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6:37 a.m. - 2001-11-04

Hey! Haven't heard from ME in a few days, have ya?

Let's remedy the sitch with an update, whatta ya say??

Friday was borrrrrring. I worked, then hurried home to snatch my baby outta Grandma's arms and shoo her out the door.

GRANDMA: "John McCain doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground."

ME: "Nice mouth, Grandma...now hit the road, you're stinkin' up my baby."

So she left and Susie came home. We had 40 minutes to get Andy to church and meet our friends for dinner.

"Nurse Andy," I said. What I meant was "Stick your boob in Andy's mouth so that you feel like a productive mother, he gets a little nourishment and all this can be accomplished quickly so we can get on out the door."

She took it to mean "Sit and tell me about your day, sort through the mail, watch "Friends" from last night and THENNNNN nurse Andy with three minutes left to spare before we have to leave."

MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY WIFE AND I: I am punctual. She is not. When we have to be at a certain place at a certain time, I make sure we get there on time ... she makes sure that we're late. I take pride that nobody ever has to wait on me, she just doesn't care.

So we finally get to church 15 minutes late to drop Andrew off to be babysat. Our friends were just about to leave, after meeting everyone at the church and wondering if we had forgotten about our date.

Nooooo...we didn't forget about the date...I just married the world's slowest woman.

So we go out to my favorite favorite restaurant...Copeland's. The other couple had never been there and wanted to try something new.

They loved it as much as I do.

The guy...Clay...owns a furniture store in town that advertises heavily on local television and has been advertising heavily for over a year. As he puts it, that advertising was the best investment he's ever made because it turned his store around from a money-loser to a money-winner. He appears in the commercial, saying the line "Friends...don't let friends buy particle board."

...I have no idea what that means. I guess particle board is cheap furniture. I don't know and really don't care. The line is a takeoff on "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." But the way he phrases it is different. In his interpretation of the line...he's addressing the viewer as "Friends" and then says "Don't let friends buy particle board".

I've never understood the phrase. And I always thought he screwed the phrase up and that the director of the commercial probably had him do 25 takes of the line and finally said "Screw it...the guy doesn't know how to act" so they ran with what they've got.

Whatever the case...he's a minor celebrity in town now. So people kept staring at him all night. Two people came up and said the line to him at the restaurant. He was genuinely excited about it.

He said it happens all the time.

I told him that I had a confession to make. Not only have I been allowing my friends to buy particle board...I've been ENCOURAGING them to buy particle board.

He snickered.

Anyway, we had a good time. Afterwards we walked around Michael's the craft store. Something about Michael's always makes me feel like I'm about to pass out. Maybe it's the sheer dullness of the store. Maybe it's the massive amounts of unfinished crap. I'm not sure.

Got back to the church and Andrew had been a doll all night long...playing with all the nursery toys by himself. Because apparently we were the only parents taking advantage of "Parents Night Out" this month. So there were six teens and adults watching one child...ours.

On his first birthday. Yep...his actual birthday and his parents dump him off at church so they can go out with the Particle Board Guy.

And no...I didn't feel like crap.

Saturday, Susie had a study session (aka going to her secret crack whore job), so Andy and I stayed home and played with some of his new birthday toys.

We then went to Walmart to pick up Andy's SECOND birthday cake for his SECOND birthday party.

...The party with the inlaws that took place last night.

Ordinarily, a party with the inlaws would be enough cause for me to leave my wife with a hastily written note telling her I was moving to Colorado to be with my one true love, whoever that may be.

But ... what could my wife do to make a party with the inlaws even worse?

I will open the question up to you people reading at home.

No...not force the inlaws to come naked.

No...not give them all megaphones to talk through.

No...not give them all flame throwers so that they can have flame wars.

How about...invite Nosy Assed Neighbor along with them???

Of course!

Now I REALLY wanna strangle someone!

Everyone got to the house about 6 p.m. I was shocked that they actually brought gifts and that they actually looked new. I figured Grandma would bring him a shoebox full of cigarette butts or something.

My no-good, lazy, $6,000-owing brother-in-law said the line "For Christmas, I'm just giving Andrew a box because that's all he's interested in!" more times than the phrase "God Bless America" has been used by the entire American population in the last six weeks.

I felt like saying "It's fine if you give him a box for Christmas...just pay us back the $6,000 so he can go to college. Oh...that's right...the only one we could afford to put through college was you."

....Goddamned bastard...

I stayed outside as much as possible, grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and staying away from the shrillness of everyone telling 12 different stories in voices louder than everyone else's.

Grandma is the worst at this. When we get this many people in the house, NOBODY wants to hear Grandma's stories. It takes her forever to tell one and usually a quarter of the way through the story, people have either lost interest and walked away or are pretending not to hear her.

At one point, I was trying to get the ice machine on the refrigerator to work properly. I could hear Grandma telling a story but I was quite sure she wasn't telling it to me.

I fixed the ice maker and closed the door and she was staring right at me, slowly telling her story about how bad the government is screwing up this war.

If I had a single teste in my testicles, I would have said "Like I care, Granny. You haven't voted since Nixon, so you have no right to bitch about this. All you're doing is spewing the swill that you hear on your goofy little talk radio shows that you listen to all day long because you can't afford cable because rather than work all your life and save money, you squandered what little money you made on "Get Rich Quick" schemes that blew up in your face. So take your biased and ignorant opinions, find an orifice on your body that isn't currently jammed with a cigarette and shove it up there."

But I just walked outside and turned the hamburgers over, pretending like I didn't hear her. Which was an amazing feat because she was telling her boring assed story at 110 decibels.

Of course...Grandma HAD to watch the World Series so she manipulated the television viewing for the evening. Personally, I don't get into baseball. Or basketball. I don't give a crap about either of the two sports. I like football. That's it. You can have all your other sports...gimme my football.

So after dinner, we're all sitting in the den. Grandma's on my left. She's the only one watching the game, the rest of us are being social.

For some ungodly reason, Grandma thought I knew everything there was to know about the game.

"Where are they playing?" she asked.

I shrugged. "I don't know. I don't watch baseball."

"Yes, I know...but this is the World Series," she said.

Oh! The World Series! Oh ...well in that case I'm a fucking expert on what's going on! I thought this was just a regular game ... I had no idea it was the World Series. I didn't think they started that until July!

I glanced at the TV and said "It looks like Omaha to me."

She was slightly disgusted. "It has to be either Arizona or New York."

I looked again.

"I don't see the World Trade Center in the background, so it must be New York."

She didn't get it.

She THEN had the gall to ask me who was at bat.

Y'see...THIS is why none of us feel bad when we tune her and her stories out. Because she doesn't listen to SHIT that we tell her.

"I don't know Grandma," I said. "I don't watch baseball. If I had to make an educated guess at who's at bat, I'd guess that it's Babe Ruth."

Once again...she didn't get it.

A few minutes later, she asked if the bases were loaded and somebody was walked...do they all move up a base?

...I got up and went to clean the kitchen without giving her an answer.

We FINALLY got around to having cake and ice cream. I videotaped Andrew making a mess of himself eating his cake.

My greasy haired sister-in-law was getting ready to leave while Andrew ate his cake. She felt the NEED to give him a kiss on his head.

So she kissed him on his head.

Her greasy ringlets of hair fell into his face.

They tickled his face.

He went to rub his eyes, where he had been tickled.

With gobs of chocolate frosting all over his fists.

...Rubbing chocolate frosting all in his eyes.

The screams were louder than Grandma telling us about her bleeding corns.

"Honey, get a dishcloth!" I yelled over Andy's wailing. "Andy got frosting in his eyes because his Aunt couldn't leave without fucking something up!"

...Okay...I left out the last part.

Leave it to Nosy Assed Neighbor to tell me that since I was standing right there videotaping the kid that I should have stopped him from rubbing frosting in his eyes.

Ahem.

Look you irritating whorebag...he was fine...FINE...until Greaseball wanted to shove that unwashed mass of curls called her hair into his face, covering him with head lice. He was enjoying his cake and not hurting anyone. THIS IS NOT MY FAULT.

What really sucked is that Susie had to really scrub his eyes down good to make sure she got all the frosting. By that point, he was crying and fussy after having a thin layer of his face scrubbed off. So his little baby cake barely got touched.

As they all packed up to leave, my lazy assed brother in law asks "Can I take some cake home?"

Basically, we had barely put a dent in the cake. In fact, all the writing "Happy 1st Birthday Andrew" was still intact.

Susie asked him how much he wanted. He asked if we'd be eating any of it.

I spoke up and said I couldn't eat any of it.

So he said "Well then give it all to me."

He's not my brother. At times like these, it's up to Susie to say "We paid $12 for that cake...you're not getting ALL of it."

But she doesn't. She just gets the box that it was in and hands it to him.

Grandma says "Larry, you can't possibly eat that whole cake!"

Larry says "I'm taking it to work on Monday! Everyone will eat it there!"

Which...as it turns out...Susie had planned on taking it to church today to serve after the service.

Now it's going to a bunch of strangers at my asshole brother-in-law's place of business where everyone hates him because he has the mentality of a 14 year-old and the hygiene of a wart hog.

I dunno.

I hate the guy. Hate him, hate him, hate him.

His jokes are the epitome of corny. One more thing about him and then I'll let you get back to your day.

As I was walking outside at one point to flip the burgers, he said for everyone to hear "Uncle Bob...is there anything I can say to help?"

You know ... instead of "Is there anything I can DO to help."

That's his idea of a joke. It's probably one of the most repeated lines at my inlaws family functions.

I just said "No, that's okay...I've got it."

As I closed the patio door, I heard him announce to everyone "That went right over his head."

I mumbled to myself "No. It just wasn't funny, you dipshit."

Anyway.

That's enough.

My life is hell.

But I've got a beautiful little one year-old guiding me through it.

Peace out, have a great day.

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