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5:22 a.m. - 2005-08-04


I didn't know how to react to this one.

Yesterday I go to pick up Andrew at daycare and he's out on the playground with the rest of his class.

I'm walking out there when a little girl in his class named Lauren says "Andrew! Your daddy's here!"

(She's an astute one, that Lauren)

So Andrew comes running to me and zips right past Lauren.

Lauren yells at Andrew.

"Come back here right now and give me a hug!"

Andrew stops dead in his tracks, turns on his heels and runs back to Lauren.

He hugs her.

And I know what's coming next because it's commonplace around our house.

He kisses her on the lips.

A LONG kiss.

Longer than he kisses either me or his mother.

Just as I'm about to locate a garden hose and turn it on the kids, he ends the kiss.

"I love you," he says in probably the most unromantic tone possible.

"I love you, Andrew," Lauren confirms.

While I'm slightly amused by this (and let's face it ... RELIEVED that he's actually kissing a girl) my amusement turns to horror when I see Lauren's mother standing behind me.

I expect her to start slapping me and telling me to keep my horny little boy far far away from her little virginal daughter.

I mean ... that's what I would do if the sexes were reversed.

But she's actually cool with it.

"Heh heh," I chuckle nervously while putting my hand on top of Andrew's head and guiding him off the playground quickly before he starts dry humping Lauren. "It looks like we have a couple of lovebirds here."

"Oh God," the mother says. "Andrew is all Lauren talks about at home. She tells everyone that he's her boyfriend."


My little boy has a GIRLFRIEND?!?

This is news to me.

He's talked about Lauren but no more than he talks about something like toothpaste.

So we get in the car and I immediately start grilling him.

"Do you like Lauren?" I ask.

"Yes" is the answer.

"Is she your girlfriend," I ask.

"No" is the reply.

"Do you have a girlfriend?" I ask.

"Yes" he responds.

"What's her name?" I ask.

"Ethan" he says.


The kid still has no idea about the difference between girls and boys.

Which doesn't really bother me that much.

As long as he's not giving Ethan long passionate kisses when I pick him up from daycare, we's cool.

My boy Eddie Lavoie came to my rescue yesterday.

He's got a buddy who makes a living tracking down cars for people at auto auctions and selling them at wholesale prices.

So I emailed the guy and explained my situation.

My situation being ... I need a freakin' van, Stan.

The guy calls me five minutes later and explains the process to me.

I provide him with a list of everything I'm looking for in a vehicle.

He goes to the auto auctions every week across the south and searches for the perfect match.

He then calls me and describes the car to me and I say "yay" or "nay".

If I say "yay" he arranges for it to be delivered to me, I pay thousands less than I would for the same car on a car lot and cough up $700 for him for his fee.

Sounds like a plan, Stan.

He goes through the inventory for the auction he's going to today and gives me some examples of the vehicles he can get.

He can get a fully loaded Honda Odyssey for about $6,000 less than the Kelly Blue Book price ... right now.

I explain that I'm going to be paying cash and don't have that cash yet.

But you are the man, Stan!

The man with the plan, Stan!

Who lives in a van, Stan!

And eats raisin bran, Stan!

Ummmm ... yeah.

So that's the route we're going now.

It saves us a lot of headaches and time searching for the freakin' car ourselves.

Plus, he knows what to look for as far as mechanical stuff and body repair and crap like that ... which I admittedly do not.


He's my man.

That Stan.

Thanks to all those who offered advice on how to convert my old spreadsheet files into Excel files.

Unfortunately, we ("we" being my brother-in-law) have tried each and every method you gave us already and none of them worked.

So Barb who left a comment on my message board ... please email me today if you can and I'll send you the file(s) and see if you can do anything with it/them.

Actually there's more than one and less than fifty.

I just didn't want to scare you off by letting you think you were going to spend the next week converting my files.

And finally ... jeepers, people ... I can't sue the guy for more money than my car was worth.

A ... because I don't think it's right and no matter what I've led you to believe in the past, I DO have a conscience.

And B ... he has no insurance. The guy already has to pay what the adjustors agreed my car was worth minutes before the crash. It's going to be hard enough getting that out of him.

There's no sense pushing the peter up his butt an inch more just so I can have leather seats in the new van.

Maybe I'm naive with the little umlaut in there somewhere ... but I just don't think it's right to ask for more money than what the insurance people have decided.


So anyway.

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