If you’re like my wife, then after you’ve been married for about two years you probably realize your decision to get married was a serious mistake. Marriage is difficult, especially if your husband is a humor writer or if you have kids. If both of those conditions apply to you, then may God have mercy on your soul.
My wife Michele (who prefers not to be mentioned by name in my columns, so will henceforth be referred to as “the woman who prefers not to be mentioned as Michele”) and I have been married for 26 years. Like any married couple, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve squabbled over trivial disagreements like why I always pull all the covers over to my side of the bed at night, what was I thinking the time I taught our 9- and 8-year-old daughters how to hitchhike, and my minor lapse of judgment when I hired a police officer stripper for a surprise party for my wife’s 40th birthday. Turns out my wife was not quite as impressed by Officer Cinnamon’s sexy pole dancing skills as my poker buddies and I were.
So yes, we’ve endured our fair share of marital misunderstandings. But there is one issue which for years has caused more heartache and strife than any couple should have to endure. That’s right. I’m talking about the differences in how we load the dishwasher. It is still painful to talk about in public.
Continue reading “Don’t let your dishwasher destroy your marriage” »
I hope you all are sitting down, because I have some unbelievable news. According to a poker buddy of mine, who heard it from his bowling teammate, who read it on a fortune cookie, I am on the short list for the Nobel Prize for Literature! It is all thanks to my hilarious, only moderately offensive satirical coloring book, I’m So Sick of White Guys – available at fine bookstores everywhere, as well as a few fly-by-night operations I’d suggest steering clear of.
While my endowment is not yet official, I figured I should work on my acceptance speech, so I’m fully prepared when I do get the call. To be honest, I did not see this coming. Oh, sure, I figured I’d eventually win a Pulitzer for my award-deserving humor writing. Heck, my piece called Don’t Let Your Dishwasher Destroy Your Marriage alone should have garnered me that trophy. But a Nobel? Now you’re making me blush.
I’ve long envisioned receiving that life-changing call from the Nobel Committee. I’ll admit, in my mind I was being honored for my accomplishments in a more popular category, such as physics or chemistry. If only I’d stayed awake during chemistry class or even audited a physics course. I blame my high school guidance counselor for leading me astray astray toward majoring in the Humanities.
What I really had my heart set on was the Peace Prize – the big enchilada. Talk about impressing my racquetball buddies! But the committee probably gained access to my pre-school transcript (I thought it was sealed) and learned of my recess scuffle with Cindy O’Connor. That undoubtedly took me out of contention. I maintain I was within my rights to pull her hair and put a frog in her lunchbox after she gave me a card with hearts drawn all over it. Yuck! But I digress.
Back to my acceptance speech. It’s merely a first draft, so I’m open to any suggestions to punch it up a bit.
“Dear Nobel Committee, friends, esteemed guests, View from the Bleachers readers, United Nations General Assembly, my new Bestie President Obama, the original cast of Glee, and Cindy O’Connor, whom I hereby formally forgive for giving me a mushy card. Continue reading “My Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” »
THE SCENE: Pre-dawn on a rainy Sunday in the disheveled office of Detective Drake Marlboro of the Seattle Police Department, 9th Precinct. For the past 3 hours, Marlboro, a chain-smoking, grizzled, no-nonsense gumshoe has been interrogating a middle-aged man with no fashion sense by the name of Tim Jones. Jones was picked up on suspicion of maliciously harassing innocent civilians by posting offensive commentary on the web about parenting, politics and other topics. Detective Marlboro suspects that Jones is holding back the truth. And so our story begins…
It was another dark and stormy night in Seattle. The clock on the wall read 3:04 am. And there Tim Jones sat – if that’s even his real name – sticking to his story that all he could be guilty of might be hackneyed writing. But there was a problem. The guy’s story just didn’t add up. I’ve been a detective for 30 years. I knew it was just a matter of time before he would spill the beans. I was going to crack this case before that snake Lieutenant Jaworski in Homicide could spell “collar.” I was sure I was close.
Jones was fidgeting with his plastic Casio watch – the guy had as much class as a cubic zirconium unicorn. He was looking confused and anxious, wanting desperately to flee the confines of the cold, windowless interrogation room so he could return to the cushy comfort of his suburban living room recliner and watch another episode of The Big Bang Theory he’d TIVO’d. Not tonight, fella. Not ‘til I get some answers.
I offered him a cup of coffee. “Thanks, but I don’t drink coffee. Do you happen to have any Diet Mountain Dew?” he asked a little too eagerly. What law-abiding adult in Seattle doesn’t drink coffee – and asks for a teenager’s soft drink instead? Now I knew he was a two-faced liar. I was done playing “good cop,” waiting for his innocent, deer-in-the-headlights façade to crack. This had gone on long enough. It was time to tighten the screws. I lit another smoke.
Continue reading “The Interrogation” »
Recently I started worrying that my wife no longer loves me. No, I didn’t catch her with another man. And no, we didn’t have another nasty argument about the proper way to load a dishwasher. It was much more troubling. My wife actually said the three words I have long dreaded: “Let’s go camping.”
Why would any woman who claims to love her husband force him to endure a weekend in the wilderness with no access to ESPN Sports Center? My wife thought it would be fun if the two of us had a romantic getaway. I was envisioning a cozy B & B overlooking the ocean. Or maybe a posh resort / spa where we could get a couple’s massage, whatever that is.
But unbeknownst to me, my wife’s concept of a romantic getaway included physical and emotional torture – camping. When she first brought up the idea, naturally I thought she was kidding. When I realized she was serious, I apologized profusely for whatever I might have said or done to upset her. I even promised to do the dishes for a month. Turns out she wasn’t upset at all. She just really wanted to go camping.
So she booked us a campsite for a long weekend at some God-forsaken state campground deep in the wilderness beyond any cell phone range. The nearest carryout pizza was 50 miles away. I believe there is a term for being forced to sleep outdoors in the cold and wet, with no bathroom, no hot running water, and no bed to sleep on. It’s called being homeless. And when is the last time you heard a homeless person say to his buddy, “Hey, I have a great idea. Let’s go camping!” You never will, because they know that compared to their lifestyle, camping would be a step down.
Continue reading “I am not a happy camper” »