07 April 2008

Bad To The Bone?

So, Pod-Man and I were sitting in front of the chess pavilion by the lake at North Avenue, watching people go by, when this couple came by dressed like out-law bikers. They wore black leather jackets, hers with long fringes, bandannas over their heads, blue-jeans, and boots. Only, they obviously weren't bikers: she was walking a little white yorkie while, despite his salt-and-pepper goatee, the fellow looked like a fairly prosperous bourgeois type. A they passed, we could see that the fellow's jacket had black-on-black embroidery reading: "Bad To The Bone"

So Pod-Man asked: "Bad to the bone?"

"Yeah," I answered, "No matter how you cook it!"

02 April 2008

A Few Practical Rules We Have Around Our House

Rule of Three: No one is allowed to say the same thing more than three times in one day.

Elbow Rule: All cups, glasses, mugs, beer bottles, etc. must be further from the edge of the table than your elbow can reach.

Laser Rule: When Dad and Wife-Mate are talking to each other, there is an imaginary laser beam that burns anyone coming between them.

Shoulder Pay-Back: If one person hurts another (steps on their toes, hits them, spills soup on them, etc.), even by accident, the offended party gets to punch the transgressor as hard as they possibly can on the left shoulder. This may not be fair, but it avoids a lot of arguing and the victim feels a lot better. This also has the effect of reducing the number of “accidents.”

Pew Rule: When sitting together for a long time (e.g. at Mass, at the movies, at a lecture), Daddy sits between the two smallest children, girls on one side, boys on the other.

Curbside Rule: When walking down the street, Daddy walks on the curbside. This has nothing to do with safety, it’s just to prevent the kinderen from talking to you from both sides about two unrelated matters simultaneously.

Fruit First Rule: You can’t have dessert unless you eat a piece of fruit first. By “piece” we mean the equivalent of an apple (half-an-apple for pre-schoolers); a single grape doesn’t count.

“Fair Warning”: Anyone who is going to tie-up the bathroom for more than ten minutes must yell out “Fair Warning!”

“Collection Time”: This is announced about ten minutes before diner is ready. At this time the kids are responsible for making sure 1] all dirty laundry is in the hamper 2] all towels are hung properly 3] all beds are made and 4] all dirty dishes are in the dishwasher or sink. At this point Dad makes sure the trash situation is under control (all full bags are out of the house and no trash can is too full) and that the table is cleared for dinner. Sure, these things should be done on an “as needed” basis, but they’re usually not, so having a daily Collection Time keeps things from getting out of hand.

Never Get In The Way Of The Working Man: Never, ever obstruct anyone who is working! My kids grew up around my print shop and they quickly learned that this rule is stringently, even violently, enforced. Wife-mate enforces this rule in the kitchen with a wooden spoon.