Monday, September 29, 2008

Introducing Skippy


Well, life has gotten pretty busy since Skippy the Wonder Pug came to live at our house a couple of weeks ago.

Skippy has two speeds: Heat-Seeking Missile, and Comatose. The above photo was taken on his first day at our house, when he was shocked into immobility for, oh, 15 minutes. I think he has grown since then, but it's hard to tell because when I see him, he's a little fawn-colored, snorting blur.

Fortunately, his target is usually The Menace, our basset hound with a hyperactivity disorder and a miniscule bladder. Skippy's favorite trick is to let The Menace chase him under the bed. The Menace, whose brain is approximately the size of a soybean, will then stick her head under the bed, and Skippy, who has been waiting for this exact opportunity, nips her right in the nose. The Menace yelps, backs up, realizes Skippy is still hiding, and then thrusts her head under the bed again. This is a game that could go on for hours, were it not for The Menace's need for frequent potty breaks. I guess that with all the excitement, her bladder shrinks to a size that can only be seen with a high-powered microscope.

Skippy's other favorite activity is to eat anything but the $25 worth of puppy chow I purchased for him. I'm trying to have a good attitude about this habit, though. I figure I can tell my friends, "Hey, you've heard about that elephant who painted? And that gorilla who could use sign language? Well, check this out. Our new puppy has eaten a DVD remote, a cell phone, two CD cases, a Playstation controller, and several newspapers. He's going to be the dog that poops multi-media presentations."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Toothpaste: It's not just for breakfast anymore.

So last night I had to make one of my late-night forays into StuffMart. I think Rod Serling might have gotten his inspiration for The Twilight Zone from StuffMart at midnight. And because plain old run-of-the-mill weirdness isn't enough for me, I took along Danger Boy. 

Now, I have to tell you that there is something in the air at StuffMart that just escalates Danger Boy's ADD to mach five. I imagine that his brain is doing something like a pinball machine in which all six balls have been released at once. "PING! LEFT FLIPPER! TILT! PING! PING! BONUS POINTS! RIGHT FLIPPER! PING! WHOOP WHOOP! TILT!" (Or, for those of you younger readers who have never seen a pinball machine, think Sonic the Hedgehog hopped up on crack.) Surely I am not the only mother who wishes those belted seats in shopping carts could accommodate a 6'2" seventeen-year-old boy.

Anyway. Besides the usual bi-weekly pickup of milk, boys' socks, and underwear, I needed to get some toothpaste for myself. 

Well. I was horribly unprepared for toothpaste shopping.

When I was a kid, you had your choice of four different toothpastes: Colgate, Crest, Pepsodent, and, later, UltraBrite. They all came in one color: white. They all came in one flavor: toothpaste. There were no such things as sealants or flouride treatments, so everyone had cavities, no one had braces, and we had to use toothbrushes that weren't battery operated or had MP3 players in the handle. Life was good. Especially for dentists.

As I rounded the corner into the toothpaste aisle last night, I felt like I had entered the Chuckie Cheesedom of Dental Products. There had to have been 135 varieties of Crest toothpaste, all in sparkly, brightly colored boxes, right next to the fluorescent singing toothbrushes ("Now with a palate sander!") and the raspberry-flavored mouthwash (in your choice of alcoholic or non). I'm pretty sure I saw
  • Crest Fresh Mint
  • Crest Cool Mint
  • Crest Mint Julep
  • Crest Lemon
  • Crest Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Crest Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese
WHO is working in Research and Development for Crest - Rachael Ray?! Good grief, I was working up an appetite while just trying to purchase a little 88 cent tube of toothpaste-flavored Pepsodent. Meanwhile, Danger Boy, whose boredom meter had exceeded the "safe" zone and was now in the "impending danger to others" zone, was throwing pennies at a bird in the rafters while simultaneously trying to determine if he could put hydraulics on our shopping cart.

Finally, I found my toothpaste, on a bottom shelf under the enormous display of dental floss - waxed, unwaxed, mint, unmint, organic, hypoallergenic, and vegetarian. (They were out of the floss with extra calcium for seniors.) I grabbed the toothpaste box, used my purse strap to lasso Danger Boy as he was starting to wander off toward charcoal lighter ("But, mom, flames coming out of the back of the cart would be so cool!"), and headed for the checkout lane. 

Today I'm very worried. I just noticed we're running low on liquid hand soap. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Proof that our culture is going to hell in a handbasket.

People are always complaining about the media. 

Reporters slant stories too far left. Or right. Or, for those at the North Pole, too far south.

Rumors are reported as fact. Facts are reported only in part. 

Tabloids skip the facts and the rumors altogether and just report the news that's transmitted from space aliens and their leader, Elvis Presley.

And just when you think it can't get any worse ....

... I've been published.

Yep. A small magazine that circulates in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area printed one of my pieces.

I'm trying not to get The Big Head about this, but I gotta tell you, I'm happier than a dung beetle in the cattle barn at the county fair. 

I promise this: If this leads to my very own media empire, I am definitely going to hire someone else to do my bi-weekly shopping for boys' socks and underwear.