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5:29 a.m. - 2003-09-23


I neglected to mention yesterday that after our nine hour drive to Gatlinburg last Friday, Andrew was more than ready to get out of his car seat and run around and scream because he's two and that's what two year-olds around and scream.

Did I tell you they screwed up our hotel reservations and gave our room away?


Well they did.

The room-giving-away bastards.

And all they had left in the hotel were two suites.

My wife, being the crafty, cunning negotiator that she is, said that since THEY gave our room away, THEY should have to give us a suite for the same price we'd pay for a regular room.

Apparently, that's policy anyway because the girl behind the counter just rolled her eyes and said "Yes ma'am."

But Susie really felt like a chief negotiator.

So we get up to this swanky suite and I pulled out Andrew's fold-away bed in the sofa and laid down on it, trying to show him that it was safe and he wouldn't be eaten alive by the sofa because that's what two year-olds think ... that all fold out beds in hotel sofas will malfunction and swallow them alive and their parents will forget about them the next day and leave town while they're trapped in a sofa in a suite in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Andrew jumped up on the bed and started climbing all over me because he was a ball of energy.

At one point, he's standing on my chest and is about to jump off my chest and onto the floor.

Instead, he slips and begins to fall.

To save himself, he digs his fingernails into my face.

Andrew is two and will do ANYTHING to avoid getting his nails clipped.

When he was a baby, Susie would clip them as he nursed.

Later, she clipped them whenever he'd fall asleep in the den after several hours of jumping around the room.

But in the past two months or so, that hasn't happened. He goes ninety miles an hour until it's bedtime.

So the kid has the nails of a Hilton sister. Without all the acrylic.

He digs his nails into my face and scratches me up pretty good.

There was blood.

Some bone.

A little cartilage.

An ounce or two of bone marrow.

Several severed veins.

And the next day ... scabbing.

That day being the day of the wedding.

So I show up for this wedding with several three inch-long cuts all over my face.

Since we knew nobody but the bride and groom, nobody walked up to me saying "Bobbo...what the hell happened to your face?" They just thought I naturally looked like an extra from "Fight Club".

At work yesterday, it wasn't as simple as that.

As soon as I walked in, it wasn't "How was your trip?" or "Did you have fun?" or "See any stripper/brides' wedding parties?"

It was "Bobbo...what the hell happened to your face?"

I told the ladies I was in a barroom brawl over the weekend while puffing out my chest and hiking up the waistband of my pants like I was Joe Macho Stud Guy Thing.

But, because they know me, they asked what really happened and I sheepishly had to explain that my two year-old scratched my face up when he thought he was falling off the bed.

I really liked the other story better.

It makes me sound like I have a bigger penis.

We've got about 200 videotapes that I've taped movies and TV shows on over the years.

I was trying to find one that had some crap that I'd never watch again on it to tape Andrew's shows on.

I found a tape whose label had faded away.

I stuck it in the VCR and hit Play.

It was a videotape that my sister shot of me the day before our wedding.

That's Susie's and my wedding. Not my sister's and my wedding. Sometimes I have to clarify such things, being in Alabama and all.

I was standing on the balcony of our apartment at the time, looking out over the pool and flanked by one of my groomsmen, Matt, who had flown in from California.

My sister asked me a question, I turned around and ... my God ... I was just a kid.

A head full of hair with no inkling of a bald spot.

A flat tummy.

A youthful smile.

I was just a kid.

A kid with no two inch-long scars on his face from his goofy kid falling off his chest.

The camera panned over to my niece.

The one that we went to Hilton Head in May to watch graduate from high school.

She was Andrew's age in the video.

She looked like Andrew, talked like Andrew and acted like Andrew.

Then my parents walked in.

My dad had all his hair.

My mom was just a few years older than I am now and had no wrinkles.

It's only about a minute or two long and it was shot just so my sister could get comfortable with the video camera.

Susie couldn't believe it when she saw it and kept saying "You were SO handsome!"

Thankfully, for her sake, she didn't put the emphasis on the word "were".

I have nowhere else to go with this.

It was just a very happy moment and a great discovery.

If you have a video camera, go tape something today and watch it 15 years from now.

I guarantee you that you'll say "Man. That guy whose diary I used to read 15 years ago was right! This is really heartwarming and sentimental!"

I just betcha.

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