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It’s Holiday Season Again: Thanksgiving


 

Okay,

so I promised to complete the holiday series and by GOD I am going to do it!  For those of you that have long since put the torturous memory of Thanksgiving out of its misery, I am happy to reopen that wound for you as I am doing so to myself by authoring this very entry.

As is often the case, we opt to travel for Thanksgiving this year.  Only this time we are not on a 3-hour tour, we jump in head first and sign up for the 6-hour variety of road trip.  Granted, if I roofie the wife and NyQuil the rug rats , I can make that trip in 5 hours flat.  This being said, I am fresh out of roofies and at last check we have two wide-awake ankle-biters in the back seat. Begrudgingly, we head off to the windy, treeless prairies of the Texas panhandle.

Based on previous road trips (see https://genericdad.com/2010/09/21/were-no-donner-party/) you all know my children do not do well in the car over long periods of time.  Now, in the past we would typically drive thru a fast food joint and scarf down a high calorie, deep-fried mystery meal while I would attempt to distractedly eat and drive.  This is coupled with the wife riding reverse cowboy (on her knees in the front seat facing the back seat trying to force the kids to eat food that they don’t want in the first place)…maybe “Reverse Cowboy” is not the term…In fact, I know it’s not…I have Cinemax ya know. Needless to say, this is not the safest way to transport our precious cargo, so in recent trips we have been stopping at an actual restaurant with actual waiters.  This, at the very least, allows the wife and I to enjoy decent food while our kids run around howling like banshees in whatever Small Town, TX eatery we bless with our noisy presence.

The meal goes without incident.  I tip the poor 78 year-old woman who had to endure the ear-piercing shrieks of  my kids and we are back on the road just as an icy rain starts to fall.  Because the kids are somewhat behaving and because they actually ate some lunch we are inclined to let them have some candy while they watch their annoying movies (thank GOD for headphones!).  I don’t know if is something that he ate at lunch, car sickness, or something else entirely, but Lil B lets out a painful sounding belch that would put Booger Presley to shame.  That air bubble must have been serving as some makeshift cork because as soon as the cork blew, so did Lil B.  The kids had each just plowed through a tasty sack of M&Ms, so naturally, what was currently being projectile-vomited all over the back of my seat had the look of a lovely chocolate fountain one might see at a decent reception.  The comparison to the reception stops there because this is about the time that the smell hits the front seat.  Of course, we are in the middle of nowhere by this time and it’s pouring rain.  Luckily we see a roadside stop that we can at least have some cover to get Lil B. out of his Baby Gap Chocolate Fondue gear.  Clean as I might, I am not able to rid the vehicle of the scent of chocolate mixed with stomach bile, but some creative directing of the air vents at least keeps the smell in back with the livestock…err kids.

By comparison, the rest of our journey goes swimmingly and we soon find ourselves in the dusty plains of the panhandle on the outskirts of Amarillo.  There is not much to do in Amarillo other than binge drink and get pregnant.  Since we are already saddled with two fun babies, we opt for binge drinking.  We relax and visit with family in the days leading up to the turkey day feast(s).

Our first feast requires a short jaunt to the metropolis of Dumas, a small agribusiness-centered community in which the wife’s family resides.  Dumas is filled with good people and…hispanics, but mostly good people and I do not mind our brief visits.  It is actually a nice departure from the busyness of Dallas.  Things are quiet and simple and there is not much to do and I kind of like it…if only I could get 4G to connect so that I could Facebook and watch internet porn…maybe I don’t like being out in the boonies after all…at least there’s binge drinking…

After a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the wife’s family we are forced to exit rather quickly as we are already running late for our 2nd feast at my folk’s house back in Amarillo.  We arrive at my parent’s place just as my family is sitting down to eat.  So as not to disappoint, I heap the fixin’s onto my plate as though I had not seen food in days.  You can’t show up to mom’s and not eat after she has spent an entire day preparing a meal…So, the wife and I take one for the team and eat our second complete Thanksgiving meal within a two-hour span.  I am a fat ass and this is not much of a feat for me to accomplish, but I give the wife credit as she made a great showing at both feasts.  I am not positive, but I could swear I hear the sounds of a desperate woman purging her system later that day…it reminds me of high school and for a short time I bask in the nostalgia of my hometown.

The voyage home is uneventful.  There is no projectile vomiting, no crying, and no rain.  As we listen to an audiobook my mind drifts in and out of the story.  My liver and colon wreaking havoc on me for a week’s worth of overeating…and drinking, I am left with a warm sensation knowing that we are blessed with such a great family…nope, that’s not it…I think I just sharted…where the hell is that roadside stop!

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It’s Holiday Season Again: Halloween


Let’s face it.  Halloween is one of those holidays that people either love or hate.  There simply is no middle ground when it comes to All Hallows Eve.  As I grow older I find myself in the crossroads of hating and loving Halloween. 

 When I was a kid I loved all things Halloween.  The costumes, the trick-or-treating and especially all of the candy.  It was the one time of the year that my folks would let me run loose around the neighborhood soliciting sugar high-enducing treats.  My parents were so cool that they didn’t even go through my candy claiming to pull out the unsafe looking pieces while secretly culling out the good stuff for them selves.  Nope, I was free to tear into every razor blade-infused apple, every drug-laced, unwrapped candy, and even those nasty ass candy corns.  Although I have it on good authority that they would sneak into my stash once I finally crashed from my sugar high. 

As I grew a little older the trick-or-treating would give way to just running wild through the neighborhood wreaking havoc on people’s Halloween yard art and kicking in the faces of their lovingly carved jack-o-lanterns.  Rather than begging door to door for candy I would simply steal the candy of a younger ‘treater.  Yes, I know this is wrong, but kids did it to me and by God, I was going to have my revenge.  Plus, I couldn’t return home empty-handed and dressed like a zombie. 

As I entered the high school scene Halloween would shift gears significantly.  For me and my crew it was all about property damage.  We would steal pumpkins and drive around hurling our loot at unsuspecting brick mailboxes and parked cars.  Trick-or-treating would become underage drinking-themed house parties.  This trend would continue on into college with the property damage portion of the evening eventually fading away.  Call it maturation if you will, but I credit binge drinking and girls dressed in slutty costumes.  Who wants to toss pumpkins when you can stare at coeds while drinking your way to tossing your cookies just before you pass out on a stranger’s couch.  Man, I just realized how much I miss college.  These first 3 phases of Halloween are what I always loved about the holiday. 

In the years after college the fun would begin to fade.  Dressing up for costume parties would become a source of stress to have the most kick-ass costume.  Binge drinking would become a liability as we all had jobs and responsibilities.  I would also develop a hatred for overaged trick-or-treaters.  Why won’t those teenagers just move to the next phase?  Get to a party, get to stealing other kids candy, or get to smashing pumpkins.  Either way, just get off my porch you greedy little bastards!  Essentially, I begin to hate Halloween at this point in life.

Enter marriage and babies and the cycle begins again.  This time it’s my children entering phase one of Halloween.  It is such a great feeling to see the pure joy on their faces as they are handed a piece of candy from a complete stranger.  Their little eyes just light up at the sight of that dum-dum being dropped into their oversized plastic pumpkin buckets.  Watching them fight through the completely ridiculous costumes that we force upon them while trying to run to the next house brings forth a hearty giggle.  And perhaps the best part of the evening is when we have made our way home, candy buckets dumped onto the floor, and we drop the big one on them.  We tell them that they can have one candy before bed, and one candy only.  Their little, round faces become serious with the weight of the decision that is upon them.  Despite their selection we all win.  They get delicious and hopefully unlaced candy and we get to feel like good parents…for a night.  I think it’s safe to say that I have come full circle on Halloween.  Hell, I think I am gonna go smash my neighbor’s pumpkins and steal some poor kid’s candy just for the nostalgia.

 

My Little Zombies

 

It’s Holiday Season Again…Where’s My Shotgun? (Prologue)


     Ah yes, it’s that time of year yet again.  The leaves are turning, football is in full swing, and all of our coats have been unpacked and dewinterized.  For many folks, fall symbolizes the start to the best part of their year.  They look forward to turkey, taking time away from the stresses of work and exchanging in pleasant fellowship with loved ones. 

 I can just see them wrapping up in that new “Snugg Life” Snuggie that they got for Christmas with a nice hot mug of cocoa as they settle in to watch Miracle on 34th Street for the 97th time.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?  It’s like a Lifetime original movie and you are the star.  Too bad this pumpkin spice-scented dream simply does not exist in my world.   In my world that same scene would be more like me drunkenly stumbling my way through a maze of toddler toys as I half fall-half sit into a 1/2″ layer of kid snack crumbs on the sofa in an attempt to rub one out to Sue Heck’s Hello Kitty-concealed jugs before I pass out. (I know Sue is under age, but I love me some Hello Kitty!).  While that scene may not be entirely realistic, (you all know I am too cheap to buy my kids toys…or snacks) it sets the tone for the holiday season in my family.

As I sit in jail for domestic abuse, I have some time to reflect on what it is about the holiday season that sends me down the path to suicide each year.  It’s the three-pronged attack of holidays that starts, and keeps the beating ball rolling.  Think of it in military terms.  The first wave of attack is Halloween.  If you survive the attack, you find yourself staring Thanksgiving right in the face.  Many do not make it through this second wave, but those that are unlucky enough to survive are rewarded with the shock and awe of Christmas.  Just the string of those three words has me ordering up my autoerotic asphyxiation kit…hold the lemon.

This year, in an attempt to keep my sanity, I have decided to chronicle the holiday season with my family.  I  will provide a detailed account of each holiday wave of attack.  Hopefully, I keep the shotgun out of my mouth long enough to finish this endeavor.  Wish me luck and stay tuned…

A Weekend of Firsts


This weekend offered many firsts for our kiddos (and us for that matter!).  The wife and I thought that it might be fun to take M & B on a picnic.  In our heads we had it planned out that we would hit a shady park around lunch time on Saturday and we would have an authentic picnic.  However, the fact that we have two children that are of the age in which a daily nap is still a necessity, our vision of a proper picnic would not work.  Instead, after noon naps, we packed up a bevy of snack foods, loaded up the rug rats and headed out to have our makeshift picnic. 

We decided to venture away from our regular park and went to find a new spot for our picnic.  We searched online and settled on an old park near downtown Plano.  We selected this park partly because it was playing host to an event that we just had to witness.  That’s right, The Texas Tree Climbing Championships…in Plano???  Last I checked Plano was filled with overpriced homes and hordes of affluent drug addicted high schoolers.  I don’t recall seeing any trees that could serve as the championship of anything other than a coveted HOA yard of the month award.  Needless to say, we had to go if only to poke fun at the event.

We get to Bob Woodruff Park and we follow the signs pointing toward the” Tree Climbing Event”.  We get out of the car and, as expected, I am not seeing trees that are much different or larger than those on my street.  Oh well, we are here and we might as well set up our picnic and make fun of the arborlogical dorks.  We walk from the parking area on the sidewalk which quickly ducks out of the standard park clearing into a heavily wooded area. “Wow”, we said as we walk toward what have to be some of the larger trees that we have seen in Texas.  

Turns out that some of these trees are friggin’ close to 500 years old!  Maybe these arborlogical dudes are not dorks afterall…on second thought, they are still dorks…they are grown men…climbing trees…We decided to stay with the other 100 or so spectators (20 of which were a latino family having a cookout that just happened to be in the same place as the tree climbers).  So we spread out the ole blanket and broke out the snacks.  We stayed long enough to see two contestants and we had our fill of watching grown men do what we all did when we were 12.  I could swear I heard them announcing the next event, “Attention all sling shot and rock skipping contestants…”  as we made our way back to our car.  All in all, our first family “picnic” was a success and I am looking forward to doing it again (only without the overgrown kids hopefully).

Another first that was experienced this weekend was that I took M to see a movie in a theater.  I did not know what to expect because the girl cannot sit through a DVD at home without losing interest or talking the entire time.  We load up and head to the theater for the first showing of the day.  I was thinking perhaps the theater would not be crowded in the event that M decided to talk over the movie like she does at home.  As we pull into the parking lot I see few cars and the outlook is good for a small crowd. 

After a brief explanation to M on proper movie etiquette we make our way to the ticket booth.  At the last minute I make the judgement call and decide not to see the 3D version of the new Shrek joint.  I could see the excitement on M’s face.  It is the most awesome thing to witness a child in full amazement of what they are seeing or doing.  Her eyes were lit up and she was grinning so big that her eyes were squinted.  I can’t explain how it made me feel to see her so excited.  Next stop, the snack bar!

Just when I thought that her eyes couldn’t get any wider, they almost popped out of her head when she was standing, nose pressed to the glass of the candy display, and she heard me say, ” You can have any candy you want”.  While I was not pleased with her selection of Dots, I upheld my word and bought them for her.  Those have to be about the nastiest candy of all of the available choices.  Of course, that did not stop her from eating most of the box during the movie (aside from the couple that I had…I had to test for quality…yeah that’s it). 

We made our way into theater number 15, a fully packed, number 15.  “Oh great”, I thought as we grabbed the last two available seats.   My little etiquette lesson must have done some good because she hardly uttered a word during the entire movie except to tell me she needed to potty.  AND we only went to the potty once during the entire movie!  I could not believe that I walked into a movie theater with a three year-old and we sat through the entire movie in silence and only one short bathroom break.  It was at that moment that I realized that my toddler handles a movie better than her mother.  I think I just found my new movie date!