Well Played 47, Well Played…

Birthdays mean things.  At 16 you get your driver’s license.  And for awhile, and also for the only time in your life – you think its cool to drive a ’81 Volkswagen Rabbit.  A beige one with a stick shift that only takes diesel.  Bad ass, I know.  At 21 you get to over pay for beers at the bar. And nothing says adulthood like paying more for something you could have done on your own with a little patience and planning.  Nothing really special happened on my 30th. I was already married and had a kid so turning 30 just seemed like a day.  On my 40th Mom and I had a party since we both turned 40 within a month of each other. We had a local place make us a couple big trays of barbecue while one of our friends brought over burnt ends.  And listen, after several beers, that stuff is quite possibly the greatest food you’ve ever tasted.

Anyway, I recently turned 47.  Which really isn’t anything special.  Doesn’t feel any different from any of my other recent birthdays. Aside from Mel Blount wearing #47 and being responsible for the NFL rules changes that allow the modern passing game, it isn’t an especially great number.  I was, however, pretty damned determined to kick 47’s ass.

So we made some plans with some good friends.  They picked us up and we drove back to their house.  Why? The key advantage of the location of their house is that you can walk to the bar.  A place called Taco Hangover.  At 3:00 in the afternoon.  On a Friday.  So, two things:

1-I’d like a little appreciation for our mature decision to not drive.  To not even have a vehicle at the bar.

2-Taco Hangover puts a laxative in its tacos.

Not sure how that makes for repeat customers but somewhere in their business model is a flow chart on how to make tacos and it includes a laxative.  Soft flour tortilla, chicken, stool softener/bowel stimulant, shredded cheese, etc.  The catch is that their tacos are awesome.  Seriously.  Bacon, egg and cheese tacos.  Kansas City burnt ends tacos. Chorizo and crispy potato tacos.  They even have sloppy joe tacos.  And listen, the tacos need to be awesome because you can’t get Miller Lite Tall Boys on the patio.  I know, I’m sitting there wondering if we’re in communist Russia or a bar in red, white and blue middle America…that sells laxative laden tacos.  Regardless, you did read that correctly.  No Miller Lite tall boys.  How the hell does that happen?  Friday afternoon ice cold tall boys on the patio is about as midwest American as you can get.  The really infuriating thing was that if I wanted to – although I can’t imagine a scenario in which this would happen unless it gave me the power of invisibility – I could get Pabst Blue Ribbon in a tall boy. I’m just spit ballin’ here but nobody really wants extra PBR.  Nobody.  And that’s what you get in a PBR tall boy.  Because of the outright and inexcusable lack of proper fridge stocking, I was forced to consume Coors Light.  In a tall boy.  And by forced I mean I wasn’t.  I could have had a normal regulation size draw of Miller Lite in the typical plastic cup required on patios.  But everybody else, including Mom at one point, is drinking tall boys and I’m not sure if you realize this, but tall boys have more beer in them.  Again, just spit ballin’ here but you know who likes more beer?  Everybody.

So as the day wears on and we have various conversations, including my agreeing to go a Flo Rida concert with Mom, we order tacos.  And a continuing flow of beers.  And, I’m not necessarily proud – or ashamed – of this but we put those away faster than Billy Idol was pumping fists in the Flesh for Fantasy video.

Mom tapped out first.  Got ride home from a friend.  About an hour later, I was done. Was about ready to get in the same friend’s car as she had recently arrived back at the patio after dropping Mom off and the taco effect suddenly become apparent to me.

So I did what anybody else would have done.  I bombed the bathroom.

Then I went home.  Upon my arrival I ask Mom how she’s doing – and just for reference sake it was still light out – and Mom informs me that she bombed our bathroom.

While we both felt pretty damn good afterwards, the effect of the beers hadn’t been evicted from our systems.  It was about this time that Kinz comes into our room and asks if her friend – a boy – could come over for a few hours.  My answer?  “Sure.”

Her response?  “Ok, but you’re going to have to talk to his Dad when he drops him off.”

My response to that?  “Ummm…you should ask Mom to do that.”

From the bedroom we hear, “No she shouldn’t!”

So it’s up to me to somehow behave like a responsible parent so this kid isn’t banned from our house because I wanted to kick 47’s ass.

Short while later – and after another visit or two to the bathroom – the kid and his Dad are at our door.  We introduce ourselves.  And then…

“Hey so I need to go through my whole deal here since we haven’t been to your house before.”

“Yeah, okay.”

“Any alcohol in the house?”

I sorta tilted my head slightly and said, “Yeah…but they’re not going to drink any of it.”

“Any firearms in the house?”

I’m thinking, sure okay, this is a legit question.  I guess I could be Bob Lee Swagger.  I might be slamming beers while I make my own ammo out back.

“Nope, no firearms.”

“Any explosives in the house?”

“You’ll have to be more specific.  Do you mean military, commercial or recreational?”

No I didn’t really say that.  But I’d never been asked – ever – if there were any explosives in my house.  Do people stock explosives?  I’m not counting fireworks.  Where do you even purchase them if you were to stock them?  Because if this is a thing, I kinda would like to know that too.

And listen I get the first question.  I’m not going to ask it because I’m assuming it to be true in nearly every house in America.  I also understand the second question.  And maybe I should be asking that too.  Maybe we all should.  Or maybe we shouldn’t. Alcohol and firearms aren’t illegal.  Often dangerous when used in concert but not illegal.

But even weirder than the questions was I’m answering them after spending the last 5 hours at the bar drinking Coors Light tall boys while eating laxative tacos talking about going to the Flo Rida concert.

So well played 47, well played…

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He’s Nothing Without His Choppers

Remember that story I told you about my two front teeth getting knocked out by a line drive off my daughter’s bat about 16 months ago?  Not really?  Okay, quick refresher – took a line drive directly to my face, just below my nose and just above my front teeth.  I assume what I felt was similar to what Hollywood felt when they called Pennsylvania for Trump.

No bone fractures, no cracked teeth, just quite a bit of blood.  And swelling.  Pretty gross.  Also my face is evidently made out of high grade steel.  Not that I’m bragging or daring you to test that conclusion but its pretty amazing that my teeth were fully intact along with the rest of my face.  Anyway, went to the ER and then to the dentist.  After their unexpected exit from my mouth the fugitive teeth were transported to the ER in my pocket and then to the dentist in a cup of milk.  For teeth, milk is apparently like a defibrillator.  After about an hour of being as toothless as Hillary’s appeal in the upper Midwest, the dentist replanted the teeth using sheer brute force.  Afterwards it was clearly explained to me that they had no idea if the replanting would work.  Replanting normally only works in teenagers.  Dudes in their mid-40’s eventually come back in to get permanent replacement teeth because we do not have the bloodflow necessary in our gums for a complete healing process to succeed.

Yeah, so here’s the update.  I had a dentist appointment last week and it was time for x-rays.  By the way, does it cause anyone even the slightest bit of concern that your protection against multiple invisible radioactive x-rays is a flimsy apron infused with lead or a lead equivalent?  Or that the lead apron covers you from mid-thigh to your neck…but they are aiming the radiation at your mouth which is unprotected and, if I remember human anatomy correctly, is really damn close to your brain.

Anyway, I had a new hygienist working on my teeth.  She didn’t know the whole backstory.  I suggested she read my dental history before working on my teeth.  I think she took the comment as skepticism of her ability to her job.  Which, in retrospect, is silly.  If you’re going to pick a fight with someone, it sure as hell isn’t going to be a person armed with sharp pokey things and the legal protection to cause significant dental related pain.  But she still looked at me the same way I looked when the Steelers were eliminated from playoff contention in 1980.  Then she went back to the chart and after about 30 seconds, she turns toward me and says, “So, those are your real teeth back in there, huh?”

Is Samantha Bee a hypocritical condescending douchelord?

After she’s done cleaning my teeth, she grabs the x-rays and calls for the dentist to take a look.  They’re laughing as they come back to my chair.  Dentist says, “I was just going over our, um, history.”  Turns out getting your teeth knocked out by a softball moving faster than the Milennium Falcon making the Kessel Run then salvaging them quickly enough that they can be shoved back into your sockets isn’t something most hygenists are taught to deal with in school.

Dentist holds up the x-ray of my front teeth and describes that inexplicably the gum tissue surrounding my teeth is not only healthy but it appears as if nothing ever happened.  Additionally, the ligaments appear to have reattached.  But mostly importantly it looks as if the roots of the teeth and the bone are fusing.  This is a condition called ankylosis .

So sort of a double edged sword here according to my dentist.  Chances are, as long as things remain healthy, these teeth aren’t coming out again.  They are pretty damn secure.  Which, again, she can’t believe because dudes in the mid-40’s don’t have their teeth replanted, they have them replaced.  But the downside is that if they ever need to come out for some reason, it’s kind of a big deal.  The dentist’s conclusion?

“You’re are an amazing healer.  Your gums are as healthy as can be, the teeth look completely normal and they are really, really secure in there.”

My response?

wolverine“I might be off base here but what I’m hearing you say is that I’m Wolverine.  I have extraordinary healing powers but instead of retractable adamantium claws, I have beaver teeth.”

Dentist didn’t totally agree, but also didn’t completely reject it.  So I’m counting that as win.

1990 and Cupcakes

I’m going with a spring 1990 vibe with my drivetime music right now. This replaces the spring 1983 thing I had going for the last couple weeks. Stop smirking, you’d be stunned how quickly Affair of the Heart and Human Touch takes you back to 7th grade. Or, if you’re currently in 7th grade like Rye, you’ll be pleased at the level of disdain and scorn you can heap upon your Dad while he listens. Anyway, spring 1990. Not only did it give us a classic like Steven Seagal’s Hard to Kill, we also had Warrant’s Sometimes She’s Cries and Whitesnake’s Now You’re Gone. And listen, nothing and I mean nothing, will disgust a 13 year old brainwashed into thinking Nicki Minaj and Rhianna are the pinnacle of popular music coolness than the vocals of Jani Lane and David Coverdale. And just so you know, it doesn’t matter how many times the phrase “Dad, can I change it” is uttered, Now You’re Gone and by extension, 1990, will not be browbeaten into capitulation. Because hair metal surrenders to no one!

That being said, there are things that you do simply because your kids ask. No parent is cold hearted enough to say no in every instance a “no” is in fact the right parenting answer. Hey, sometimes you suck as parent. I’m no exception. I’m not sure its worse when you’re a Dad with three daughters – meaning I have no hard data to prove it is a metaphysical certitude that Dads do head-shakingly absurd stuff for their daughters, but I suspect it’s the case.

While I have yet to learn or develop the skills and tactics necessary to apply make-up at dance recitals and/or performances, I did master the fine art of toe nail polish deployment on 6 year-old little girls. I have, on occasion, been unable to utilize the “tough sh*t” strategy when your 5th grader calls from school saying they left their clarinet/saxophone/violin/something else at home and would it be possible for me to detour my route to work and return home, retrieve said musical instrument and drop it off in the office at school. This morning however was the first time I went grocery shopping for a 7th grader at 6:30 a.m. I suspect it is probably not the last time.

Last night after leaving work early to pick up Bails and Kinz from school, a move necessary because I was consistently unable to get Bails to dance class on time due to tight time windows between school bus drop offs and dance classes, and after shuttling between Bails’ dance class and Rye’s two dance classes, and after picking up Kinz from softball practice, I’m lying on the couch drifting into and out of consciousness. Rye walks up and frantically lets us know that she just remembered she’s supposed to bring the ingredients for cupcakes to school tomorrow for class.

Now listen I don’t have anything against cupcakes. I like chocolate ones. I like vanilla ones. I like cupcakes that are chocolate and vanilla mixed together. They are loosely related to donuts and muffins and can at least attend the same parties as coffee cake. Its all good.

But I’ve literally been out driving around from 3:45 until about 7:45 and have driven past a grocery store at least 13 times. I’m not kidding about this. I looked at the map. I drove right past or was within a mile of a grocery store 13 times. Rye was in the car for at least 4 of those drive-bys. At no time did it pop into her head that she needed stuff for cupcakes. You know what did pop into her head? Telling me how much David Coverdale sucks. That’s what. But she has the steely resolve, I mean the self-absorbed audacity to ask me to drag my backside off the couch in the middle of the best Sweet 16 game of the night and go to the store to get crap for cupcakes. Cupcakes that I’m not even going to get to freaking eat! You don’t lay down some hateful smack about David Coverdale and Whitesnake and go and ask for a cupcake favor. I don’t care if the cupcakes are made out of beer, I’m not doing it. Seriously, though, if they had beer cupcakes I’d totally get the stuff to make those.

I mean I have already initiated the 40something night time total body shutdown sequence. With every passing minute it becomes more difficult for me to form sentences because the muscles that control jaw movement are asleep. Which, as it turns out, must be God’s way of making sure you can’t drop an expletive laced carpet bombing tirade on your kids. Kind of failsafe protocol for parents.

So naturally, we drove to the grocery store before school and picked up white cake mix, white frosting, vegetable oil, egg whites and those foil cupcake cup things. I’m assuming that when I see her this afternoon she’ll smile and let me know that it was all a false alarm and she didn’t really need the stuff for some reason. But that’s way a 13 year-old brain works. It develops at a natural rate until right about 7th grade and then it randomly works, malfunctions, works, shuts down, works and then regresses before finally it begins normal development again after college. It’s a lot like the career of Steven Tyler.

Top Spring 1990 Videos For You to Watch on Youtube:
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