Friday, July 29, 2005

Sympathy for the fallen

Barbie is dead.

No, really! She’s dead, deceased, checked out, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, swimming with the fishes, oven roasted – gone. I saw it with my own two eyes. She died while I was scarfing tator tots on my lunch hour.

My 5-year-old has recently displayed a fascination with death. A few weeks ago she was quizzing my wife about dying, funerals and heaven. She was very adamant about not wanting to die because she didn’t want to leave her “blue room” or the toys that reside therein. But the conversation soon changed focus.

“When I go to heaven,” she asked, “will Jesus have Polly Pockets there?” For those who don’t know, Polly Pockets are tiny dolls with interchangeable rubber clothes.
“Maybe,” my wife answered.
“Will Jesus have more Polly Pockets than I do?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Oh …”

The next day my daughter proudly announced that she was ready to go to heaven. We told her she needed to wait awhile. However, the sooner old Barbie kicks off, the better off we will be, so it did my soul good to know that Barbie died.

As I was finishing off my lunch prior to heading back to work, my child began pulling out her vast supply of Barbie dolls. Actually she only has a few that she can call her own, but my wife was an avid Barbie collector and has passed bags full of molded, partially naked plastic down to my child.

I watched as she laid them out neatly in a row, pairing several Ken dolls with matching Barbies.

“Da-da,” she said. “They’re all going to the foo-ral.” My child, who still faithfully sucks her two middle fingers, has a bit of a speech impediment. Actually, I chalk it up to her just being too lazy to make the proper sounds. Offer her a cookie and she can recite the first chapter of Matthew without missing a syllable.

“Whose funeral are they going to,” I asked.

“This one,” she said, holding up an older model in a leopard print skirt with really bad hair. “She died.”

I watched as the little Barbies paid their last respects to their fallen mate. Then, my child carefully picked up the dead doll and carried her to the end table next to my chair.

“What are you doing now?” I asked.

“This is where Jesus is,” she said and carefully laid the Barbie to rest.

As I left to return to work, it did my heart good to know that my daughter at least has her thoughts in the right place. It was also nice to know that the world now has one less Barbie running around.

I only wish G.I. Joe would have shown up to torch the funeral procession.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pondering cheerleaders

It’s cheerleader camp week at ‘ye olde’ alma mater. Always an interesting time. A week in which 12-15 year old bow-headed, space cadets primp and practice hours upon end to learn how to spell “Go” (G – O) and clap in unison. A week in which hairspray and butt skirts are the norm and the only table left in the gymnasium after two months of basketball camps is decorated in crate paper and balloons.

Of course, I couldn’t help but find the humor when the sewer line at the student center backed up on registration day. I wasn’t sure what smelled worse, the decaying excrement or overpowering stench of a cornucopia of perfumes wafting through the university store.

At this point one might have figured out that I am not a big fan of cheerleaders. Occasionally one might run across a group that is actually skilled in performance and can use their abilities to enhance a sporting event. However, being a former sports reporter and a current sports fan, I have seen my fair share of ineptitude sporting the school colors.

Of course, it pains my soul when my 5-year-old daughter consistently announces that she wants to be a cheerleader. I do everything I can to dissuade her of this preschooler’s ambition. I even use a local athlete who is now playing basketball for our storied university, as a babysitter for my child, hoping that her drive, ambition and athletic prowess, as displayed in the photo, (she especially loves to reminisce about her days as a volleyball player) among other admirable Christian traits, will rub off on my impressionable young child.

With this in mind, I don’t think twice about leaving our child with the sitter while the wife and I go to a movie. However, when I come home and find that the sitter has supplied my child with a set of pom-pons, I feel betrayed … stabbed in the back … et tu Brutus …

I have since informed the sitter, that I am holding her completely responsible for my daughter’s athletic development as she continues to grow and pursue constructive avenues through which to develop her skills.

I suppose, if the child wants to be a cheerleader I will let her. But I’ll be hanged if I will ever let her wear sweats or shorts with words plastered across the posterior. To date, my child has never asked for "buttboard" clothing. But I know one thing, if she ever does, I will do everything I can to nip that practice in the butt … errr bud.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What a waste

Talk about a waste. I have just seen a half-hour of my life unceremoniously slip through my fingers. I’ve wasted time before, but generally I like to waste time with something that can be construed as somewhat productive such as taking a nap or blowing my nose. But not this time. No Way! I have just spent half an hour reading a Web site designated to denigrating Rachael Ray, the host of several food network shows and obviously, a top 10 contender for the title of Anitchrist, somewhere behind Brussels sprouts and toe fungus.

I really know nothing about Rachael Ray. I will, however, continue to refer to her by her full name since her attackers all referred to her by only her initials and I would like to disassociate myself from such vigilantes of the culinary arts. All I know of the Food Network superstar is that my brother-in-law is contractually allowed to leave his wife for Rachael Ray at any moment, no questions asked, should the opportunity present itself. Of course, my sister is allowed to leave him for Johnny Depp. They’re kinda weird, but that is another therapy session altogether.

The vile, hateful nature with which these people lash out at Rachael Ray is a perfect example of the basest of humanity. To be so abusive to a pseudo-celebrity they do not know … someone they can turn off at any time (Really people, it’s called a remote. That’s r – e – m – o – t – e. Read a freakin’ book) … someone who is simply trying to cook a sloppy joe for crying out loud. I would add a link to the site, but I feel that it is my duty as a socially conscious human being to refrain from leading people down such a path of self destruction. Actually, I ran screaming from that site so fast that I forgot to take down the address and I really don’t want to go back to find it, but it was called “Rachael Ray Sucks” or something like that.

It’s a shame these people can’t channel their passion to a more constructive endeavor. In fact, their behavior has sparked such a passion in me that I suddenly feel the need to follow their lead … to lash out in a destructive and vengeful manner … to try to effect change by abusing something or someone so vile, so disgusting that their mere existence is like an inoperable blemish on the buttcheek of mankind … I think I’ll go beat up an unsuspecting 6-year-old!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Scared of the dark

Running short on reading material at my humble abode, I had little choice but to turn to other avenues in order to pursue a new literary adventure. I could have gone to the local Hastings and picked up a new paperback, or two, but I am cheap ... and I am saving my allowance in order to grab the new Harry Potter book at some point next week.

Therefore, as I scavanged our bookshelves hoping to find something of interest, my wife told me that my sister had given her a couple of books the other day that I might be interested in. One was "The Client" by John Grisham. I am a Grisham fan and have read many of his books, but I had just finished reading "The Summons" -- not one of his best -- and was looking for something a little different.

The other book fell into the horror genre -- another genre I am acquainted with. Not knowing what to expect I pick up the book and turn to the first few pages. Like several other books -- such as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy -- this book contained a map on a couple of pages before the story began, showing the area where the tale takes place. This story apparently takes place at a summer camp for boys.

Keep in mind this is a tale of horror. As I look at the map I take special notice of a small sign in the bottom right-hand corner bearing the name of the camp -- camp Friend-Indeed. Below the name is the camp's slogan, "Glad men from happy boys." And the name of said literary masterpiece you might ask, "The Moonbow."

Far be it from me to judge something or someone by their lifestyle choice in spite of my personal beliefs, but ... I'm scared!