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6:33 a.m. - 2001-12-09

SANTA'S GONNA GET STUCK IN OUR CHIMNEY

We have a saying around my house ... "Your Daddy's a fucking idiot."

Okay...WEdon't have the saying. More specifically, my wife has the saying.

We went to Albany, GA on Friday night. Yes...I made the drive in record time after getting 3.5 hours of sleep Thursday night, working all day Friday and then driving 2.5 hours to Albany in the dark down country roads.

We drove straight to Outback Steakhouse, home of the ultra-bland steak and 90 minute wait to meet some of Susie's co-workers.

Good God, what a freak show.

She has one co-worker who literally has no bones in her face. It's like she missing the front part of her skull. Her eyes are as big as the bottom of a beer bottle and from there all her skin is just stretched tightly to her chin.

She's ghastly. Ghastly, I'm tellin' ya.

A nice woman though. But think about it...she HAS to be nice. There's no way you can look like Skeletor and have an attitude about it ... right?

She kept wanting to play with Andrew and Andrew couldn't take his eyes off of her. To say he was staring intently wouldn't do him justice. He was studying that face HARD. I kept waiting for him to scream in terror but he never did. I was such a proud Daddy that he didn't.

Naturally, I yelped in horror once when I accidently looked at her. But Andrew was cool.

So anyway, ate dinner, I still don't understand what the big fuss is about Outback, and we went to the hotel.

A NICE hotel. Much nicer than last week's Hotel O' Crime.

Saturday morning, we get up, ship Mama off to her meeting and Andrew and I prepare to go Christmas shopping.

Okay.

As a kid, Christmas was the end-all, be-all holiday. You got lots of toys and everything was exactly what you wanted...right? Maybe not for you, but my dad had a decent job and saved for his kids Christmases. Maybe your dad was a drunk who spent Christmas eves at the local tavern, getting into fights and vomiting on the Christmas tree when he gets home, falling on it and passing out with a branch up his ass.

My dad took care of me.

I've been waiting 12 years for my kid. Now that he's here, it's pretty safe to say ... I spoil the boy.

I've gone WAYYYY over the line spoiling this kid this time.

He now has 16 toys for Christmas. Susie's been adamant about how in her family, each child got three toys at Christmas. Two mediocre toys and one nice toy, like a bike or something. Ususally covered in her dad's vomit.

Andy's got three mediocre toys. And 13 awesome toys. All vomit-free.

I found this Magic Screen Learning Desk that I've been trying to find for a month now. It's like his own little computer desk so that he can leave me the hell alone when I'm surfing for porn. I figure I'll put it right next to my desk.

Then I got him a Music Table thing. It's something he can stand at with lots of light-up buttons that he can hit and make music with. It was only twenty bucks and looks like it'd break down if you pushed two buttons at the same time, but I bought it anyway.

We went in an out-of-stock toy store and he fell in love with this Tigger Chat Pal. He laughed his ass off as Tigger talked to him. He wanted to hold him for all of eternity (okay...he didn't say this...but as a Daddy, I can sense it).

So what did I do?

I got him both Tigger AND Pooh chat pals.

I found him some honest-to-goodness Baby Einstein toys. I ended up getting him the Baby Mozart Moving Melodies and the Baby Bach Touch and Play Pipes.

...Maybe now he'll stop playing with his flesh-colored touch and play pipe, if you get my drift...

We found some Bear in the Big Blue House books. We got some kinda Tigger light up music maker thing.

We racked up.

While I was deleriously handing my credit card to as many cashiers as possible it suddenly dawned on me.

...Mommy's going to have a shit fit.

I decided to get out of the mall and head to Target, where cool toys are much cheaper.

...I do not want to go into how much Target had some of these toys for. Let's just say I thought I had gotten a bargain at the mall and Toys 'R' Us. I was wrong.

Anyway, Mama got out of her meeting and met us at Target.

She wanted to know what we had been doing and I was skeptical to tell her. I was kinda hoping that she could just get into the van and not notice the numerous bags in the back seat. And then when we got home, I kinda hoped she would walk into the house, pass out into a comatose clump on the floor and let me carry all the toys past her and hide them in the second bedroom closet.

Then I was kinda hoping that on Christmas morning, she would swallow the fact that there must REALLY be a Santa because I didn't buy any of this.

Then I was kinda hoping MasterCard would just realize that I was an overzealous Daddy who went a little nuts on his card and just chalk it up to being temporarily insane and not charge me for any of it.

But she saw the bags. She wanted to know what was in the bags.

I told her.

She wanted to know how much I spent.

I told her.

She was quiet for a moment and then said ...

"You're a good daddy."

Whew.

So Christmas shopping for Andrew is finished. Sixteen gifts from Santa should be enough. That's not counting his grandparents who (hopefully) will shower him with either gifts or checks.

The damndest thing is ... he has about 60 toys already.

...And his favorites??

...Those Happy Meal toys from McDonalds. He loves those little cars.

I'm beginning to think I've done a dumb thing.


Tennessee lost the SEC Championship last night.

I was bummed. I sat there, watching my team lose with dread in my heart.

And then I started thinking ... "Why?"

I don't live in Tennessee.

Nobody's going to come up to me at work on Monday morning and make fun of me for being a Tennessee fan because it's just not done in my office.

I didn't bet on the game, so I didn't lose any money.

I haven't gone to college there in 20 years.

And when I WAS there, the sonsofbitches kicked me out for being "too wild".

So why am I all bent out of shape for them losing?

I don't have an answer.

But it's not the end of the world for me.

And that's answer enough.

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