The Five Second Journey.

Guest Post by Chris The Husband.

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There are times in life when things happen in real time very quickly, but in your mind, time slows to a crawl, as your brain seizes onto reality and attempts to grapple with it. Such was Saturday, at the pool.

It was a standard late poolside July afternoon. Hot, sunny, flocks of sunscreened kids splashing in the pool and baking parents lounging on the deck with piles of damp towels, flip flops, and pool toys in nearly every chair.

I was on a break from Marco Polo and Monkey-In-The-Middle with my own kids, chilling in a lounge chair, when I saw it.

 

:01

Across the pool, far from me, a short kid stood, parallel to the side of the pool, with his hands low, his head down, and a stream of liquid shooting a few feet in front of him, falling harmlessly on the already wet pool deck. He’s probably 3 years old, totally at ease, not a care in the world.

 

:02

That can’t be what I think it is. There must be a water gun involved. Maybe a sprinkler behind him creating an optical illusion. This kid is not standing a foot outside the pool peeing onto the deck.

There are a hundred people in here. If that were happening surely I wouldn’t be the only one noticing. It has to just be my angle.

 

:03

No, no one else is noticing this. All the kids are playing. All the parents are staring at their phones or books or magazines. All the lifeguards are looking INTO the pool. They only notice kids running on the deck, not whizzing.

Wait! Someone noticed. The dad. Oh, man, he’s panicking. I wonder what he’s gonna do?

 

:04

Its hard to make logical sense of the actions humans take when they’re in a panic. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just react.

Standing in the pool, in a very quick and purposeful manner, the dad reaches his hand up and blocks the stream of pee, about 4 inches from the output source. I’m not sure what the intent was, but in practical terms, not much changed. While minimizing the distance traveled by the stream, it was still falling onto the wet pool deck a foot from the side of the pool. It was just now first taking a detour and squirting the dad’s palm.

I could see his animated facial attempt to convince the little boy to stop urinating while unsuccessfully trying to catch it, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying over the general cacophony of the moment.

 

:05

It dawned on me how this happened.

I can’t be sure, but I’d bet money on it. I’ve been a parent long enough to flub the directions.

I can almost guarantee you that this dad had told his son repeatedly, in no uncertain terms, “DO NOT PEE IN THE POOL.” Not “let me take you to the bathroom”, not “tell me when you need to go”, just the basic instruction. Keep it simple, make it count.

The kid followed these instructions to the LETTER.

 

Epilogue.

Once the flow was paused, the dad leapt from the pool, escorted his son to the fence, and let him finish in the bushes. Again, nobody noticed. Everyone at the pool is focused. Except apparently, me.

The two morals of the story are: (1) Give clear directions, and (2) Don’t look up from your phone.

Red Legos & Hamm

Guest Post by Chief Husband and Editor Chris

It’s Championship Eve. The last holiday cometh. Tomorrow, my team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, will rematch Clemson to defend their national title and try to go 15-0 for the first time. It just so happens that most of this weekend was spent iced in at home. Everything was cancelled, travel discouraged, you know the drill. So after all the Christmas decorations came down, multiple Star Wars movies were watched, rooms rearranged and organized, my idle hands started playing with Lego.

My mantle rolled its eyes at me and smiled.

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It started with some fun officially licensed gifts Rachel has given me the past few years.

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Then I added some fan seating in various financial tiers.

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And the fandom I know best, the tailgating.

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The Wayne Enterprises skybox is for VIPs only, but its not the cheeriest place. The Dark Knight, the worried hobbit, and Mr. Attitude the Wizard enjoy their wealth and privilege, but there’s not a pom-pom in sight.

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The upper deck is bit less stodgy, and a solid cross-section of Lego society.

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Down in the safely guarded concourse, the crowd picks up their yummy fish.

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The grouchy custodian just came from cleaning the ladies’ room. She is no fan of the hovering fans she cleans up behind.

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Her coworker is having a better time taking care of the field.

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Meanwhile, outside the stadium, Ma & Pa Cop are hosting a fantastic tailgate outside their RV.

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And the grill masters are taking care of the hungry crowd.

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The whole crowd, inside and out, players and fans, are, like me, filled with hope and expectation. The game kicks off in less than 24 hours. By the time you read this, I’ll either feel like these guys:

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Or like Hamm.

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Either way, I’m over here having fun. Roll Tide.

The Reasonable Quest.

Guest Post by Husband and Chief Editor, Chris.

Hi.

My name is Chris.

I’m low-key obsessed with buying an NES Classic Edition. It’s a tiny box that contains 30 classic Nintendo games, all in the tiny box, no cartridges required.

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But low-key will not get it done. There are too few of them trickling into stores. There are too many people trying harder than me.

So I should just try harder, right? But life, and work, and family, and responsibility, and maturity, and reality.

The Evil Kermit meme series is very applicable here.

evil-kermit-meme-dark-side-funny-memes-221Me: It’s a video game. You are 40. You have responsibilities.
Me to Me: The fate of all mankind requires that I own this obsolete device.

I’ve had 10 browser windows open on my phone for 6 weeks. All of the online retailers, a Target inventory checker, an online inventory aggregator, Google news search results. I have a constant Twitter search term for all of the latest news.

I’ve had one in my online cart on multiple occasions at multiple retailers, only to have it disappear from my cart before I could checkout, thanks to the scalper bots buying them all in 30 seconds. The scalper bots, whose Grinchy owners take and list them on Ebay by the thousands at triple and quadruple the retail price. And they sell them for those prices, to desperate parents and dedicated gamers who care more than I do, or more than I am willing to admit.

evil-kermit-meme-dark-side-funny-memes-221Me: Don’t pay these inflated prices. Just wait until after Christmas. Be a grownup.
Me to Me: It’s just money. You can’t eat money. You can’t breathe money. Drop the money
.

I’ve stood outside a closed GameStop in the cold, knocking politely so the irritated manager could say for the millionth time, “We don’t have any.”

I’ve chased internet rumors to stores and lines outside stores. Nada.

I’ve watched bleary-eyed teenagers, spouses, and grandparents shuffle into a Best Buy with golden tickets they received by waiting all night outside the store, and walk out with that beautiful tiny box.

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The Target inventory checker occasionally shows small stock at 1 or 2 stores within 100 miles. Maybe 5, maybe 9, once 14. But within minutes of the store opening, they are back to 0, bought by the tired throng who lined up throughout the night, who care more than I do, or more than I am willing to admit.

evil-kermit-meme-dark-side-funny-memes-221Me: You have to go to work. You have to do Christmasy family things. You cannot wait all night on the sidewalk and be an exhausted waste of humanity.
Me to Me: Sleep is overrated. I can go one night without. It will be fine.

There are constant news stories about the quest to purchase the NES Classic.

Here are 2 headlines from December 20th:

Is the Nintendo NES Classic Edition the Key to Father-Son Bonding in the Digital Age? (WSJ) This article about a 40- year-old father and his 7-year-old son will bring a tear to your eye.

My children will remember this for the rest of their lives.

It’s time to give up on getting a Mini NES Classic Edition This Christmas. (Forbes) The article begins “Lose all hope”.

But its fine. Really, it’s OK. I’m sure they love me either way.

The FOMO has never been so white hot.

Is this what it’s like to grow up? To slowly strangle the unreasonable decision-making out of your inner child?

It’s almost Christmas. I’ll keep watching and waiting and half-heartedly trying. I won’t succeed. I’ll be smugly self-satisfied in my adult decision making.

I’ll buy one in February, when all of the Grinchy scalper bots are choking on plastic because they got stuck with them and have nothing else to eat.

Merry Christmas.