Oct 5 2009


I learned a new euphemism the other night when I was holding my friends’ six month old baby boy. I haven’t held one for years, but I still kind of remember how.

Anyway, I was holding him so he was reclining. His four year old sister came over to have a look, I guess to make sure I didn’t try to eat him or something. He started to work his jaws, so his sister gave me some helpful information:

“He thinks you have feeds.”


Speaking of ‘feeds,’ I remember another 4 year old big sister who used to walk around carrying a 12 inch Darth Vader like a baby doll. When it was time to feed him, she lifted up her shirt and nursed him.

I don’t think he ever recovered his dignity.

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Oct 1 2009

My eyes

I walked outside. It was September, cool, and overcast. Suddenly, the sun jumped out from its cloudy cover. I squinted against the sudden brightness.

“Ow!” said a small child, experiencing the same thing.

“What?” asked his mother.

“That burns my eyes!” he replied.

Never had I wanted so much to blurt out:

“The goggles! They do nothing!

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Sep 28 2009


“I snuck a beer.”

The guy who told me this looked to be about 6 years old. He didn’t say it like he was bragging.

“Are you supposed to be drinking beer?” I asked him.

“No,” he said. “I poured it out. I thought my mom was going to smell my breath.”

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Aug 28 2009

Test of faith

A friend of mine from our Baptist church and I recently took at trip and we stayed the night at the house of a Baptist couple. By ‘night’ I mean ‘four hours.’

Anyway, we got up the next morning anxious to get back on the road. Our hostess was insistent on fixing us something for breakfast. I turned down the wonderful offer of bacon, eggs, and pancakes in lieu of quick-and-easy cold cereal.

“Do you want some coffee?” she asked.

“Yes, please,” I replied.

“No thank you,” said my friend. “I don’t drink coffee.”

She looked at him thoughtfully before she asked:

“Are you sure you’re saved?”

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Aug 17 2009

Dad’s Volkswagen

As long as I could remember my Dad always drove American cars, so it was a great surprise when my uncle mentioned that my Dad and his twin brother had once owned a Volkswagen Beetle–for a short time.

“They were coming around a  long curve on our gravel road. Our neighbor and his wife were pulling out of their drive. He didn’t see them, and she did, but she talked really slow.

She said, “Les, here come those boys in one of those–”


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Aug 15 2009

Life at the potato chip plant

My Dad told us he once worked at a potato chip plant. My brothers and I were fascinated at the prospect of working at such a magical place.

“Did they let you eat any of the chips?” we asked.

“They let us eat all we wanted,” he replied.

We were completely in awe.

“They knew that after two weeks of eating all you want, you wouldn’t want to eat any more.”

That made sense, even to us.

“It was the only job I ever quit,” he said, and then he told us the rest of the story:

“Me and my twin brother were working there. I had the task of lifting 80 pound sacks of sliced potatoes and dumping them in the oil to fry. ‘Hurry up before that oil burns,’ the boss would say. Well I’d been lifting these sacks all morning, and I was pretty tired, so my brother and I switched places. The boss couldn’t tell us apart, and he wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t seen us switch.

‘You get back up there,’ he said.

‘No,’ said Dad. ‘We quit.’

“As we were walking out, I looked back and he was up there heaving those sacks of potatoes himself.

I hollered back up at him, ‘You better hurry up before that oil burns!”

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Aug 12 2009

My oldest.

I love my children very much but I love them even more when they unintentionally make me laugh.

I had just returned home from picking my oldest up from pre-school. The whole way home she had been intently looking at herself in the side mirror.

“Honey what are you doing.”

“Mom my teacher told me that I have a good personality.”

“That’s good to hear.” I said as I started to leave my car, then I hear this little voice say, “Mom? What does a personality look like? I can’t see mine at all.”

I still tell her every once in awhile that her personality is looking great.

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Aug 9 2009

Pettin’ the zebra

‘Pettin’ the zebra’ is a metaphor for being stuffed and mounted, and, more specifically, dead; it was coined by my brothers.

They were discussing how unwise it would be to ever attempt to burglarize the house of one of our relatives (the relative in question is a hunter and a taxidermist). While he has a number of mounted animals, including fox, badger, alligator, and puma, I don’t remember whether he actually owns a zebra or not. But here is the story:

“You’d break in, and then when you got caught, nobody would ever hear from you again. You’d just be standing there pettin’ the zebra.

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Jul 28 2009

Whiskey in the Jar, Part 2

If you read my previous post about Whiskey in the Jar, I told you that story so I can tell you this story.

Several years ago at a party we were playing Encore, a game where, when given a word or a topic, you have to sing seven consecutive words of a song on that word or topic. If you were given the topic of colors, you could sing “the yellow rose of Texas, yes that’s the girl for me,” or “paint it black, black as night, black–.” You don’t even need to finish your verse, but part of your seven words must be from the pertinent section of the song (usually not a problem, as you’re more than likely to sing the chorus.

It might sound easy, but you’d really be amazed how many songs you only three or four words from, followed by “something something.”

Our team was given the topic of geography, and I sang “as I was going over the Cork and Kerry mountains,” from Whiskey in the Jar. As I mentioned before, the song is 400 years old and has a few variations. 

One of the members of the opposing team was a notorious cheater, and when cheating was impossible, a rule zealot. She challenged my entry: “That doesn’t count, because it’s the ‘Farf and Kerry mountains’, not the ‘Cork and Kerry mountains’!”

Now, contrary to what many people think, I can play board games non-competitively and still be happy (except Monopoly–go for the throat!). However, that doesn’t mean I will tolerate losing to someone who insists on winning. And sometimes I can be kind of a juhk.

“Oh yeah?” I countered, snarkily. “There are different versions, and mine was done by a little band you might have heard of, called METALLICA!”

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Jul 19 2009

No, ma’am

My dad, Lonnie,  had a lot of skills: auto mechanic, aircraft mechanic, small aircraft pilot, welder, torchcutter, and storyteller.

You can see how most of those overlap quite a bit. So it was a great surprise when he told me he had taken typing when he was in high school. It came out like this:

“One day I was in typing class and I had done a terrible job that day, and at the end of class our teacher called on us to tell her how many words a minute we had typed.”

“Jim?” she called.





My dad called out his abysmally low score.


“Did you say ten?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes!” my dad answered irritably.


Remember, this was back when corporal punishment was legal and encouraged.


“Do you want me to come back there and slap you?” she asked.

“No, ma’am.”

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