team for the next 20 years.

I remember Lisa taking me to see Jeff Lebo and the Tar Heels take on John Crotty and Virginia in 1989. I got to stay with her in Cobb dorm and I felt like the coolest kid on the planet. I remember sitting next to my family’s only other known sports nut, my maternal grandfather, and watching King Rice throttle Bobby Hurley in 1990. I can’t remember if Lisa got us those seats or I just assumed she did because Lisa had become my tour guide to Chapel Hill.

So it is with no shame and much Tar Heel pride that I have and will continue to evoke the memory of their late mother as I strive valiantly to ensure that all three Tanner children are Tar Heels. I have a couple things going for me:

Michelle has no idea how cool she is wearing a Ray Felton jersey

  1. Danny is not a huge sports guy. Like my sister did, he cares about his school’s sports teams. At times he likes to attend a game and socialize with fellow fans. However, he has never broken an appliance, lied to a girlfriend, or made other questionable decisions with lingering long-term effects based on which team he pulls for. You know, things that passionate fans do. Simply put: I care more than he does.
  2. Danny is an N.C. State grad. I will save the petty taunts and not-so-subtle digs for another day (or another team), but even Wolfpack fans would have to admit: it’s kind of a tough sell bringing in newly recruited fans over to team NCSU these days, no?
  3. I’m dedicated. I realize this is not an overnight process. I am slowly implementing my strategy. I also recognize that picking a team to root for is not high on the Tanner girl list of priorities, so I don’t push too hard. But when I find a moment to point out that their mother was the embodiment of a UNC fan–graceful, elegant, intelligent, classy, and incredibly humble–I do it.
  4. I’m conniving. Aside from the aforementioned plan to guilt them with their mother’s wishes that they all cheer for UNC (I’m not positive it was one of the priorities she wrote out for Danny about raising the girls, but I am certain it was on her heart), I am sneaky about it. For example, when Danny and I took Michelle and Stephanie to an N.C. State hoops game a few weeks ago, I didn’t say much. I watched like a casual fan, chatted up some folks around me, and was not bothered when the girls were asking Danny to use his phone to play games on. When I take them to a Carolina basketball game, we will get there early, go eat some place they’d like, point out people the girls might know, find things that will appeal to them (like Carolina girls in cool clothes), and generally “sell” the program a lot more. And I’m not above resorting to lying and overplaying stereotypes.

next we gotta work on that undershirt

I also look for spots where I can make some headway, and a great one presented itself at St. Timothy’s Spirit Week. After Pajama Day and Wacky Tacky Day, the week ended with Team Day, where kids could wear hats and shirts showing off their favorite team colors. Danny and the girls have a few Wolfpack red shirts, but they were no match for my collection of UNC jerseys and other gear. I put Stephanie in a Rasheed Wallace get-up, Michelle rocked a Raymond Felton jersey-gown, even DJ donned an old collared Carolina shirt until some teacher gave her a huge generic XXL jersey to drape over her.

I think I’m winning the battle. Stephanie looked way proud of her mesh Tar Heels hat. Michelle seemed to enjoy being one of the elite in light blue. Even Kimmy Gibbler was happy to don a Jerry Stackhouse 76ers jersey (so what if none of the other kids at the school realized he was a UNC player).

They might even watch the UNC-Duke game with me tonight, since they’ll do almost anything to stay up a little bit later and watch TV. I may just have to show them last night’s episode of Glee during halftime to keep their attention.

Go Heels!

“She Is As Pretty As A Flower”

POSTED BY JESSE

Last weekend I helped Stephanie with a school project. I was fishing around for some unused poster board when I found this:

Michelle's poster

It’s a poster Michelle made of Lisa a few years ago. Danny has some paragraph framed above his desk at home that Stephanie wrote in first grade. The kids were supposed to describe something using their senses, and Stephanie picked her Dad so it says things like “he is squishy” and “he tastes salty” or something like that. It gets read aloud about once a month. It also reeks of something her Dad helped her write, thus the framing.

I’m not sure if this was the same assignment, but it also smells suspiciously of something Danny was helping the child craft. Yes, it is sad to read. But it is also very funny. I laughed because I can see Danny poking fun at Lisa’s elegance and class by suggesting things like “she likes to cook spaghetti-o’s” and “she likes to eat pizza” and “and bring some clothes.”

Michelle is pretty funny. And smart. She probably wrote most of it.

I’m not sure why the one about Lisa didn’t get framed and the one about Danny did. So I figured I’d hang this one on our wall, so to speak. We’re in sort of a “remembering Lisa” mood this month anyway. Oh, and how else could I tell that Danny helped Michelle with this poster? Because it says, “She is as pretty as a flower.”

And she was.

Lisa with nephew Sam at Capon Springs

Goin’ to the Lodge

Posted by Danny

Hell is not hot.  It is cold.  It is not below us; it is southwest of Raleigh.  It is in Concord, NC.  It is…The Great Wolf Lodge.

I am in a wonderful program run through the YMCA, the Y Princess Program.  It is a father child program that is similar to scouting; however, the father and child are required to participate in all activities together.  We have ten fathers and their daughters and we camp, participate in service projects, and earn patches for our tribal vests.  Each person in the tribe chooses an Indian name.  Mine is Screamin’ Hambone.  Michelle is T. Bird

We are supposed to camp each year to earn a patch.  My fellow fathers decided they did not want to camp this year, probably because last year we camped in the middle of a swamp in Halifax County.  The bathroom, where you slept,  and where you ate, were one in the same.  So someone suggested we go to The Great Wolf Lodge.  It is an indoor water part north of Charlotte.

This is what we do without wives.

It started innocently enough.  We met for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel near the airport.  A nice creamer and syrup pyramid.  We arrived at The Lodge at 1 and I’ve been one big chill bump ever since.  Someone told me it would be warm in the water park.  That person is a liar.  They say the water is heated.   That is a lie.  It’s a bit warmer than lake water in February in Montreal, but I suspect that is only because of the volume of pee from the 13,800 children floating around me in the giant wave pool.

It’s like a swimming flash mob.

There are people here wearing bathing suits that show me things that I don’t want nor need to see.  One woman was wearing the same size bikini as Michelle.  And yet she was the same size as Ethel Merman.  She leaned over and I saw everything from the waist up.  I mean EVERYTHING.  She caught my eye.  I sort of shrugged my shoulders as if to say, “It happens…”  I quickly dove under water which only made me colder – but it seemed my only option at the time.

There is a really neat slide called The Canyon.  You walk up 84 (I counted them) stairs and get on a large raft (sits four).  The 24 second ride is tremendous.  Want to ride again?  No problem.  It’s only 84 steps away.  For some reason I did not feel a need to jog this afternoon.

I did see a really interesting tattoo of The Mona Lisa surrounded by a burning bush.  And the calf it was painted on looked like Popeye’s.

I’m not a nut about crowds.  I am not a nut about standing in line – especially with my shirt off while I’m dripping wet and the air temp is 62 degrees.  I did not like other people’s rafts rubbing up against my body in line.  It made me uncomfortable.  I do not like buffets – too many people breathing on my food.  This is like  a big Golden Corral of water rides. 

They do provide towels and they’re clean.  They use so much bleach that it’s sort of like drying off with a hairbrush.  My friend said the towels have a dual purpose:  they dry you off and act as an exfoliator. 

I act as if I was miserable the entire time and that’s not exactly true.  There are some good points about The Lodge.  It’s reasonably priced and there is a lot to do.  Plus, it’s not far from Raleigh and they serve beer at the pool (I imagine if you drank enough, you’d warm up quite well).  I love this group of guys as I have in all three of my Y Princess tribes.  It’s worth the trip for that.  Michelle had a blast – we were actually the last ones to leave today.  But the best thing about this weekend?  I got to be a big chill bump for thirty hours with one of my favorite people on this earth.  Man, I love that child!

Someone to Call

Tonight we’re at the Great Wolf Lodge. (Read my next post for an explanation).  We took the trip with seven other dads and their 8-year-old daughters.  We shared a room with a buddy of mine and at about 9:30, his daughter said she wanted to call her mom.  We’ve always done the same on any father/daughter trip or campout for the past ten years.  They began a nice conversation and Michelle immediately came over to me and asked if she could call Uncle Jesse.  I don’t think she was specifically missing Lisa, she did not tear up.  She just wanted someone back home to be interested in what she was doing.  She wanted someone back home to say, “I miss you.  I love you.”

These situations are unavoidable.  Other kids get to call their moms and shouldn’t have to sneak around us to do so.  Our waitress today asked the table of 8 fathers and their daughters where our wives were – it was an innocent question.  I don’t want people to tip toe around us or to flinch when the “M” word is spoken.  We have to learn to live in a world where 95% of kids who are 8 have mothers who are alive and well – and thank God for that.

But it is times like these that I see the small ways that the loss of a mother becomes taxing on a child.  It’s also  times like these that I am so thankful for Jesse.  We’re really blessed to have him right now.  It doesn’t matter what he says to her at 10 pm on a Saturday night; she’s got someone to call.

And I’ve learned a valuable lesson too:  think of the things that my kids may miss out on, even the small stuff, and figure out a way to compensate.  It’s not that hard if I would just be alert and think it through in advance.  I’m a pretty intuitive dude.  I can figure this out.

One Year Ago…

POSTED BY JESSE

I have a sinking feeling that this blog is about to take a brief detour to Tears-ville in the next few weeks.

But fear not, loyal readers, there are still plenty of good vibes in the Tanner household. There were smiles in the house the day before Lisa passed away, there was laughter the day after. This is still one of the happiest, most upbeat families I have ever seen and we will not be wearing black and mournfully reflecting the entire month of February. Not in real life, and not on this blog.

In fact, last night Michelle and Stephanie had me cracking up. They have fallen right in line with the family tradition of altering the words to songs for funny usages, and as we listened to Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” Michelle started singing the lyrics we had made up in the airport on our last family trip:

I gotta feeling…that this flight’s gonna be a good flight

This flight’s gonna be a good flight

This flight’s gonna be a good, good flight

Then as she raced from the car to the house, Michelle created a new one, this time to Travie McCoy’s “Billionare”:

I gotta go pee-pee, so freakin’ bad…

She is hilarious.

BUT…I do feel like the mood in the house is growing a bit more somber as February 24th approaches, and it’s only understandable.

As Danny already eloquently pointed out, we are approaching the one year anniversary of Lisa’s passing. I don’t begin to compare what this will mean to me to what he feels, but certainly it will be on all of our minds.

This also means we have arrived at the (infinitely less significant) one year anniversary of me admitting that there was at least a chance Lisa was not going to beat colon cancer and that I might lose her. (more…)

Tights? Hose?

Michelle's tights. None of these fit anyone in this house.

Posted by Danny

When Lisa and I got married, I assumed we would merge our checking accounts.  My parents always had one account so I thought that’s how you did it.  I perceived some issues with a full merger.  I balanced my checkbook to the penny.  She balanced her checkbook each decade.  At one point she told me she had an extra $1,000 in her account that she just couldn’t account for.  It didn’t bother Lisa, she just called that her slush fund in the event she ever went below a zero balance.  When she died, she had $10,000 in her checking account…about $9,000 more than what her paper register showed.

I thought I would come into the marriage and enlighten her on finances, coming to her rescue.  What I quickly learned was that she did not want to be rescued or enlightened.  She was fine with her accounting measures.  She didn’t care that she had no idea how much money was in her account.  If the teller machine said there was $2,000 in there, that was fact.  It didn’t matter how many checks she’d written that were outstanding or what bills were coming up.  And I’ll have to admit that she did not once overdraw her account and she ALWAYS paid her credit card off at the end of each month. 

It sort of hurt my feelings that she did not want my help with her finances.  When I pressed her on why she didn’t want to merger our accounts, she said, “If I go spend $60 on hose at Belk, I don’t want you asking why I spent $60 on hose at Belk.”  And that was that.  For years I’d wondered if you could really spend $60 on hose.  In the past year, I have been enlightened on tights. 

*If you need a pair of white tights, you only have black, pink or gray.  If you need a pair of black tights, you only have white, pink or gray.

*There is a difference between white tights and off white tights.  One is whiter than the other.

*They never fit; but if four people pull on a pair long enough from different sides, a size 2T will fit a 13 year old.

*After you stretch them, they fit…until you get to church.  Then they shrink back to their 2T size and the crotch dangles around the ankles.

*When wearing tights, children often dig at their crotcheal region.  Hands up and under their skirts with no regard for where you are or who is around.

*You cannot wear a pair of tights for more than 37 minutes without developing a hole, rip, run or tear.

*When you wear tights, you are more prone to falling in parking lots and bleeding.  I don’t know why, but it is a fact.

(I am not sure if there is a difference between tights and hose.  From my perspective, they are the same thing.  However, I think women call them hose and girls call them tights.  Maybe girls call them tights because they are tight.  If women called them tights it might imply that they have big legs or something.  Again, I don’t know.  But I’m fairly sure they are the same thing.)

I do not think that females between the ages of 13 and 65 wear tights or hose.  Under 13, your parents make you put them on; when you reach 13, you simply refuse to wear them.  Over 65 you need the support.  That is why you see so many bare legged young to middle aged women in February.

I am thankful that I am a man.

Hamster For Sale

Posted by Danny

Not only are we not a pancake family, but we are also not an animal family.  I did have animals when I was growing up.  Our last dog was Booger.  My parents let me name him.  I was in 8th grade.  I thought it would be funny to hear my parents say the word booger.  And even better, my genteel mother yell, “Here Booger Booger, Booger, Booger!” from our back doorstep when it was time for his dinner. 

My mother in-law felt sorry for our kids, who had been pleading with us for some form of pet, so she gave the girls an aquarium for Christmas one year.  Fish I could handle.  We filled the tank but quickly realized that they were disappearing.  Finally, one fish was left, Mary.  She had been eating her friends.  I started calling her Velma Barfield (Death Row Granny back in the early 80’s).  When she finally died, the kids fought over who got to flush her down the toilet.  There were tears everywhere.  I finally let a visiting friend push the handle.  “If I can’t flush my own fish when she dies, I never want another one,” one replied. 

 “You’re breaking my heart baby, you’re breakin’ my heart.”

Lisa eventually caved and bought a guinea pig.  It had brown and white patches all over.  We named him JW – for some reason Lisa thought he looked like John Wayne.  The kids lost interest in the pig on day 7.  He seldom left his cage after that first week and grew to be the size of a small dog.  I pushed, pulled, prodded and reminded about feeding him and occasionally changing his urine filled cage.  He was the bain of my existence.  We’d had him three or four years when he died.  It was last spring, not long after Lisa’s passing.  I came home and there he was, stiff as a board.  I was concerned about the girls’ reaction to his death.  Would it be too much after all they’s been through?  When they got home, I delivered the news.  Michelle looked at him, said, “That’s gross!” and immediately ran up to her room to play with her dolls.  Stephanie said, “I ain’t touching him.”  DJ’s response?  “Now can I get a hamster?”  I think they were ok.

I carried him to the yard and dug a hole.  It was a big hole and took some time.  And the person who cleaned his cage, complained about his smell, and threatened to give him away?  What was my response to JW’s passing?  I, yes Danny Tanner,cried like a little baby.  In defense of my manhood, I would argue that I was just not emotionally together at that time.  That’s my justification; I hope it is true. 

Bites like a doberman pinscher

Our current pet is a hamster.  Stephanie received Miss Piggy last Christmas.  Lisa agreed to it – now I am raising it.  A week after Santa delivered this neat gift, Stephanie ran to our bedroom at 2 am sobbing.

“Mom, Dad, something bit me.”

“What?”

“Something bit my nose.”

“Stephanie, nothing bit your nose.  It’s 2 am.  You had a nightmare.  Do you want to crawl in bed with us for a little bit?”

“My nose is bleeding” she wailed.

I turned on the light and sure enough, there was a bite mark on her nose and a bit of blood.  What in the heck could it be?  The hamster is locked tight in a cage.  Could it be a rat?  Perhaps a squirrel?   As much as I wanted to turn over and fall back to sleep, with two other kids, I had to go check things out.

I grabbed a fly swatter and headed to Stephanie’s room.  I’ll be danged if that hamster hadn’t maneuvered out of the cage, scaled down a three-foot dresser, scurried across the floor, climbed up the bed skirt and bitten Stephanie on the right nostril!  And yet, she was nowhere to be found.  I shut the door, stuffed a towel under the bottom and returned to bed. 

“Lisa, you’re not going to believe this one…”

And like JW, that was one of the last times Miss Piggy came out of her cage. 

A friend came over Friday evening with his son.  The boy headed to the basement.  Next thing I know, blood.  Jesse tried to take Miss Piggy out of her cage on Monday to entertain our housekeeper’s grandson, Miss Piggy bit him too (he hasn’t admitted that he was dumb enough to pick Miss Piggy up, but Julie told me.)

So, for a very reasonable price, you, yes you, can have a biting hamster.  I’ll even deliver her at no extra charge.

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