Monday, August 31, 2009

Family News in Brief -- April ’09

My wife and I attracted a talker at a neighborhood eatery earlier this month, and we couldn’t break away. Individually and as a couple, my wife and I often draw in talkers. “It’s like there’s a sign on my head that says, ‘Talk to me, and don’t let me get a single word in,’” said my wife. The recent talker, who talked and talked and talked and talked, started talking about the lovely weather after my wife and I said, “Good afternoon,” and then he transitioned into various subject matter, such as the University of Florida Gators and how they were the first football team to test Gatorade. My wife and I also learned that the Greek word “gymnasium” means “to exercise naked.” Did you know that the longest movie title in the world is 1991’s “Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Terror?” Eventually, the talker made a crucial mistake. He left a tiny gap in the one-sided conversation, and my wife and I took advantage and told him we had to go.

On Sunday in my backyard, my 5-year-old son started laughing and couldn’t stop. My impression of a tiring bumblebee set the kid off. “It’s not funny anymore, but I can’t stop laughing,” my boy said 20 minutes into his laughing fit. Health officials said that while most laughter typically peaks in the summer months, it’s not uncommon for kids to begin laughing really hard in the spring. The real oddity in the laughter, however, according to sources, is that recent studies show that laughing fits have declined in the last six months due to a downward-spiraling economy. “The boy is lucky to be laughing at all,” said Dr. Luger P. Hart, a Southern California doctor of humor as medicine, “even if it’s inhibiting his breathing.” My boy has since lost all color in his face, and the constant flexing of his abdominal muscles during the laughing fit resulted in an “ab six-pack” that any body builder would be proud to show off.

Jewelry makers still haven’t produced a stable bracelet clasp that’s easy to hook together, and I’ve about had it. According to sources, the toggle bar clasps are “girly” and “come apart easily.” Consumers say the magnetic clasp is a good idea, but it too comes apart easily. The traditional clasps on bracelets, experts suggest, are still the best jewelry clasps -- though some people may disfigure the jewelry before ever coming close to hooking it together. “We can track our friends’ precise locations via Google and cell phone technology, but we can’t invent a bracelet clasp that’s easy to put on and that holds together,” I said in a statement yesterday. “Since I got a medical I.D. bracelet (which indicates my heart condition), I must allow an extra two hours each morning to wrestle with the clasp. I suppose I could tattoo my heart condition on my forehead.”

On Easter Sunday, my family drove down to Orange County to visit my wife’s relatives, and my 5-year-old son forgot to go potty before we left. As we pulled out of the driveway, I asked my wife if she took our boy potty. She said she thought I took him. “Did you go potty recently?” I asked my son. “Yeah,” he said. “Do you know what ‘recently’ means?” I asked. “No,” he said. After learning a new word for the day, my son ensured me that he did, in fact, recently go to the bathroom. About 20 minutes into the trip, stuck in bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic with no exit for another 5 miles (which translates to three hours of traffic in Southern California), my son announced that he had to go to the bathroom really bad. Soon after, I discovered Scotchgard isn’t bulletproof.

-April 2009

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