Category Archives: humor

Zombie

I’m in the shower, all soaped up when suddenly there’s banging on the bathroom door. I see the door handle rattle back and forth in vain against the lock.  If I don’t shut and lock the bathroom door I don’t get a moment’s worth of peace.  There’s always someone wanting to get in, demanding my attention. If it’s not my husband (no, you can’t hop into my shower) then it’s my son, the dog, or in the case of one day last year, a partially deflated mylar Darth Vader balloon that caught some current in the air and floated, eye level to me, into the bathroom while I watched in horror and tried to suppress a scream (calm down. it’s just an air current, not a ghost. there are no ghosts. how would you know?  you can’t see them…maybe it IS a ghost dragging that balloon… if it gets any closer, then surely it’s ghost…. RUN!).

And so I lock the bathroom door.

But that doesn’t stop people from banging on it.

“What?” I demand.

Muffled sounds come from the other side.  The fan is running, the water is streaming down my face.  I can’t make out what he wants.

“WHAT?” I holler again.

But again, I can’t make out the words on the other side of the door.

Soapy and perturbed I shut off the water.

“What do you want? I can’t hear you.  I’m in the SHOWER!”

“MOM.  HOW OLD WERE YOU IN 1902?” Snags scream-asks.

Now I’m really annoyed.  This wasn’t an emergency.  And REALLY!?!

“I wasn’t even BORN yet,” I holler.  “I wasn’t born until 1968!”

“Oh yeah!  I forgot!” Snags yells back.  “I was thinking you were born in 1868!”

I roll my eyes and turn the water back on.  I’m careful rinsing.  I don’t want my rotting flesh and bones to disintegrate in the stream of the shower and clog up the plumbing.  I thought that Darth Vader balloon was kind of scary.  I can only imagine the horror a plumber would feel upon finding zombie parts in the shower drain.

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Filed under ghosts, humor, motherhood, parenting, zombies

Sunday School, Weenie Sabers, and The Sign of the Cross

I confess:  I miss the lazy Sunday mornings, the mornings where I could stay in bed, or if not in bed, at least in my pajamas, until almost noon, reading a book while Snags watched cartoons.  If we went to church, it was to the last mass of the day, but mostly we didn’t go at all. 

Now though, Snags is enrolled in Sunday school.  Our neighbor is his teacher. Her son is Snags’ friend. Two more of his friends from first grade are in his Sunday school class as well.  He enjoys it, and I’m glad.  Some weeks my neighbor drives him to Sunday School and my husband and I pick him up at the end and we all go to Mass together.  Other weeks we drop him off ourselves and go to mass while he’s in class.  Snags has decided we should alternate this.  One week he’ll go to church, the next he won’t.  I think he wants to ease back into it.

Most recently, Snags learned how to make the Sign of the Cross.  Last Sunday he happily reported: “Mom!  I earned a gold star for doing the Sign of the Cross right today!  I only had to do it twice to get it right!” 

“Wow,” I say in response.  “That’s great!”  I think back just a few weeks prior to this when he held up both hands and made an X with his forefingers.  “Isn’t THIS the Sign of the Cross?” he asked.  “No,” I said, “That’s more like the sign against vampires.”

Snags goes on to explain that it was difficult to make the Sign of the Cross in front of his Sunday school class because he was facing the class and because he holds the Wii nunchuck in his left hand… And no, I don’t have any idea what the Wii gaming system has to do with making the sign of the cross.  We have Wii Sports and We Ski, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and Star Wars Legos, the Complete Saga.  Nowhere in that mix have I happened upon Wii Catholic Church, the Sign of the Cross (nunchuck required).  Go figure.

Next up in Sunday school learning, if you’re in First Grade and want to earn another gold star, is memorizing The Our Father.  “We can’t read it,” Snags informs me.  “We have to memorize it.”  I worry that he’ll mix it up with the rules of Tae Kwan Do he has to memorize.  Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, I’ll always finish what I start, sir!”

I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be teaching the rules of Tae Kwan Do to Snags.  I’d read them myself, of course, but when I got to number two, “I will always be a good brother or sister, sir!” I put the book away figuring that didn’t apply to Snags, as he’s an only child.  A week or two later his instructor corrected me, put it into perspective, and said to think about it in the biblical sense.

Which brings us back to Sunday school.  As Snags was going on about having to learn the Our Father, I thought to warn him that the Hail Mary is HAIL Mary, and not Hell Mary, as I once thought.  But before I could even form the sentence completely in my head, Snags took another breath and said, “And then we have to learn the Hell Mary!”

Hail Mary,” I said, trying to suppress a laugh.  It’s “Hail Mary.”  There isn’t a cuss word in the prayer.  Snags started to get upset, he hadn’t meant to say a bad word.  I tried to reassure him, told him how I also thought it was Hell Mary when I was a kid, but that it’s not.  The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Or is it, Great Minds Think Alike?

I keep meaning to tell my neighbor, the Sunday school teacher, about the Hell Mary.  That maybe she ought to explain to the children the difference between Hail and Hell, Fire and Brimstone, whatever.  But then her son was playing in my yard the other day, playing with plastic light sabers, fighting a battle against evil.  He took the light saber, stuck it between his legs, and deemed it a Weenie Saber. 

I’d mention this to my neighbor, but then Snags has been going around and using his favorite tag blanket as a whip. We recently let him watch the first Indiana Jones movie, the one where Indie goes in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the container that held the tablets of stone that the Ten Commandments were written on.  Only Snags doesn’t call it the Ark of the Covenant, he calls it the Ten Commandments Box. 

I wonder if it’s big enough to hold a Weenie Saber?

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Filed under boys, church, humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags, Star Wars

A Beer by Any Other Name…

I was fixing lunch for my six year old son, Snags, the other day when he asked me, “Mom, how did you and Dad name me?”

“How did we decide to name you Snags?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.  “Where did you get my name?”

I thought this was an interesting question.  I wasn’t sure what prompted his interest, but I figured he deserved an answer. 

The larger truth is, we just liked the name Snags.  The details behind that larger truth are what I explained to Snags.  But maybe I shouldn’t have.

“Well,” I said to him, “When your Daddy and I were in graduate school together, we knew a man with your name, and he was a really nice guy, just like you are.  So right away we kind of liked the name.”

“And then one day,” I went on, “You’re Daddy and I went out to lunch at a restaurant in the city.  This restaurant made their very own brand of beer called Snags Ale.  They even had coasters they served your drinks on.  They’d bring your glass of iced tea or soda or beer, or whatever you ordered to drink, and put it on a coaster that said Snags Ale.  Ale, by the way, is a kind of beer.  Anyway, when we saw the coaster it reminded us again how much we liked the name Snags.  And I even took one of those coasters home with me!”

“And now,” I said, “We even have these glasses, like the one you are drinking out of that we bought from that very same restaurant, and the glass as you can see, says Snags Ale on it.  So you have drinking glasses with your name on it!”

That is when Snags interrupted.  “So let me get this straight,” he said.  “You named me after a BEER?!”

“Well, uh… not really,” I stammered.  “Remember, your Daddy and I liked the name Snags.  There was that nice man at graduate school.  And OH! also there is a character in a movie with your name, and it’s a good movie too, and so when we saw the coaster with the name of the beer on it, it just reminded us that we liked the name Snags.  So you see, we didn’t really name you after a beer.”

“Actually,” Snags said, “You kind of did.”

I guess now that the truth is out I have nothing left to do besides wait for the day that Snags is given a homework assignment to research his name.  I can see his classmates standing up to report that “I am named after my grandmother, Mary…” or “I am named after my great uncle Paul.” 

So now I’m thinking, that to avoid the inevitable meeting with the principal when Snags stands up to report that his parents named him after a beer, I am going to teach him to recite this: 

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Snags.
What’s Snags? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a beer. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a beer
By any other name would taste as good;
So Snags would, were he not Snags call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title…

Or maybe I ought to just leave well enough alone.

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Filed under beer, humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags

That Ain’t No Cat

I was in the sixth grade, when a male classmate, David, asked our music teacher if she had a pussy.  I don’t recall how much sex education we’d had at that point in time, but certainly we’d had enough to realize, at least on some level, that there was some kind of forbidden sexual connotation to his question, and the class sat and watched in fascinated horror as the teacher turned from her seat at the front of the class toward the boy.

She asked him to repeat the question, (WHAT DID YOU SAY?) and feeling emboldened by the barely suppressed nervous giggles of his classmates, he did. She was not amused.  Nor was she placated when he insisted that he was talking about a cat.  Did she have a cat?  A PUSSY cat?

David was sent to the principal’s office.

He was, I suppose, the kind of boy who, had this been the 1950s, would have been considered a bad boy.  The kind of boy who girls might like, but parents wouldn’t like at all.  He might have been like Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days, or Danny Zuko from Grease, or even Eddie Haskell, from Leave it To Beaver. Except he had big blonde hair, and this was 1979.

David, as it turned out, liked me.  Or more specifically, he liked my chest.  There were few girls in the sixth grade with a stack like mine.  He asked me to be his girlfriend.  I think I asked my mother if I could have a boyfriend.  I don’t remember what her verdict was.  But I remember going to the pool one summer afternoon and seeing him there.  He tried to kiss me.  I was a good girl, and he scared me.  He talked about my boobs too much.  That made me uncomfortable.  I hated my boobs.  In all truth, I still do. I avoided him after that.

A few days ago, my son Snags was bored.  Bored, bored, bored.  Bored out of his skull.  He played Star Wars LEGOs on Xbox.  He got bored.  He played Star Wars LEGOs on his Game Cube. He got bored.  He moved on to Star Wars LEGOs The Complete Saga on his Nintendo DS.  He got bored.  He built some ships with his Star Wars LEGOs.  And what do you know?  He got bored.

I suggested that he play outside.  He said it was too hot.  I suggested he go outside and ride his bicycle.  He didn’t want to.  “I don’t want to change my shoes,” he said.  He was wearing Crocs.  He was too lazy to kick them off his feet and switch to tennis shoes.  I suggested he go outside and ride his scooter.  His eyes widened with interest, but just as quickly returned to normal when he realized he couldn’t ride his scooter wearing Crocs. 

In a last ditch effort to get him outside, I offered to walk with him to the nearby playground.  “I’ll push you on the swings,” I said.  That was something I knew he liked, and so finally, he thought that sounded like fun. An escape from his boredom.

As we started up the sidewalk toward the playground, Snags said to me, “Mom, there’s this thing called a pussy…”

Sixth grade music class came back to me in a rush. I wasn’t ready to give a sex talk.  Snags is six years old, not sixth grade. And this was summer vacation.  I couldn’t send him to the principal’s office.

I didn’t want to hear any more, but warily I said, “Yeah?”  I waited, with dread, for him to go on.  

“Yeah, there’s this thing called a pussy and I don’t know the rest of what’s it’s called or I can’t remember what it is exactly?”

What should I say I wondered.  Should I explain that boys have a penis (which he knows) but that girls have a, um…  No.  I can’t, I thought.

But before I could decide how to respond, he went on…

“And this thing called a pussy… something, it grows in a pond!” he said.

I died with relief right there on the side walk. As I lay there dying, my sixth grade life flashed before my eyes.  I saw my music teacher point David toward the door.  I heard her reprimand as she sent him to the principal’s office.  My final words, right before I died for good were surprisingly strong for a dying woman, and nearly shouted with joy: “PussyWILLOW?  You mean a PussyWILLOW?”

“Yeah!  That’s it!” Snags said, all smiles.  “A pussywillow!”

And then a miracle happened.  I was brought back to life and we walked on.  To the playground.  And the swings.  Where Snags wasn’t bored at all.

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Filed under humor, life, parenting, Snags

Stuck in a Pile of Baby Parts

I don’t know how it happens that I am always the one that gets caught, like a deer in the headlights, with the hard questions.  With questions like, “Mom, tell me everything you know about babies!”

My first thought, when Snags asked me this two nights ago was, as always: “Where the hell is your father now?”  Followed by, “Why don’t you go ask him?”  But once again, I held fast.  I sat there, rooted to the spot by my panic, and trying to stall.

“Um… what do you mean, exactly?” I asked Snags.  “I don’t know what you are asking.  Tell me specifically what it is that you want to know,” I added, desperately hoping for some clarification.  Because I know a lot about babies.  I know they pee and poop, cost a fortune in diapers, and cry and cry and cry and keep new parents awake ALL.NIGHT.LONG, but I had a feeling that wasn’t what Snags was asking.

I was right.  It wasn’t.

“Tell me,” he said, “like how babies are made and where they come from and all that.”

And ALL THAT?

I don’t know if Snags heard the little part of my brain that up and died a screeching death as it wailed in horror, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not THAT!” I think the sound was so high pitched that only dogs could really hear it. When it happened, I didn’t hear anything myself, but I felt it, and a few seconds later I heard some dogs barking outside.  I went blind soon after that.

My eyesight slowly returned as I thought to myself, “No, this is not REALLY happening, is it?” But there sat Snags with an look of eager anticipation on his face that would surely have landed him a spot in a Heinz commercial if they had come knocking at that particular moment.

Only they didn’t.

So I asked Snags for a bit more clarification and he said: “Well, I mean does God build the babies by putting two halves of them together, like the left side and the right side?  Or does he build them by taking all the parts, like the legs, and attaching them to the stomach, and then does he screw on the head like this?” (pantomimes screwing a head on to a baby – note it had a LOT of threading, because he had to turn and turn and turn that invisible head onto the invisible baby).

“Ah,” I said, nearly crying with relief and understanding.  This was less about HOW babies were made than it was about how babies were MADE.   I almost laughed out loud.

“Well,” I said cautiously, “I think that babies actually grow, kind of like a plant, from a seed.  I guess God gives a seed to a mom and a dad when they really love each other and then it grows into a baby.”

Snags seemed happy enough with that explanation.  He didn’t ask how the seed gets into the mother.  When he does ask that question I am going with one of two answers: “Go ask your father!” or “She eats it.”

Still, Snags had one more question. 

“Well then,” he said, “The thing I don’t understand is, if babies grow from a seed, how come they have this line down here?” (pointing to towards his perineum).

“Hmmm…I don’t really know,” I said.  “Maybe that’s just how the seed grows into a baby.”

“Or maybe,” Snags said, “Maybe that’s the medicine hole.  If a baby is in its mommy’s tummy and needs medicine but closes its mouth, maybe there is a hole there and they could still get medicine to the baby that way and then it closes up when the baby comes out or however it gets out.”

I pretended to ignore his comment about how babies “get out”. 

Instead I said, “You might be right.” And I pondered two things: a misplaced umbilical cord, and the pillow I made in Home Economics in 7th grade.  The pillow was made by sewing three quarters of the way around on the reverse side of the fabric.  Then the pillow was turned inside-out (or right-side out as the case may be) and stuffed with pillow stuffing. The small opening was then stitched shut by hand, leaving a bit of a seam.  Not unlike the perineum, I suppose.

Lucky for me, it was bedtime at that point, and Snags didn’t ask anymore questions as he settled down to sleep.

I however, had a question.  Actually, two: Where the hell WAS his father?  And why, once again, was I the one stuck with the baby questions? 

Okay, I admit, there was a third question:  If God really did screw our heads on, why can’t we turn them all the way around, like an owl?

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Filed under babies, humor, kids, life, parenting, questions, Snags, where do babies come from

Pandas Have Fingers

My six-year old son, Snags, wants to take Karate.  He was interested in doing so even before the movie Kung Fu Panda came out, but now that he’s seen the movie twice (once at IMAX!) he’s even more excited about the possibility.  I think he will be disappointed when his first lesson doesn’t turn out to be full of jumping spins with karate chops and kicks and “HI-YA’s!” thrown in.  It’s true, I’ve never taken karate myself, but being a child of the 80s, I have seen The Karate Kid, and I know Snags will end up waxing on and off, sanding floors, and painting a bunch of fences before he’s allowed to get a good side kick in.

This evening we were sitting around the house, doing nothing much but subjecting ourselves to the ear bleeding horror that is Kidz Bop 9, when Snags suddenly ran off to the kitchen where he dumped out an entire box of 24 Crayolas and started drawing something.  He returned a few moments later with paper in hand, the page covered with a neatly drawn brown cross.

I’m not sure if it was something he heard in Kids Ruin Perfectly Good Songs Kidz Bop 9 or what, but Snags was suddenly in the mood to draw pictures about, and look at pictures about religion.  My husband and I were in the mood to play dumb, so we pretended that we didn’t know what a cross was. We wanted to see how Snags would explain the symbolism behind the cross, but he wasn’t in the mood for explaining.

“Is it a plus sign?” My husband offered. 

“No!” Snags said.  “A plus sign is for math and for adding stuff.”

“Well then, tell us what the cross means,” my husband said.

But Snags wouldn’t talk.

“Is it a cross like ‘across’ the street?” I asked.

“NO!” Snags cried, before adding in exasperation, “You need a bible!” and running off to find one.

He returned with not one, but two bibles.  He demanded that I search through the table of contents of his Precious Moments Bible for “Jesus” and read about the cross for myself, but I couldn’t find “Jesus” listed anywhere.  I did find “Malachi” (page 826), but he, as you probably know, is from Children of the Corn, and that movie was too scary to be telling a young child about.  And besides, I don’t want to give Snags any ideas, you know? I don’t need him leading some neighborhood uprising of kids with scythes.

Since the Precious Moments Bible yielded nothing, or at least nothing that I felt like reading to him, Snags turned to the other book he’d brought, Bible Stories for Children.  He flipped through the pages until he found a drawing of Jesus on the cross with the two thieves crucified on either side of him. 

Still playing dumb, my husband deduced from that photo that Jesus made crosses and sold them to people.  Snags, totally exasperated with us at this point, announced that we needed to go to church every Sunday so we, his parents, could learn about the cross.  Because clearly, HIS efforts to educate us weren’t working.

I thought we were done with the whole discussion but then we walked into the kitchen where I found another drawing on the kitchen table.  “Oh,” I said proudly, as I pointed to the drawing. “What’s this?  Kung-Fu Panda?”

Only… it wasn’t. 

“Uh, noooo,” Snags said.  “That is a picture of Jesus when he was a baby. Kung-Fu Panda has fingers, if it was Kung-Fu Panda I would have drawn fingers on him.”

Clearly, I stood corrected.

I’m ashamed to say it, but I laughed out loud.  Hard.  But I couldn’t help it.  As if I’d entered a time machine, I was immediately taken back to one of the funniest episode of Friends I’d ever seen.  It’s the one where Joey and Chandler are babysitting Ross’s infant son, Ben.  Only they lose him, and then they find themselves in a situation where they are flipping a coin to determine which baby is Ben.  Joey calls heads because “ducks have heads,” leaving Chandler to ask “What kind of scary ass clowns came to your birthday?” 

I explained to Snags, as my husband hid his face and his own laughter behind the open refrigerator door, that I wasn’t laughing at him or his drawing, I was simply laughing at how wrong I was.  And apparently at how much I missed at church over the years.  I never knew the Baby Jesus didn’t have any fingers. I hope they talk about it at church this Sunday.  And I hope it doesn’t have anything to do with Malachi.  If it does, I’m gonna have to send that Panda after him. Because he’s got fingers.

 

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Filed under humor, karate, life, Snags

Advice Columnist

While I have a set of fairly regular readers here at Running With Books, many of the daily visits I get are from people who have done a search on Google and are looking for information or answers to their questions.  I figure the least I can do is try to address the issues that brought them here in the first place.

Somebody recently arrived at my blog after this search: “i wake up in the morning and my room smells”

To them I say:  Next time, don’t eat all those beans before you go to sleep.  If you can’t manage that, then buy yourself an air freshener and plug it in, plug it in.  And one more thing?  Always capitalize the pronoun “I”.

To the socially inept person who searched on “what to say to women on their birthday” the answer is simple.  Say “Happy Birthday!” and leave it at that.  Do not, I repeat, do not ask a woman her age.  Or her weight. 

Someone else performed this search: “r not coming to party excuse”.  You know what?  You don’t need an excuse.  Just tell the person throwing the party that you won’t be there.  You do not have to tell them why. “I’m sorry I won’t be able to come to your party” is a complete sentence in and of itself.  Don’t make up some story you won’t be able to remember later.  And I know you won’t be able to remember it later because you were not able to remember how to spell properly.  The word is “are” not “r”.

“Why do children’s baby teeth fall out?”  Seriously?  Were you born an adult?  Did your own baby teeth not fall out?  If you still have all of your baby teeth and are over the age of 18 then I bet you look kind of funny with all those teeny little teeth in your mouth.  The baby teeth fall out to make room for your adult teeth.  If you don’t brush your adult teeth, they will fall out too.

“Should i celebrate my husband’s birthday?”  Generally, yes. Unless he’s dead.  That would be kind of creepy.  Especially if his ghost comes back to blow out the candles.  If that happens, you should run like hell.

“jen and kate plus eight”  The TV show I know about and sometimes watch is called Jon and Kate Plus Eight.  I imagine, that if there is a “jen and kate plus eight”, it’s the type of movie you might get from the curtained off back room of your local video store after you show them your I.D. for proof of age.  I haven’t seen jen and kate plus eight, so I can’t comment further.

“johnny depp grows his hair fast”  Does he?  I’d never noticed.

“why is my fish lifeless and bent in half?”  Because it’s dead.  Flush it.

“moths scare me”  Do they?  How is an internet search helping you with that?

“where do toilet flushed fish go?” Through the plumbing to the sewer treatment plant.

“were do elf’s stay?”  Sorry to break it to you but there is no such thing as a real elf.  And the plural of elf is elves.  They don’t exist either.  Dwarfs, yes, elves, no.

“how to get your six year old to listen?”  Now that’s the six-million dollar question isn’t it?  Try yelling and screaming and repeating yourself over and over.  That’s what it takes here.

Any other questions?  Throw them my way and I’ll try to answer them for you.

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