Saturday, August 30, 2008

If I ran the nightly news.

TV newsguy Biff: John McCain has announced his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin for V.P., and tonight we will hear an expert opinion on this choice from our correspondent in Dirtville, Mrs. TC. Mrs. TC's expertise is in the field of knowing everything and/or making stuff up. TC, welcome.

TC: Hi, Biff. Thanks for the introduction.

Biff: You say that you think Gov. Palin brings a "unique skill set" to the office of vice president. Can you elaborate?

TC: I can, and I will. You might want to get a snack before I get started.

As we all now know, Gov. Palin is a hockey mom. This experience alone, I believe, has prepared her for the challenges she will face as a vice president. For instance, she's familiar with the offsides rule, which regulates when a player may enter the opponent's zone. I believe Gov. Palin will be tough but fair on the issue of illegal immigration. I'd like her to start by painting a blue line on our borders.

Biff: What about gun ownership rights, TC?

TC: Biff, in the game of hockey, a skater is not allowed to be in the crease, the area just in front of the goalie. If a skater does attempt to encroach on the crease, the goalie usually will take matters into his own hands (or stick) to remove the skater from his "house." I believe Gov. Palin will stand behind the Second Amendment, allowing homeowners to use weapons for protection and self-defense. I don't think she will require a 3-day waiting period to buy a hockey stick.

Biff: And that begs the question, what about capital punishment?

TC: Because of her experience with the penalty box, Gov. Palin is well acquainted with the justice and penal systems. I think she will press for swift punishment for criminal activity, and I would encourage her to consider establishing a game misconduct penalty, with a 6-month suspension, for congressmen who vote to give themselves a raise.

Biff: Some people say she does not have enough experience in the foreign relations field. Your opinion?

TC: Hello? Haven't those people heard of CANADA, that little chunk of land between the lower 48 and Alaska? You can't convince me that Gov. Palin hasn't been to a hockey game or two in Canada. And I bet she's watched the movie, "Miracle," which of course indicates that she's familiar with Russia.

Biff: Terrorism, TC?

TC: No thanks, I'm trying to cut down.

Biff: No, I meant, what's Gov. Palin's plan to deal with terrorism?

TC: Oh. Well, let me put it in hockey terms. When a hockey player takes a cheap shot on an opponent, that opponent's team doesn't take it lying down. Every hockey team has a player who's known as an "enforcer," a guy who makes the attacker very, very sorry for his cheap shot.  Gov. Palin will be a strong supporter of our country's enforcer, the U.S. military, and my people are working behind the scenes right now to contact Gov. Palin about buying a certain stealth cow to aid in that effort.

Biff: The economy is a major issue in this election, TC. How might Gov. Palin deal with it?

TC: Well, Biff, every hockey parent knows that when you have a kid playing this sport, you learn to live on beans and cornbread. I just bought a pair of skates for my own son that cost more than my first car AND its first 100 fill-ups. Gov. Palin obviously has experience in working with a budget and my hope is that she will mandate that Starbucks, where most Americans feel the money crunch the hardest, will lower its prices by 50%.

Biff: Well, TC, we are out of time. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with our viewers.

TC: Always a pleasure, Biff. Keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We'll leave a light on for you.

As I was making my bi-weekly trip to StuffMart for socks and underwear, I noticed that two very large luxury hotels are going up here in Dirtville, TX (pop. 5,023, counting the people in RVs in the StuffMart parking lot). 

We already have 4 hotels, plus a couple of No Tell Motel type places - you know, the places you drive by real fast because 1) you're afraid of recognizing the pickup parked outside Room 6, and 2) the bedbugs might be able to make a leap from the motel lobby into your car. I can't figure out why we're getting two more hotels. It's not like anything ever happens here.

Well, we do have our annual Dirtville Days celebration. This is held in honor of the invention of the trailer hitch, or something like that. If you haven't heard of it, it's just because you haven't been paying attention. Or you're a Democrat and think that trailer hitches should be regulated by the government.

Anyway. Two big events happen during this celebration. One, the Trailer Hitch Princess is chosen. This is quite an honor for any young lady, and something to add to her resume when she applies to be a hair stylist down at The Pampered Heifer Beauty Barn. Two, we have the big Dirtville Days parade, headed by the local Trailer Hitch Preservation Committee. Everyone goes to the parade, because they know the football team will be there on a float, throwing candy out into the crowd. (Never mind that the team purposely tries to bean people between the eyes with watermelon Jolly Ranchers thrown at 60 miles per hour.) The Cub Scout float usually follows the football team float. Those poor unsuspecting kids. They've never caught on to why the parade watchers scream in horror and duck for cover when they start tossing candy.

Not only does nothing happen here, but there IS nothing here. If you go to the town square, the hotbed of commerce in Dirtville, you will see:
  • PeetieMae's Thrift Store ("Browse our selection of 400 used coffee mugs!")
  •  The Craft Mall ("Specializing in plastic canvas Kleenex covers for the discriminating home and business")
  • the Good Ol' Boy Barber Shop
  • The Longhorn Cafe ("Don't even bother asking about veggie burgers. This ain't goldurn Los Angelees.")
  • Cooter's Boot & Spur Emporium
  • Eight (yes, eight) attorney's offices. Hmm. Apparently, something does happen here, albeit of an illegal nature. Probably people trying to possess a trailer hitch without a license.
  • Four photography studios. I have no idea why we need four professional photographers. We only need one to do the portrait of the Trailer Hitch Princess. Last year's was especially lovely, even though she was sporting a big welt from an Atomic Fireball over her right eyebrow. Everyone told her not to turn around to look at the football players' float, but she didn't listen.
Well, as I said, I'm mystified as to the need of two new hotels here. But it's a comforting thought to know that I'll have a place to live when the sock & underwear compost heap upstairs finally comes crashing through the ceiling.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's hockey night in ... Texas!

Hockey season has started again. Sasquatch had his first practice on Saturday. I think they must have been trying to weed out the wanna-be hockey moms from the die-hards, because we had to be at the rink from 7:00 am until noon. I know. Even God doesn't get up before 7:30.

Fortunately, I knew to bring the two things no die-hard hockey mom should ever be without: caffeine and chocolate. I had my 2-gallon Thermos of coffee (which I like to call, "Keg O' Pacemaker") and a bag of Oreos (which I like to call "Oreos"). 
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It's kind of a shock to walk into a frosty ice rink after a summer in Tejas, which is Spanish for "five degrees cooler than Hell." My body didn't know whether to sweat, shiver, or have to pee. So I had a hot flash and accomplished all three.
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We have a new team manager this season. Last year the position was filled by Perky Cheerleader Barbie Mom. I loved her, except for those mornings when we had 6:00 am games. The woman would literally be bouncing in the stands, filled with the sheer joy of all things hockey and children and sunrise. I just wanted to sit on her, and follow that up by whacking her on the head with my Keg O' Pacemaker.

Anyway. This year's team manager is Number Cruncher Goalie Mom. She's not perky, but lemme tell you, if you need someone to beat up a referee behind the rink after a game, she's your go-to-girl. If you know anything at all about hockey, you know not to mess with a goalie mom, because she might be even crazier than her goalie kid.

Ask anyone who's been around ice hockey for a while - goalies are different. They're a weird subset of humans. You've probably heard the expression, "His elevator doesn't go all the way to the top." Well, a goalie's elevator goes to the top - and out the roof. Goalies are intense, and about half a puck away from being criminally insane. It's really a good thing that doping isn't a big problem in the NHL, because goaltenders would take 'roid rage to a whole new level. If a skater stepped in the crease, that goalie would rip the dude's face cage out with his teeth, and then eat it like a Triscuit.
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I haven't met all of the other parents yet, but I do know that Dr. Dad's kid is on the team again this year. I like Dr. Dad. He's smart, and funny, and he uses an Apple computer. I use an Apple. We Apple groupies users think alike. We all want our daughters to marry a guy who works at the Genius Bar.
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As is his custom, Sasquatch grew several inches over the summer, which meant that he needed new hockey equipment. I really need to find out if that compost heap of socks & underwear in his room is giving off growth hormones or something. 

New skates, size 13: $500!! You'd think that for that price, they'd come with an iPod dock, a built-in ice level digital video camera, and some Flubber in the heel cup. But no. All I know is, when the season's over, I am not throwing those skates out. Maybe I'll make a purse out of 'em. Oh, wait, I know. I'll send them to China. The Chinese gymnasts can use them for 3-bedroom apartments.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dude, where's my cow?

Apparently, it's not enough that every American under the age of 35 is perpetually connected to an electronic device. You know - the iPod, the cell phone, the laptop, the Wii, the Blackberry, the GPS, the Guitar Hero guitar, and that antique called a "television." And, in the case of my kids, sometimes all of these devices at the same time. This from the same kids who complain if I make them do math AND science on the same day

On top of that, I really think that someday, someone is going to inadvertently make contact with space aliens just by mixing up their Wii nunchuck with their iPhone. And then Steve Jobs is going to become so rich, he'll be able to buy Europe.

Anyway. Because we're Americans and we believe in equality for everyone, we have now made it possible for our cows to wear headsets. I swear I am not making this up.


You can read the whole story here. Basically, the idea is that not only can the farmer track the cow via GPS, but the cow receives sounds through the "Ear-A-Round" (although my choice for the name would have been the "iMoo")  that will get the cow to move in a particular direction.

Now, this was interesting to me, because we have a Houdini cow who manages to get through any given barrier designed to keep her on our property.  I can't tell you how many times we've had to go all cowboy on her because she managed to open a gate and escape. I really believe this cow could infiltrate Ft. Knox. If anyone from the CIA is reading this, I'd be happy to sell her to you for stealth operations for a mere 20 billion dollars.

And think of all the other wonderful applications of this technology! Kids are at the mall, wearing their Ear-A-Round, and you could have them hear, "If you even enter that awful Spencer Gifts store, you're gonna be grounded until I'm forced to let you leave the house to get fitted for your dentures." Son is in the locker room after hockey practice, and he hears, "You'd better come home with your underwear and two socks. And they'd better be YOUR underwear and socks." Teenage son is driving, and he hears, "You exceed the speed limit, mister, and I swear you'll be back to riding a little red tricycle to work." Teenage daughter is out on a date, and her Ear-A-Round transmits, "NO. NO. NO. NO." And her date's transmits, "Don't even THINK about it unless you want to spend the rest of your life as a eunuch."

But here's the best part: the last sentence in the article reads, "If the sound cues don't work, the device can emit a small electrical shock to move cows in the desired direction." I'm especially excited about this option. I think this might be exactly what I need to get Hubster out of his fishing boat and back to his 2-year-old bathroom remodeling project.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coming soon to a theater near you

Driving with one's teens in the car is an enlightening experience. My sons play some game where they call out car names and then punch each other. I have no idea what the purpose of this activity is, but I'm trusting that it's some kind of male bonding thing and that it's preparing them for stellar careers as video store employees.

My daughters, on the other hand, like to have meaningful conversation in the car. This means that I get to listen to them chatter about cute boys, clothes, cute boys who wear clothes, and uteruses.

Yeah. You read that right. And yes, there's a story coming.

Seems that FashionBug had become aware that some women are no longer the proud owners of a uterus. And it seems that this was true of the mom of FashionBug's best friend. So FB was sharing with her sister and me that friend's mom occasionally experienced PMS symptoms, even without the requisite organ.

Now, Princess Bunhead has a long history of being knowledgeable about uteruses. She also has a long history of coming out with those "it sounded right until I said it" proclamations. She's familiar with the phantom limb phenomenon, and figured it applied in this case, but as she explained it to her sister, she declared, "Oh, it's probably a ghost uterus."

I almost drove into a tree.

But, wait. There's more.

That night I watched one of the X-Men movies before I went to bed. Mistake.

I dreamed that I had special powers. I became the Mutant Ghost Uterus, with long, snake-like fallopian tubes, and I could reach way out and smack folks upside the head with my ovaries. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to meet myself in a dark alley.

I see a whole series of movies in my future, starting with "Scooby Doo and the Ghost Uterus."

Freddy Krueger has met his match.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The secret life of cows.

So, this summer we've had a day-care cow. By that I mean, there is a neighbor's cow who comes over to our house every day around 10:00 am, eats our grass, fertilizes our lawn, and goes home around 3:00 pm. See? Day-care cow.

I have a theory about this cow. I think she got wind of the runaway bull adventure we had a couple of years ago, and she's hoping that she, too, can get a ride in an SUV. I mean, think about it. A cow's life is about as exciting as a potato on sedatives. What does a cow do all day but eat grass, make manure, and sleep? So when that calf got home after his little car trip, don't you know he was the talk of the barnyard? He's probably something of a bovine legendary myth by now. "Oh, your uncle Clovis met Buford, The Backseat Cow. 'Course, that was back when he was a bull, before the, uh, surgery. Some folks say that's what made him get the wandering hooves."

Really, the only time cows get any travel experience at all is when they get loaded up in a trailer for a ride to that Great Pasture In The Sky. And it's not like they know what's going to happen. They're probably all excited, "Oo, I hear that where we're going, we'll be surrounded by greenery." No one's going to tell them, "Uh, that greenery would be the lettuce between you and the bun."

Well, gotta run. I have to find out if having a day-care cow is a home business, for tax purposes.