Monthly Archives

December 2016

All Entries Home Life Humor Pets and Animals

Paws for Prisoners

December 19, 2016

I found Bailey when he was an endearing pup at the Kansas City SPCA. I was looking for a dog to fill the void after Tucker died and couldn’t afford a Tibetan mastiff, Pharaoh Hound or King Charles Spaniel.

After a couple of years, Bailey blossomed into a full fledged member of our family. He cared for the kids, frolicked in the swimming pool and went after squirrels brave enough to venture into our back yard. He was always eager to shoulder his share of the load by taking out the trash, doing the laundry and enjoyed a seat at our dinner table. He even cleaned up after himself when he did his duty on the back lawn. By the time he was 3, he surprised even his piano teacher by learning how to read Mandarin, Punjabi and Min Bei and started tutoring all the kids in the neighborhood. He was such an affable, talented canine I started looking for ways to share his talents with the rest of the community.

I first saw the advertisement for Paws for Prisoners while riding the bus to work. It boasted that the Paws program was a collective effort between advocate groups, local animal shelters and Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary where the inmates taught dogs basic obedience and shared mutual social skills. In return, the animals provided companionship to incarcerated felons. I don’t know why they felt convicted felons were in a position to teach dogs obedience and social skills. After all, wasn’t it the absence of social behavior that got them there in the first place? But, what the heck. Maybe he’d learn something new. read more

All Entries Animals Family Home Life Humor

I Remember Hugh

December 18, 2016

We lost Hugh today. Somehow, he managed to slither out of our second-story bathroom window and was run over by an 18-wheeler carrying a load of chickens headed for a KFC. Considering the amount of time he spent futiley chasing birds, it was a humiliating end to an otherwise, distinguished life. The only thing that could have been worse was if he had been flattened by a truckload of squirrels.

Nevertheless, we’ll miss Hugh. But, it was his time to go. After all, he was 12-years-old and beginning to show early signs of dementia. From time to time, he’d confuse his water dish with his litter box, so he’d foul his water and walk around the living room with litter crumbs covering his lips.

I bought Hugh for my girlfriend, hoping that he would provide her with companionship while I was away at work. Unfortunately, he took an instant disliking to Natalie and spent the bulk of his days asleep behind the refrigerator licking his balls. That is, when he wasn’t spraying the couch or her expensive suede pants. read more

All Entries Entertainment and Show Business Family Home Life Humor

Breaking Beav

December 16, 2016

“Hi, dear. How was your day?”

“Oh, Ward. Sheriff Williams raided the house again this afternoon.”

“That makes the third time this month. What happened?”

“You know. The same old thing. The Wilson’s complained about Theodore’s meth lab again. Apparently the fumes coming out of his and Wally’s bedroom floated over the backyard fence and killed their cat. They’re threatening to move out of the neighborhood and Julia told me if it happens again she’s dropping out of the PTA bake sale.”

“I’ll go upstairs and have a talk with the Beaver. Maybe I can convince him to go back to his paper route.”

***

“Beaver, what’s this I hear about you killing the Wilson’s cat with the fumes from your methamphetamine? I thought we agreed that you’d make your crank in the basement.”

“Gee whiz, dad. The Beav didn’t mean to hurt the Wilson’s cat or nothin’,” said Wally. “It was an accident. I agreed to help him if he brought all his stuff up here while I was doin’ my homework. After a while the fumes got so bad we couldn’t breathe, so I put a fan in the window to clear out our bedroom.” read more

All Entries Education Family Humor

New Frontiers in Home Schooling

December 15, 2016

Boston, Massachusetts – Ever since Massachusetts issued the first compulsory education law in 1789, many parents have attempted to justify the reasons for home schooling their children: escalating violence in public schools, cutting down on gasoline for the SUV, freedom to teach religious beliefs, getting more yard work out of their kids, better quality of instruction and having someone around to fetch them beer. But, the parents of 15-year -old Ornice Bartimeus have chosen a more creative approach to educating their only son.

“We were concerned,” said Adelia Bartimeus, Ornice’s mother. “We wanted Ornice to experience all of the benefits of home schooling without sacrificing any of the important social aspects of attending a large public school.” To do so, the Bartimeus’ came up with a unique approach to making Ornice’s experiences at home mirror those he would have at a public institution.

Like other children, Ornice’s school day begins at 3:45 A.M. After donning his school uniform (a blue blazer over Orkin Termite Control overalls and rubber hip boots), he trundles downstairs for a hearty feast of waffles, chicken livers and grits. “After breakfast, I pack a bag full of his favorite treats and brush him out the door,” says Adelia. “We make Ornice walk a half mile down County Road 109 in the rain to wait for the bus driven by Ornice’s father, Bertram.” As he approaches the bus, Bertram speeds away, making Ornice late for school. read more

All Entries Education Family Home Life Humor Medicine

Monkey in a Pink Canoe

December 11, 2016

“Where did I come from?” asked Shadrach as we pulled up to his football game at Fleigenbaum Field. Having never been married, I thought I’d be exempt from ever having this discussion with a 6-year-old quarterback, so I never put much thought into what I’d say if asked. Looks like I was going to have to punt.

“Well, Shadrach, each month, in one of your mommy’s two ovaries, a few immature eggs develop into follicles. The mature follicle releases an egg during ovulation, which turns into the corpus luteum. Progesterone prepares the endometrium in anticipation of the embryo. Then, your daddy’s sperm travels up the fallopian tube where it fertilizes your mommy’s egg, mixing her X chromosomes with his Y chromosomes to create a zygote and blastocyst. Thanks to Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, nine months later you were born!”

“I just meant what town was I born in?” said Shadrach. “Meshach said it was Toledo, but Abednego thinks it was Cleveland.”

Since I’d already opened the door to the wonders of human reproduction, Shadrach had me cornered for “the discussion.” Evidently, neither of his parents wanted to get involved. I don’t blame them. My father never sat me down, either. Instead, he just sent me into my bedroom with a stack of National Geographics and told me to figure it out myself. I learned the rest from Tommy Flugelman while walking to school. read more

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