Mad Dad and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month
August was supposed to be the flippin’ gateway to the holiday season.
Soon, we’d have our gingerbread, honeycrisp apples, assorted pumpkin fare and
Instead, it’s turned into the month from hell. I assume it’s because I’ve semi-adopted Halloween – a holiday for Satan worship – as an early high-watermark for the autumn extravaganza.
Instead, August is that bitter apple with the razor blade inside.
It is myopinion that haircuts are the most ridiculous thing in the world. I
intentionally get between four and five year. They’re like financial reports to
stockholders: You get them quarterly and you hope most are good.
It shocks me that we pay millions of people in this country for the skill of
shaving, cutting, buzzing, lopping, shampooing, styling, dyeing, streaking and
frosting (all of which are actual cites in China – I looked it up).
People say that athletes get paid entirely too much for what they do. At least
athletes sweat. Barbers, stylists and whatnot don’t even do that.
Earlier this month, I got a quarterly cut at the Great Clips near my office. I get the same crap every time: No. 2 on the sides and back, cut on top to make it
proportionate. The lady always asks me questions and I always reply:
“Just don’t make me look like a retard.”
Most times it works. This time it didn’t. I got the No. 2 on the sides and back. But
she didn’t cut the top to be proportionate. How hard is this?
At worst I look like a Nazi Youth. At best, I look like the bass player from Blur, circa 1995.
Now that it’s grown out a bit, I look retarded.
Water, Water Everywhere
Last weekend, cleaning up the kid’s room and the wife notices a damp spot on the floor, near the wall. It’s the same spot, same type of dampness she’d felt a
few months before. We’d blamed it on the dog.
Pull up the carpet and pad. Freakin’ water damage on the wall, all of its soaked and we assume we’re completely screwed.
Could be anything. A leaky pipe from the adjoining bathroom, a crack in the shower base or who knows what else.
Days of work must be missed. Plumbers are called. Insurance companies and homebuilder are contacted. We straddle the delicate balance of not getting the insurance company involved and attempting to blame all of this on the homebuilder (it’s no longer under warranty … but if you can prove it’s their fault, they’ve got to fix it).
Meanwhile, we clear out the kid’s bed. She’s camping out in the “movie room” (not nearly as extravagant as it might seem) and we have carpet and pad hung up and clamped to ladders with four fans blowing on them 24-7 in order to get them dried out.
smells like a YMCA pool in that room now. Scentsy has its work cut out for
The Tuesday after Old Faithful in my kid’s room, I decide to go to work.
Taking my usual route through downtown Dallas, a tan sedan decides that it can’t possibly drive in the right lane any longer and damned if he/she is going to
let my presence in the middle lane deter him/her from swerving in.
Faced with the split-second decision, ramming into the back end of this a-hole’s
Tercel was Plan C.
I laidinto my horn, I braked what I could and I attempted to subtlety creep a little into the left lane to avoid contact. Coming in that lane, going about 20 mph
faster than me was a silver sedan. A side swipe later, I’m pulled over on the
side of an extremely busy Dallas thoroughfare (I actually made the traffic
reports on the radio … which is far more gratifying than you might think).
The folks in the silver sedan were quite pissed. Of course, they hadn’t noticed my
situation or why I did what I did. They didn’t want to hear my sob story.
They were just coming from work, headed home. They were tired. They were also Middle Eastern.
The woman – the passenger – had a real North African look going on. The man – the driver, who sarcastically gave me the double thumbs-up as I pulled onto the
shoulder – was short, slender, dark curly hair and a beard. My first thought
was: “Sleeper cell.”
They both spoke English, so I found it odd that they would talk to each other (in
front of me) in Farsi or whatever language they conversed in. She would
translate as I bent my ear over as if I’d be able to understand them. (“If
you’re going to come into our country and have me side swipe you, you better
speak our language! You’re in America! Speak American!”)
Of course, they’d been screwed in another insurance game of Three Card Monte. They wanted a cop there, quick. They weren’t going to exchange information without a law enforcement official. I called 911 to get help. They wouldn’t send anyone unless we were hurt (which no one was). My accident mates didn’t understand. I called 911 again. No dice.
The woman raised her voice. I attempted to regain control. I felt like I was
attending an OPEC conference and I was the dumb American that just wanted
Eventually, they called 911 (on my phone). Ambulances showed up. A fire engine showed up. I was mortified (turns out, they are forced to stop and check in if they notice a wreck on the road).
As I left the scene, after the Dallas County deputy took my statement, the bearded man gave me the horizontally askew peace sign.
Their side mirror may have been unhinged, but bridges were forged that day.