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5:46 a.m. - 2001-10-24


There's this dog that lives about four houses down from us that I am planning on killing.

Every morning...4:45 a.m., my dog and I hit the street for our walk. The streets are quiet, the air is still, the moon is still shining.

It's peaceful.

This dog must have the most amazing hearing of any dog ever in the history of canines. No matter HOW quiet we are, it starts barking.

And it's got this eerie hollow bark to it. It's not a normal bark, it sounds like it's barking through a drainage pipe. If dogs had those little voice boxes drilled into their throats like antique cancer patients have, that's what it would sound like.

It's a creepy bark. It's even creepier when it's deadly quiet and you're not expecting it.

I can handle that bark. That's no problem.

The problem is, this stupid dog sets off a chain reaction to every other dog in the neighborhood. At this point, every dog in the neighborhood run to their fence and wait for Maggie and I to walk past. So then THEY start howling at us.

This goes on for about half a mile before we get to a section of homes where there are no dogs.

Me, being Mr. Maturity and all, shoot a bird at each of the individual dogs. I'm waving my middle finger like a Taliban soldier waving the white flag. Every dog gets the finger from me as we hurry through the neighborhood, trying not to wake the neighbors.

As long as we can get past Hollow Dog, we're okay. All the other dogs are asleep and it's a quiet, peaceful stroll.

I've started walking down the opposite side of the street from Hollow Dog. This seems to have worked. For the last two days, Hollow Dog has not been on the guard and we've escaped his hollow dog radar.

We have FOILED your evil hollow plans, Hollow Dog! Repent!! Repent!!!

Yeah, whatever.

Andrew got sent home from daycare yesterday.

Apparently, he was "miserable" and "fussy" all day. He demanded that Miss Robin hold him all day long and would cry if he was put down.

That's my boy.

We get him home and he's long as he's being held.

Which means one tooth coming in.


So today, Grandma's coming over for a while. Then, while Grandma goes to the dentist, Nosy Assed Neighbor will come over and watch him. Then when Grandma gets back, Nosy Assed Neighbor will rummage through our underwear drawers and desk drawers before slinking out the door.

And the house is a wreck. I can't get Susie to help me clean it. Last night I did the dishes, folded clothes, picked up toys, straightened up the living room, gave Andrew a bath, rocked the casbah, rocked the casbah and made dinner.

Susie watched "Judging Amy".

She thinks there's something wrong with her. Susie...not Judge Amy. I'm trying to talk her into going to the doctor because she has "no energy".


I've got DIABETES, SISTER. The definition of diabetes is "A disease that leaves your ass dragging."

Talk to the hand, Susie.

Talk to the hand.

Susie had a talk with her mother last night about the kneehumpers from Texas coming at Christmastime.

She said that we cannot afford to host everyone at our house again every single day and night for 10 days. Apparently, last March during Spring Break when they came to "see the baby", we spent $600 on groceries for 10 days.

Nobody bothered to help us. Susie said her sister went to the store to buy sour cream and cheese one night when we were having tacos and paid for that out of her own pocket. Other than that, it was all OUR money being spent to feed 16 people.

This time, we will have 18 people in our house every night.

That's if Pepe, Grandma's illegal alien ex-convict friend doesn't come.

Grandma says not to worry, that she'll help out with the grocery bills.'ve owed us six f'n grand for two years now and haven't paid us a penny of it back. You have NO job and are living off the salary of your loser son. I REEEEEALLY don't think we can count on you to cough up some duckies to help buy tacos.

I told Susie point blank that I'm dreading this visit, just as I dread each visit. But this time, there's a new teenager coming with her new baby. And we simply do not have enough room for everyone. We have a king sized bed, a queen sized bed, a crib and a sofa bed.

For 11 people.

Susie said her Mom is trying to round up a Winnebago for these people to sleep in while they're here.

Oh really?

I guess Grandma has "connections". Grandma can just "round up" living space for everyone when they come to town.

And tell me...where will this Winnebago be parked for 10 days??

Can I guess??? Can I guess????

Hmmmmmmm...I say....MY DRIVEWAY. Am I right??

I AM?!?!?

Whoo fucking hoo.

So in late December, early January, I'll have a Winnebago in my driveway that will be depending on my electricity and water supply to keep it running properly.

Oh gawsh. Where do I sign up for this luxury?

I know it's Susie's family and she loves them to death. But we're talking eight people now. One horribly tempered Dad. Two horribly tempered sons. One brand new baby. One new girlfriend that we've never met. One loud assed mother with a hearing problem so she thinks she has to yell everything. And really...only two sons that I can halfway get along with.

If they could all afford to stay in a hotel for ten days, I wouldn't mind nearly as much. You could kick them out the door at 9 p.m. and invite them back in at noon the next day.


They are going to be all over this freaking house for ten days. Getting my baby sick and leaving us with the repercussions. Having their disturbing "How Much Can You Eat?" contests while we foot the bill. Et cetera. Et cetera.


Man, do I hate in-laws.

The only thing that I'm happy about this morning is the fact that marijuana is practically legal in England now.

You can't be arrested for smoking pot in jolly old England anymore. The police are concentrating their efforts on cocaine and heroin use and leaving the potheads alone.

This gives me hope.

Hope that someday the U.S. will say "You know...with all this money that we spend each year tracking down innocent pot smokers and shoving them in prisons and using tax dollars to keep them clothed and fed...we could be building a shitload of bombs."

And Bush will say "Yer damned skippy. Let's let the people smoke pot and sit at home and watch TV and eat chips."

And THEN...THEN...I will be happy.

Blissfully happy.

You won't be able to wipe the stupid stoned grin off my face if you tried.

My diary will become ten times more interesting.

I'll have the motivation to work better at my job.

And I'll be able to go to church with my head held high and say "I smoke pot...and it's okay."

Well...I doubt I do that.

But hey...I could.

For the last time...pot is less harmful than booze and is not addictive like cigarettes and alcohol. It gives a much cleaner buzz with no hangovers. Some of the greatest art of our time, be it movies, music, literature or works of art were completed under the influence of pot. People don't get violent after smoking pot, they get mellow. Nobody has ever died from smoking pot. And hemp has about a thousand different uses that could benefit American industry as a whole.

So what's the problem?

The problem is...I'm beginning to think I'm Woody Harrelson.


Time to go.

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