Monday, January 31, 2005

Markie and Dickless

When I was a kid I had two close buddies. On particularly giddy afternoons when we were all hopped up on Butterfingers and Jolt Cola, we’d call ourselves The Three Musketeers. We were:

• Mark, an overweight redhead, lived four houses down from me. Everyone in the neighborhood knew Mark (my sister called him “Markie”) was a bad kid, but he was the only guy on the block my age. His dad was a gruff man, a cop, and he was always working on his gold-flecked 1968 Camaro in the garage (I swear he worked on that car every night for 15 years and I never once saw him drive it). Despite the fact that Markie used to sit on me until I cried, I played with him everyday, mostly because he had Atari and I wanted to be invited over to play Missile Command and eat pork products.

• Doug, a short, mop-topped spark plug, lived two blocks away. Doug was small, but he was mean. He’d do shit he knew would get under my skin just to see if I would cry or fight back or call him “Dickless” (instead of “Douglas”) and run for my life. The backyard of Doug’s house abutted what we called “the wash” – a large, cement-walled storm sewer that led all the way down to the railroad tracks that ran parallel to Los Angeles Avenue. On hot summer days, we’d sit under the tracks, drink soda pop and try to hear our own prepubescent screams above the screeching thunder of the Santa Fe cargo trains that chugged over our heads.

• Me, a tall, 90-pound thyroid case with big feet and a strong aversion to conflict. Unless we were hanging out with Rodney, a mildly retarded black kid from our class who always had milk residue welled up in the corners of his mouth, I was the default subject of Mark and Doug’s relentless teasing – and it was hard to blame them. I was such an easy target. I was skinny. I had a big nose. I wasn’t good at sports. And I was Jewish, which meant every Saturday when all of the other kids were riding their bikes, I had to go to the synagogue with my dad and wear one of those funny beanies on my head. God, the ribbing I took after they first saw me wearing a yarmulke was relentless. “Nice yar-mool-key, fag! What are you, a rabbi or somethin’?”

I don’t believe my parents were particularly fond of Markie and Dickless. I think they would have preferred that I associate with other Jewish boys or at the very least boys who didn’t send me home a blubbering mass of tears, snot, blood, dirt, bruises and hurt feelings every afternoon. But I didn’t care. I was a glutton for punishment, I guess.

We would often chill in the ratty wooden fort in Doug’s backyard, leafing through Doug’s dad’s Playboys and debating whether or not Fritos were better than Doritos. But one day when we were in junior high school, we were in the fort when Doug produced an industrial squirt bottle full of a pale brown liquid. He said it was Jack Daniels, swiped from his dad’s liquor cabinet. I believed him.

Doug and Mark knew my reputation. They knew I was, in the parlance of the day, a puss. I didn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, even cloves. I just didn’t experiment, not because I wasn’t curious but because I knew there would be hell to pay at home if there was any evidence of straying from the path of straight and narrow.

As the afternoon wore on, Doug and Mark squirted the brown liquid into their mouths repeatedly. They were timid at first --- just one squirt at a time. But then they became emboldened, challenging one another to two squirts, then five, then 10 at a time. They kept asking me to try, I kept declining and they kept calling me names.

As the sun began to set, Doug turned the squirt bottle toward me and threatened to squirt me. I pleaded with him not to. He fired a warning shot over my right shoulder, hitting Miss September in the left breast. I told him to knock it off. He laughed at my meager indignance and fired another shot over my left shoulder, hitting Miss February right between the eyes. I stood up and dusted myself off.

“Fuck you guys,” I said, marching off toward home.

“Ooooooh. Big words, Jewboy,” one of them said as I stomped off. I heard the sound of the trigger on the squirtbottle being squeezed repeatedly as I left the yard.

We were never close again after that. I saw them at school from time to time, but we never walked down to the train tracks or rode our bikes to get ice cream again. Last I heard, Mark had gone off to fight in Desert Storm and Doug had married and become a father.

My son has begun to carve out a group of regular friends from his preschool --- nice kids with great parents. I watch them play with their Rescue Heroes figures and pretend to be Superman and become downright giddy when they see each other. It’s quite a sight for a parent to behold --- his child in a moment of unbridled joy and youthful exuberance. But I suppose my subconscious litmus test for my son’s friends will always be whether or not I can picture any of them 10 or 12 years from now sporting a mild bourbon buzz and perusing stolen porno mags.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

If I Could You Know I Would. If I Could I Would Let It Go.

It is Sunday morning at Evans World Headquarters. Hot Wife is out of town. The children are watching Care Bears in the other room. And I am encountering a moment of severe physical and psychological peril.

I have consumed two-thirds of a venti iced soy latte, a beverage that generally sends my colon into a spastic fit that would shame even an epileptic breakdancer with Parkinson’s Disease in the middle of an earthquake. Under normal circumstances I’d grab the sports page and head for the throne. But it is 9:58 am and I must be online at 10:00 sharp, the precise moment at which tickets go on sale for the U2 concert. I clinch my brown eye together with all of my might, punch up the Ticketmaster website and pray. Pray for good seats. Pray for speedy service. Pray that if I do soil myself, the children are far enough away from the blast zone that they don’t drown.

I enter the date and location of the concert I want to see and my computer screen spits back a spiraling gray and white bar indicating that it is searching for the two best seats available for the show. It spins and spins and spins. It’s mocking me. I break into a two-step known internationally as the I-have-to-take-a-dump-really-bad dance --- side to side, butt moving forward and back, a wince on my face, my brow furrowed.

The bar continues to spin. It’s still thinking, and so am I. I’m thinking that I will never drink coffee again. It’s just as well, I tell myself, because the drink I like has tons of soy milk in it and I keep hearing that men who drink too much soy grow breasts and labia and an affinity for something called a pagmina. Still spinning. God? Please, God. Please let the bar stop spinning. Please, your immensehood. Please tell my colon to chill. God?

A voice comes waddling down the hall. It’s her.

“Daddy? Barney, daddy. Barney.”

“OK, honey. Daddy will put Barney on in a minute, OK?”

“NO, DADDY! BARNEY! BARNEY!”

“I’ll be out there in a minute, sweetheart. If you can give me just a few more minutes, I’ll give you a cookie when I get out there, OK?”

“OK. Bye, daddy.”

I look back at the computer. Still spinning. Ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod. The dance becomes a little more seizurelike now. I start to hum and I place my left hand flat against my bum (as if that alone will stop the flash flood of poop and soy milk that’s poised to pour out of my ass like a thoroughbred at the starting gate the minute I unclench my ass muscles). Still spinning.

Another voice. It’s him.

“Daddy?”

“What! What is it?”

“Can I have some milk?”

“Listen, buddy. I need your help. Can you just give me like three more minutes? Please? Then I swear I’ll come out there and get you milk and put on Barney for your sister and buy each of you a pony. I promise. OK? Just three minutes.”

“I don’t want a pony, daddy.”

“Well, what do you want?”

“I want a dinosaur. A tyrannosaurus.”

“OK. You got it. Give me three minutes and I’ll buy you a T-Rex.”

“Daddy?”

“What.”

“Why are you dancing like that?”

“Because I have to go potty but I can’t.”

“Oh. OK. Bye, dad.”

Still fucking spinning. OhgodohgodohgodohgodohgodohgodOHMYMOTHERFUCKINGGOD! I was just about to throw my hands up and start hating U2 when the spinning finally stopped. The computer smiled, telling me in its own special way that there are two seats in section 472, row f, with my name on them. I’ll take them. I punch in my credit card number and address and --- click! --- they’re mine. Hallelujah!

I race to the bathroom, yank down my underwear and feel my cheeks slap the toilet seat just in time for --- well, remember that dude who interrupted Bob Dylan’s set at the Grammy’s that year with the words SOY BOMB painted on his chest? Well, that guy had no idea what a soy bomb was. I do know. While it would be difficult to articulate it, I’ll say this much: it sounded like there was a 747 landing underneath my ass and the sensation was something like spawning a palm tree.

I exited the bathroom exhausted and emaciated. I thought I should look online to see exactly where section 472, row f is before I went out to explain why we couldn’t actually get a pony or a tyrannosaurus rex. Lo and behold, Hot Wife and I will be watching Bono and The Edge preen around from behind the stage, about two rows in front of the ozone layer.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Just Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?

I will be cavorting with my children this weekend and sadly will not have time to update the status of my bowel movements, my mucous production or the results of my cremaster exercises (although I will tell you that I’m doing the latter as I write this and if you find a man with a stronger cremaster than me, you tell him Danny Evans wants to challenge him to a duel).

It occurs to me, however, that you all know so much about me --- too much, by the standards of common decency --- and I know jack squat about you. To remedy the lopsidedness of our relationship, I’d like everyone who visits the site to answer the following questionnaire in the comments section (Note: some of the questions are me-centric, but this is my fucking site and if you don’t like it I’ll FedEx you my ass and you can kiss it).

1) Name/URL
2) Do I know you? If so, how?
3) What celebrity do you most closely resemble?
4) What Sesame Street character do you associate with most?
5) How many times do you defecate each day?
6) Be honest: do you pick your nose?
7) What is your favorite Human Writes entry? (This information will be used to assemble a Human Writes starter kit for newbies to the site.)
8) What do you drink at Starbucks?
9) Say something nice about the person who posted before you.
10) Say something nice about me (because this is my site and without me you’d be nothing. Do you hear me? NOTHING!).

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Doctor, My Cremaster

My brother-in-law, Ben, was a fencer at Princeton. You might think that automatically puts him into the category of “pussy intellectual,” but it doesn’t. He’s a doctor who cures kids with cancer. He plays the guitar. He’s the father of my niece and nephew (and if you say anything mean about them I swear to God I’ll cut you).

Plus, how intellectual could he be if he married my sister, a woman who to this day swears vehemently that Vida Blue pitched for the Dodgers despite the absence of any supporting evidence. Somehow the juxtaposition of the last name “Blue” and the blue accents in the Dodgers’ uniforms has my sister so completely convinced that she’s right about this that reason and proof are about as welcome in her mind as a Honeybaked ham is in a kosher butchershop.

Furthermore, I know that Dr. Ben The Fencer is not a pussy because a pussy would not have imparted these two precious nuggets of data:

1) Medical students are trained not to use the word “oops” in surgery. Instead, they say “there.” I plan to access this knowledge during my vasectomy. If the doctor says “there” at any point during that procedure, I’ll know enough to look up and make sure he hasn’t removed and discarded my penis, thereby relegating me to a future as a headliner in those crazy Thai sex shows you’re always reading about.

2) There is an organ in the male reproductive system called the cremaster.

I don’t know whose job it was to name body parts back when they were being discovered, but I’d like to toss back a few Bud Lights with who ever named the cremaster. That is just some funny, funny shit.

“Gentlemen, it is my scientific finding that this muscle, which covers the testes, raises and lowers the scrotum in order to modulate the temperature of the testes. This is, in simplest terms, what makes the goo warm. We shall henceforth call this muscle the ‘cremaster.’ It is a compound word --- ‘crème’ being Latin for ‘man yogurt’ and ‘master,’ of course, referring to the episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry and Elaine talk about being the ‘master of your domain.’”

I’m not the type to speak in hyperbole, but I’ll say this much: “cremaster” is the finest word in the English language. Has there ever been a more appropriately named organ? Plus, I submit to you that the function of the cremaster supports human life itself. If your goo gets cold, your little spermies die and life on earth comes to an end. I don’t think I’m overstating it by saying that would be bad.

I’ve been searching for the right way to commemorate the cremaster’s greatness. I contemplated having mine pierced, but Hot Wife wasn’t really into that. I thought about having mine removed, bronzed and mounted, but that would leave me with cold goo and that’s really not good for anybody.

So I’ve settled on this: in the middle of the night, I’m going to sneak into Vida Blue’s house, remove his cremaster with a Swiss Army knife, dye it blue, attach it to the end of a gold chain and give it to my sister. On the bottom, I’m going to engrave the slogan for my cremaster awareness campaign: “Go Blue For Warm Goo.”

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

BY REQUEST: My First Sexual Experience

The following is a transcript from my first and only call to a phone sex line. I was 15. As evidenced by what I said to the woman, I had no idea what I was doing.

[Ed. Note: to protect my family from even greater humiliation than I have already caused them in this space, salacious and lascivious terms herein will be replaced with the names of Sesame Street characters.]


Ring-ring. Ring-ring.

“Hi. This is Wanda. Who’s this?”

“Um, hi. My name is, um, Charlie.”

“How you doin’ tonight, Charlie?”

“I’m fine.”

“Good. Good. What would you like to talk about tonight?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.”

“Oh, really? A virgin, huh? Well, why don’t we start by talking about my big, round Cookie Monsters?”

“OK. That sounds nice.”

“Mmmmm. I’ve got them right here. I’m squeezing them. It feels soooo good.”

“Wow. That’s awesome. [A giggle.]”

“I wish I had your Big Bird right now, Charlie.”

“You do?”

“I do. Tell me about your Big Bird. How big is it?”

“I don’t know. Maybe about 13 or 14 inches.”

“THIRTEEN OR 14 INCHES?! WHO ARE GONNA SNUFFALUFFAGUS WITH A 13-INCH BIG BIRD?! THERE ISN’T AN OSCAR THE GROUCH ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH THAT CAN TAKE A 13-INCH BIG BIRD!”

“Can we not talk about God please, Wanda?”

“SHUT YOUR MOUTH, KID! HOW OLD ARE YOU ANYWAY?”

“I’m 21.”

“TWENTY-ONE, MY ELMO!”

“Besides, what do you care how old I am? As long as I’m paying your $4.99 a minute…”

“I DON’T DO PHONE SEX WITH CHILDREN, CHARLIE. WHY DON’T YOU TAKE YOUR 13-INCH BIG BIRD AND GO PLAY WITH YOUR LEGOS!”

“I’m not a child, Wanda, you Elmohole! I’m 21! And your Oscar The Grouch probably couldn’t handle my Big Bird anyway!”

Click.


I cried myself to sleep that night. And to this day, if I see Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch on the TV screen at the same time, I have to leave the room.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Behind Every Good Man Is A Woman Who Would Totally Kick The Next Door Neighbor’s Ass If She Pulls That Shit Again

Although I would like to take full credit for the man I am today, I can’t. I have the luxury and good fortune of being surrounded by a small army of strong, nurturing and occasionally very scary women, each of whom has played a vital role in shaping me into the demented, obscene, potty-mouthed n’er-do-well you see before you. In celebration of these women – and at the risk of forfeiting any spoils they have bestowed to me in their respective wills and trusts – here is a short story about each of them.

My Mother, Who Has Asked Me Not To Write About Her Because She “Still Has To Live In This Town,” But May Change Her Mind If I Tell A Story That Reflects Positively On Her Motherly Instincts.
When we were young, my sister and I used to sit on the cinder block wall that separated our yard from that of our next-door neighbors, the Zinks. We would play with my Hot Wheels cars and Star Wars figurines, pretending my little die-cast Datsun hatchback could hit R2-D2 so hard that it turned him into a hand mixer. From time to time, Mrs. Zink would come out and yell at us to get off of her wall.

One day my sister and I were on the wall again and Mrs. Zink snapped. She came out of her house, turned her garden hose on full blast and doused my sister and me, sending us inside in sopping wet hysterics. When my mother heard what Mrs. Zink had done, she bolted outside and confronted the hag. You should have seen it. These two women stood on opposite sides of a knee-high block wall, yelling at each other, pointing fingers at each other, accusing one another of dastardly, evil things. All of the neighborhood kids heard the ruckus and came running to root my mother on. “Go, Mrs. Evans! Kick her ass! We hate that skanky bitch!”

I don’t recall specifically what was said – perhaps something about my mother’s size seven Easy Sprit shoes and Mrs. Zink’s big, fat, haggard, cottage cheese ass – but whatever it was hit the mark. My parents still live in that house, but the Zinks, well, we’ve never heard from them again. In my twisted imagination, they moved to Idaho and joined up with a band of white supremacists who spread grammatically incorrect, hate-filled literature, rampant with dangling participles and misspelled words like this: “Jooz and Kweers Are Derty Sunza Biches.”

My Sister, Who Thinks She’s All Bad-Ass Because She Can Throw A Bagel Like 90 Miles An Hour, But Let’s See How Cool She Thinks She Is After I Tell The Whole Internet That Our Mom Puked In Her Face.
Prior to meeting my wife, the greatest day of my life was a hot summer day in the early 1980s. We were on our way to a nice family outing at a museum, cruising down the road with the windows on my dad’s Dodge Omni rolled down. My sister and I were playing some silly game in the back seat and, unbeknownst to us, my mother was in the midst of a rather severe case of food poisoning or rot gut or stomach flu up front.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, something beige and warm and steamy came flying into my sister’s window and splattered all over her face. She was stunned. Was it bird shit? Was it alfredo sauce? Was it spackle?

No. It was my mother’s breakfast.

She vomited out the window and, thanks to the laws of physics and aerodynamics, her scrambled eggs, toast, orange juice, coffee, two tablespoons of Metamucil and a multivitamin were pushed right back into the car and all over my big sister.

We never made it to the museum, but I didn’t care. I laughed all the way home.

My Mother-In-Law, Who Likes To Refer To My Children Using The Yiddish Words For Various Farm Animals And Once Tried To Poison My Baby Boy With A Steak Fry.
When my son was born, my mother-in-law referred to him once as “kotchke.” There was some debate at the time as to whether a kotchke is a duck or a goose, but I suppose that’s irrelevant now. At least she didn’t call him a mule or a pig or a jackass. And for some reason, we still refer to the kids as “The Goose.”

When Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son was very young, we all went to dinner at Red Robin, a burger place. To my horror, my mother-in-law gave him a french fry --- and not just any little fry, but a STEAK FRY! I chastised her.

“What are you doing?! I don’t want him eating that!”

“Why not?” she asked, perplexed.

“Because he’s just a little kid! He doesn’t need to be eating fried foods. It might hurt his teeny little belly. Shit, why don’t you let him chew on some rusty nails, for Pete’s sake?”

She said nothing. She just pulled the fry away from my son and wore a look that seemed to say, “Whatever, dumbfuck.”

Now, four years later, the kid eats Snickers for breakfast and can polish off a large order of fries in one bite. My mother-in-law was right, as usual: I’m a dumbfuck.”

My Sister-In-Law, Diga, Who Once Got Really Mad At Me For Telling Her She Had Hair Like Lyle Lovett.
I was once on the phone with Diga and the subject of parents who curse came up. I bet her she couldn’t get her mother to say “fucking asshole,” and she took the bait. We called her with the three-way feature on my phone.

[Ring. Ring.]

“Hello.”

“Hi, mom.”

“Hi, darling.”

“Danny’s here, too.”

“Oh. Hi, Danny.”

“Hi.”

“Mom?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Will you do me a favor?”

“What?”

“Will you say ‘fucking asshole?’”

“What?”

“Say ‘fucking asshole.’”

“You want me to say ‘fucking asshole?’”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Just because.”

“OK. Fucking asshole.”

[Laughter ensues.]

My Other Sister-In-Law, Karona, Who Believes Contorting Her Body Like A Pretzel On Acid Will Make The Ball Go Into The Hole
I love to laugh, and I can count on one hand and two webbed toes the number of times I have laughed so hard that I had to sit down and squeeze my crotch so as not to urinate on myself. One of them was the first time I played miniature golf with Karona.

She put the little pink ball on the rubber mat, lined up her putt and whacked it super hard with the short rubber putter. The ball bounced off of the concrete barrier and began to roll toward the cup. The closer the ball came to the hole, the more Karona screamed. The more she screamed, the more she contorted her body. The more she contorted her body, the scarier it got.

For the next two hours, Karona cavorted through the miniature golf course, inventing on the fly a game that combines golf, yoga, pilates, opera and re-enactments of some of the more gory and unwatchable scenes from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She would arch her back, twist her torso, bend her left leg like a flamingo, jut out her bottom jaw and scream like a five-year-old who sees the ice cream man coming around the corner --- all, presumably, in hopes of making the little ball go into the hole.

Golf is supposed to be a serene game. Golfers need silence and concentration. But with Karona around, the only thing people can concentrate on is the funny lady who looks like she’s having a grand mal on the eighth hole.

My Daughter, Who Eats Chepup
My baby girl is learning new words every day. This week, she has learned the word for that the red stuff you put on hot dogs and french fries. She calls it “chepup.”

My Wife, Who Has The Funniest Throw-Up Sound Ever (Sorry, Honey, But You Do. You Know You Do.).
When Hot Wife was pregnant with each of our children, she fought the evils of morning sickness rather frequently. While it was distressing to see her in such misery, I will admit to you candidly that hearing her puke sometimes made me laugh hysterically.

See, Hot Wife was blessed with some proprietary combination of vocal chord alignment that causes her to make the world’s perfect vomit sound. It sounds a little bit like she screaming at an imaginary hose-wielding neighbor who is sequestered in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Wehhhhhhhhk! Wehhhhhhhhhkk!

For yours truly, someone who has repeatedly confessed to being what I call a piggy-back puker --- someone so repulsed by other peoples’ vomit that it causes me to vomit shortly thereafter --- my wife’s “gift” creates the ultimate conflict. Do I laugh? Do I puke? And is it biologically feasible to do both at once? Sadly, my fight-or-flight response kicked in when she started to heave and “flight” won that battle by a landslide. I was never around to attempt the laugh/puke combination. But I have a sense that after Hot Wife reads this, an opportunity to attempt the dreaded laugh/get kicked in the nuts maneuver will present itself.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Block Party Weekend

The depths of my writer’s block were so bleak this weekend that I came dangerously close to buying one of those “Unleash Your Creativity and Get Published Today” magazines. Can you imagine?! (For the uninitiated, these are monthly publications aimed at porky, varicose-veined housewives from South Dakota who seek to break up the day-to-day monotony of Andy Griffith reruns, Little Debbie snack cakes and supermarket tabloids by learning to write their own Harlequin romance novels. Each magazine comes with a series of writing prompts like “When and where were you happiest?” or “Describe what it would be like to be a Little Debbie snack cake for a day.”)

Writer block is the scribe’s version of a huge hemorrhoid. You believe with all of your heart that there’s something good and worthy inside you and you’d do just about anything to let it out and share it with the world, but something is preventing it from coming out. And while there are lots of salves and ointments and things you can use to dress it up and deaden the pain, the only real cure is to wait it out.

Well, that’s what I have, everyone: a big purple hemorrhoid on my creativity. So in lieu of having anything interesting to put in this space today, I will insert my huge ego and invite your requests. I will whore myself out to the internet.

Tell me. What do you want me to write about?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Things They Don’t Tell You About In Childbirth Classes Because You’d Puke

It has occurred to me lately that the classes most hospitals offer to expectant parents about childbirth and childrearing are woefully devoid of information about the most disturbing elements of parenthood. I remember walking out of those sessions saying, “OK. I know how to change a diaper, how to burp a baby and that the birth of my child has something to do with a vagina. I’m all set. Bring on the offspring!” I was such a dipshit.

Bringing a child into the world is disgusting and gory and unsanitary, and raising them isn’t much cleaner. As a service to my brother-in-law Robert (a new father), Old Buddy Andy (an expectant father) and Craig The Mouse Killer (newly engaged), I will now list a few of the key discoveries I’ve made during my four-plus years of fatherhood --- items not discussed in childbirth or childrearing classes because they don’t want to make becoming a dad seem as much like an episode of Fear Factor as it really is:

Childbirth
1. When your wife is in the late stages of delivering your child, the doctor while ask her to push, whereupon she will bear down on midsection with the force of 10,000 atomic bombs. The goal, naturally, is to have something come out of her crotch. Unfortunately, there are two holes in her crotch and it’s best that you know now that something is going to come out of both holes. Hole number one will produce a baby. Hole number two will produce, well, number two. You’ll try to look away and you’ll try to maintain your focus on what’s coming out of hole number one, but you won’t be able to. And you’ll never be able to look at a Play-Doh Fun Factory again.

2. After your child is born and has been taken across the delivery room to be weighed and measured and wiped clean of yuck, you’ll notice that the doctor is still staring into hole number one. Do not attempt to accost the doctor; he’s not getting his jollies. He’s actually “delivering” the most rancid, foul, nightmare-inducing substance known to man: the placenta. If your doctor is a sicko like ours, he’ll hold it up and show it to you when it comes out. Be prepared. The placenta looks like someone has taken the layer of melted cheese from the top of a pizza and is holding it sauce-side up. They’ll try to convince you that it’s beautiful and a miracle and shit like that, but when you’ve been up all night stressing about your baby being born with his nose on his ass or your wife dying during childbirth, there’s nothing beautiful or miraculous about a big skin bag covered of blood, is there?

3. The first few shits your newborn takes are made of the same substance NASA uses to adhere those special tiles to the outside of the Space Shuttle to protect it from the unfathomable heat it encounters upon re-entry to earth’s atmosphere. It is black and sticky and infused with the smell of the vomit one produces after a night of partying with a quart of tequila and a bag of chili-cheese Fritos. By all means, make the nurses in the hospital change the first few diapers. They love that shit. And if you get it on your hands, there isn’t a space-age polymer on the planet that will get it off of you.

Childrearing
1. There are more varieties of fluids in a child than there are under the hood of your average import sedan, and all of them are bound to come out flying out of the child at different velocities from time to time. For example, last night there was a wad of snot the size of a nectarine that had dried and sealed shut the left nostril of my daughter. I was able to pry it loose with a chamois, a putty knife and a stick of Juicy Fruit, but my point is that you have to be prepared for anything. They puke when they’re mad. They have diarrhea when they’re asleep. And they shoot piss at you when they’re having their diaper changed. Fathers of Planet Earth, I have but one word for you: duck.

2. Imagine your wife at her PMS worst. Picture her raging at you, spewing hate in your direction for no good reason, slamming doors in your face and threatening to dismember you with her eyelash curler. Now imagine that same behavior from someone who is two feet tall and cannot color a picture without sticking his tongue out. This, basically, is the kind of irrational behavior you can expect from your child when you deny him Halloween candy for breakfast or tell him that he may not, under any circumstances, throw dogshit at his baby sister. Kids are fucking crazy sometimes and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s best to just let them wail and go back to watching SportsCenter until they calm down.

3. If you do not already know how, you should learn to complete the following tasks immediately (reason in parenthesis): strip and remake a bed in the dark (your kid will wet the bed at 2 a.m.), breathe threw your mouth for long periods of time (your kid will get sick and will simultaneously cry, vomit, shit his clothes, also at 2 a.m.), resist torture (your kid will want to watch Barney’s Adventure Bus for the 1,192nd time right about the time your favorite team is taking the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in the Super Bowl), make pasta with butter (that’s the only thing your kid will eat until he’s 14), take a kick or a punch in the balls (no matter how hard you try to avoid it, your kid will hit you there --- either accidentally or on purpose --- once a day for the foreseeable future).

4. You’ll never sleep through the night again. That’s just the way it is. But I’ll be up, too, so call me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nice Night For An Exorcism

I walked in from the gym last night to find my son in the throes of a moderately severe tantrum --- and by “moderately severe” I mean his head was doing 360s and blood was shooting out of his eyes and he had written the word “murder” on the wall with his own feces (which is really impressive because he’s had trouble making a lower-case d lately).

He was saying something about dessert, and the way he was raging and screaming left no doubt in my mind that he had either been attacked by a fruit roll-up or accosted by some chocolate pudding or denied the opportunity to consume large quantities of high fructose corn syrup by the evil warlord “mommy.” Whatever the cause, the boy was going completely batshit. I could see the strain on Hot Wife’s face, so I dropped my gym bag and intervened.

“Buddy, you need to slow down a little bit,” I said, rubbing big, slow circles on his back with the palm of my hand. “Take a deep breath. Relax.”

“NO! I DON’T WANT TO RELAX. I WANT MY DESSERT!”

“Well, you behavior is telling me that you’re tired, maybe too tired to eat dessert. But if you can calm down, we can talk about it.”

“I DON’T WANT TO CALM DOWN! I WANT MY FUCKING DESSERT! AND IF YOU TELL ME TO RELAX ONE MORE TIME I SWEAR I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEAD OFF AND SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK!”

At this point, it became reflex. I remembered the repetitive line from the priest from The Exorcist --- “The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!” --- and I began to holler it at my son, if only to eliminate the possibility that he had been possessed by the devil. Yes, we’re Jewish and the whole Christ thing usually doesn’t enter into the equation for us, but you never know --- that’s my point.

The boy’s breathing was shallow and fast. He was laying face-down on the dining room floor, pounding the tile with his clenched fists and screaming the scream of a woman giving birth to a full-grown teenager without the aid of an epidural.

Suddenly my son’s eyes opened wide. A look of terror washed over his face and a tiny bit of mucousy throw-up shot out of his mouth. It landed on the floor, next to his puddle tears, and it took every ounce of intestinal strength I possess not to follow his lead. I’ll change dirty, shit-plastered Huggies with whole, undigested raisins and corn in them any day of the week, but seeing another person throw up --- even my own son --- makes my toes curl backwards and my stomach feel all heavy and syrupy and puts me on the precipice serious emotional collapse.

Wait a second. What’s that sound? Is it…could it be…silence? Yes, that’s it. That’s definitely it. The boy has stopped wailing. It seems my son was so horrified and fascinated by his own vomit that he became distracted and forgot about his dessert rage.

He shortly thereafter became exhausted and actually requested to go to sleep. I changed him into his dinosaur pajamas, tucked him in and kissed him gently on the forehead. As I switched off the light in his bedroom and began to pull the door closed, he called out to me.

“Dad?” he said, almost whimpering through his cute, four-year-old fatigue.

“Yeah, buddy?”

“DID YOU THINK I FORGOT? BRING ME MY MOTHERFUCKING DESSERT!”

Monday, January 17, 2005

The New Underpants

There are five 12-year-old boys in my neighborhood and these boys serve as my own personal style council. They roam the playgrounds and cafeterias of the local middle school and report back to me on what music, television shows, video games and sundry pop culture phenomena I’ll need to check out in order to maintain my classification as “cool.” In return, I take them to Dairy Queen and load them up on Blizzards just in time to spoil their dinner and incur the wrath of their parents.

I convened the council yesterday and immediately noticed that each of the boys was wearing at least one brightly colored plastic bracelet. I recognized the canary colored LIVE STRONG number as the kind I purchased from the Lance Armstrong Foundation a few months ago --- a purchase that at once articulated my solidarity with cancer survivors and trumpeted my continued allegiance to all things hip and pimped out. But as I surveyed the wrists of my peeps yesterday, I noticed some colors I had not yet seen. Further investigation revealed the awareness represented with bracelets in the following colors and textures:

• Red: Abstinence from drugs
• Purple: Varicose veins
• Brown: Incontinence
• Yellowish Green: Sinus infections
• Green and Sticky: Legalization of Marijuana
• Two Flesh-Colored Bracelets Stuck Together: Webbed Toes
• Bright Red and Hard: Priapism
• Black, Engraved With the Words “Woot! Fuckit! Click!”: Tourette’s Syndrome

As the boys went down the list, it became clear to me that these colored bracelets are the new generation’s version of underpants. You could leave home without wearing them, but it isn’t recommended. What if you have an accident? How will the paramedics know that you’re allergic to penicillin if you’re not wearing your mold-covered bracelet?

I have to admit that I was initially concerned for the safety of my style council. These bracelets compare somewhat favorably to the red and blue bandanas kids wore back in the day to show which gang they were from. But the last time I saw a gang-banger wearing a bracelet, it was made by Med-Alert and meant to tell his homeboys that he was allergic to peanuts --- so I think the kids are safe.

My second thought, naturally, was that I should piggyback on this bracelet craze and get rich. As such, it is my pleasure to announce the creation of a Human Writes bracelet. It is designed to raise awareness for the plight of indigenous peoples who have nasty-smelling poops and suffer the slings and arrows of an unappreciative public as a result.

This handsome bracelet is made of high-grade, two-ply toilet paper and is engraved with the letters SMAMWNSCAISYAVPWESAHAHNKAGTIHM. These letters are, of course, an acronym for the term “Show Me A Man With Nice-Smelling Craps And I’ll Show You A Vegan Pussy Who Eats Sprouts And Hominy And Has Never Kissed A Girl That Isn’t His Mother."

Friday, January 14, 2005

Is There Second Place In The Lottery?

Some asshole strolled into the 7-11 up the street from Evans World Headquarters this week and bought a lottery ticket that won him $81 million. I have no idea who this person is, but I hate him. I hate him very, very much. Like a boil on my ass, I hate him.

People who shop at 7-11 eat heat-lamped jalapeño dogs. They drink 128 ounces of Mr. Pibb every day. They chew spearmint-flavored tobacco and laugh at the comics that come in Bazooka gum and don’t start catching a buzz until they’ve consumed their ninth can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I ask you, America: is this the kind of person upon whom we want to bestow unfathomable wealth? Isn’t that like leaving a toddler home alone with a loaded handgun, 30 lines of blow and the director’s cut of Scarface?

My initial fear was that my neighbor John had won the money. John throws like a little girl and doesn’t like to play poker with the rest of us because he thinks we’re all pussies. He buys lottery tickets (and corn nuts) at that 7-11 all the time, so when I heard that the winning ticket had been purchased there, I called John (which is a lesson in self-sacrifice because John’s one of those dim bulbs who thinks that in order to be heard he needs to yell into the cell phone so loudly that it makes your ears bleed). He said no, he had purchased his ticket at Sav-On this week and, much to my chagrin, would not be moving out of the neighborhood. Fuck.

So in the event that this asshat doesn’t show up to claim his booty, I hereby nominate myself to take it in his stead. I submit to you that the $81 million is perfectly suited to someone like me – a man of incomprehensible integrity, dashing good lucks, top-notch credentials, a healthy libido, love for all creatures (except that bitch Barbara Streisand) and no desire whatsoever to eat a jalapeño dog. Oh, and my wife is totally hot.

Of course, whenever talk turns to winning the lottery, we let our fantasies carry us away. (No, not the fantasy about the Olsen twins and a bottle of baby oil, silly. The other one, about what you’d do if you won the lottery.) I won’t bore you with a long list of the things I’d do or buy or see or consume with my money, but I can tell you this:

There will be porn. Oh, yes. There will be porn.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Industrial Revolution Meets The Intestinal Revolution

The company for which I work has installed in the men’s room a device that automatically sprays a mist of scented air freshener at timed intervals of about two minutes. My narcissistic belief that the odors emanating from my bum have in some way created the need for this machine have my emotions alternating between self-disgust and self-pride. I am in no way prepared to take full credit for the foul men’s room stench, but I am aware that my semi-regular trips to Starbucks and McDonald’s sometimes result in the spawning of some rather malodorous buttfish. As they say, “Garbage in, garbage out.” (Except now my “garbage out” will smell like a spring meadow.)

The company has recently enacted drastic budget cuts, and yet it still found enough spare nickels to justify the expense for an automatic air freshener squirter --- as opposed to, say, sticking a can of Lysol in the crapper. Rest assured, though: if I don’t get a bonus this year because the company spent my money on the Destinkifyer 2000 (or whatever it’s called), there will be a rebellion. I’ll go to the all-you-can-eat Indian food buffet down the street, load up on curries and asparagus and stinky cauliflower dishes, then I’ll lay the mother of all cable in that bathroom, disconnect the automatic squirter and run like a motherfucker, screaming “Eat it, bastards! Taste the pain!” all the way home.

I presume the installation of this device is partially the result of an ultimatum by Julio, the building maintenance man assigned to our floor. I can’t count how many times I have emerged from a stall to find Julio changing the paper towels or restocking the ass gaskets in an adjoining stall. We look at each other. He knows I am the reason he is having to breathe through his mouth. And then what do you say? How do you apologize to someone whose job requires him to smell your shits?

“Hey, Julio,” I say.

“Hey, Mr. Danny,” he says. “Another Filet O’Fish for lunch today?”

“Wow. You can tell that just by smelling my poo? That’s awesome.”

“Awesome for you maybe. Very, very bad for me.”

“Oh, come on. It’s not that bad.”

“Si, in the janitor’s lounge you are the man we call ‘Señor Crap.’ Only reason I work on this floor is because I drew the shortest straw.”

“You guys call me ‘Señor Crap?’ Seriously?”

“Seriously. Your shit smells like rotten tamales. You need to eat more fruits and vegetables.”

“Fuck you, Julio. What are you, my mother?”

“No, I’m the guy who has to smell your shits everyday. And fuck you, too, Señor Crap.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

What Part of “Keep Your Penis Out Of Other Peoples’ Faces” Didn’t You Understand?

The ongoing saga of Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son’s self-discovery has taken a rather disturbing turn in the direction of all-inclusiveness. When you’re four, your penis is the fleshy, pliable equivalent of a new bike, and you therefore want everyone to see it up close – except instead of showing them a Schwinn, you’re sticking your little Johnson in the faces of friends, family members and, on one particularly embarrassing occasion, the guy who works in the small home electronics section of Target.

Hot Wife and I have tried strenuously to make our son understand that his penis is “just for him,” but he hasn’t yet been able to comprehend the socially unacceptable nature of his auto-manipulation. To him, it might as well be a watch or a toy fire truck or a cool seashell. To everyone else, the sight of a young boy with a tiny peter that has been flicked and contorted into a state of bright redness is at once pathetically cute, entirely harmless and disturbing on a par with images of humping dogs. We haven’t yet had people threaten to call Child Protective Services, but can it possibly be far behind?

Ground Zero for our son’s devotion to sharing his penis with the world at large is his nightly bath --- the same bath he takes with his little sister, who is even more ignorant of the issue of penis etiquette than he is, if that’s even possible. For the past several nights, my son has escalated the intolerability of his behavior by attempting to engage his sister in celebrating the wonder and splendor of his tiny pecker. He stands like a superhero, with his hands on his hips, his little unit swinging to and fro, and his face seeming to say, “Behold, young lass! Behold my man parts!”

Her natural curiosity then motivates her to reach out and mimic the way she sees her brother manipulating his penis --- flicking, punching, pinching, balancing bath toys on it, etc. It’s a horrible sight that Hot Wife and I react to with unambiguous rage and admonitions that the children keep their hands and their genitals to themselves. We repeatedly tell Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son that other people may not touch him where his bathing suit goes, but the look he wears when we’re telling him this is the one you might expect a four-year-old to make if you were describing to him how a company prepares for its IPO.

Yeah, I know --- it’s completely normal. That’s what everyone says. “Oh, my boys humped empty paper towel rollers until they were old enough to drive.” People tell me this kind of thing all the time and my response is uniformly that seeing if your wiener will fit into openings of various sizes may be normal but contorting it into the shape of the Greek letter Omega certainly can’t be considered acceptable behavior by even the most earthy child psychologists.

That’s why Hot Wife and I have taken the drastic step of fitting our son with stainless steel underpants that are held closed with a padlock. The “wonderpants” are removed only when the child has to tinkle, defecate and bathe --- all of which are done in the presence of a parent and/or a security camera.

Drastic? Perhaps.

Effective? Your damn skippy.

There is no way the kid is going to be able to stick his penis into someone’s face unless he learns how to weld. And everyone knows the Jews don’t weld.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It’s None Of Your Fucking Business Why I Want To Cancel My Subscription

At what point did it become acceptable for customer service representatives to attempt to pry private, personal information from people? Like I’m really going to tell some dipshit in a New Delhi call center why I want to cancel my subscription to satellite radio or internet access or that raunchy porn magazine, which was bought for me as a prank by my buddy and somehow found its way into the hands of my children, who now believe every woman has her pubes shaved into the shape of a butterfly.

“Hi, my name is Bindhu,” the woman on the phone says. “How can I be of most excellent and golden service to you today?”

“Hi, Bindhu. I want to cancel my subscription.”

“Oh, well that is a tragedy sent directly from the heavens, sir. Please tell me why you wish to stifle the precious gift of our service. Have we done something to bring harm to your family name?”

“I’d rather not get into this. Can you please just push whatever buttons you have to push so my Visa doesn’t get dinged again next month?”

“Certainly, sir. No need to get upset. I am a woman of peace and tranquility. Please, what is your name?”

“My name is Daniel. Daniel Evans.”

I hear the sound of Bindhu’s fingernails clicking against a computer keyboard. In the background I can hear the voices of her call center brothers and sisters. It sounds like a real fun place to work.

“OK, Mr. Daniel Evans,” Bindhu says. “I have your information in front of me. Just a few questions. What is your mother’s maiden name?”

“Bartenfinkle.”

“Do you have any distinguishing marks or deformities?”

“Yes, I have two webbed toes on my left foot.”

“I see. At what age were you when you lost your virginity?”

“I beg your pardon.”

“How old were you when you first experienced the loving caress of a woman?”

“Bindhu, what does that have to do with my subscription?”

“Please try not to yell, Mr. Daniel Evans. Our company uses this information to serve our subscribers better. Now please, what was your age when your dipstick first became useful in the way God himself intended?”

“I was 18.”

“Eighteen. My, Mr. Daniel Evans, that certainly is late, isn’t it? Was there something wrong with you? Were you flaccid?”

“No, Bindhu. Not flaccid. Just waiting for the right girl, you know.”

“Did it have something to do with your webbed toes, sir? Perhaps the girls were scared that they might become pregnant with a duck.”

“I’ve had enough of this. Can I speak to your manager please?”

“I’m sorry, but our manager doesn’t speak to deformed people with bird feet. Besides, I’m nearly finished, sir. Just one more question.”

“What? What is it, Bindhu? Do you want to know how big my penis is?”

“No, sir. That won’t be necessary. I was just wondering if you could please take a picture of your webbed toes and e-mail it to me. I think the ladies in the lunchroom would get a good laugh out of it.”

“Go to hell, Bindhu.”

Sunday, January 09, 2005

This Little Piggie Isn’t Such A Little Piggie After All

Let’s not make a big deal out of this, OK? Let’s not point and laugh and stare and giggle at the freak. And let’s not throw pity at the poor dude with the webbed toes, for fuck’s sake, because I don’t need people feeling sorry for me. Let’s not do any of that, OK? Let’s just not.

Yes, that’s what you read: I have two webbed toes. The second and third toes of my left foot are about 50% webbed, meaning the skin between the two has grow together to form what I like to call a “supertoe.” When you look at them from the top, you might not even be able to tell that I have such a physical deformity. But if I have my shoes off and my legs crossed, you might get a look at my supertoe from the bottom and then, well, there’s no question at all. Once I took my shoe off at the beach and this middle-aged redhead caught a glimpse of my supertoe and face-planted right into the sand.

You’re thinking of a joke right now, aren’t you? You were about to say something about me being a great swimmer or greeting passersby with a “quack” instead of a “hello” or about my favorite hockey team being the Mighty Ducks. Spare me. Please. I’ve heard them all before. Real fucking funny.

Sometimes when I’m looking at it, I think of how easy it would be to just grab a box-cutter or a pair of nail clippers and separate my supertoe into two distinct digits, the way normal peoples’ feet are. But then I contemplate the pain such self surgery might inflict --- pain so raw and deep that it makes my teeth clinch and my butt pucker just thinking of it --- and I talk myself out of it. Plus the risk of a serious infection and gangrene would obliterate my goal of playing professional basketball.

So I go through life as a deformed man.

I endure the jokes about the Special Olympics and flying south for the winter. I acquiesce when, at parties, people offer to buy me beers in exchange for a quick glance at my supertoe. What am I, a freak? Some kind of leper or social outcast? No, I’m none of those things. I’m just a man --- a man with eight regular toes and two that just couldn’t bear to be apart from each other (kind of like podiatry’s version of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen).

Let’s not make a huge deal about it, OK? Let’s just not.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Happiest Place On Earth (Even For People With Severed Fingers and Huge Space Ranger Asses)

Finger Sandwiches
I never met Walt Disney and I therefore can’t tell you how he intended to have his vision for Disneyland live on after he was gone. But if old Walt truly believed that having people with severed fingers sell $7 turkey sandwiches was the right way to visually represent the splendor of the Magic Kingdom, he was one sick motherfucker.

We got to Disneyland around 11:30 and all I’d eaten by then was a Starbucks cinnamon twist and a venti latte. I was famished and when I saw the little snack shop out of the corner of my eye, I bolted for it like Snow White in hot pursuit of one of her midget friends. In the cooler was a small arrangement of sandwiches, and I zeroed-in on the turkey immediately.

“Can I help you?” the middle-aged Hispanic woman behind the counter asked.

“Yeah. I’ll take a turkey sandwich.”

“OK. Can I get you any chips or Snapple with that?” (They’re always trying to up-sell you at Disneyland, as if paying SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS to get in isn’t enough of a shock to your system and the savings you had put aside to buy porn.)

“No, thanks. Just the sandwich.”

The woman fetches my breakfast from the cooler, punches some keys on the register and tells me my total comes to $7.34. I hand her a five and three ones. She sets my money on the register and begins to withdraw my change from the drawer. As she does so, I notice that the first two knuckles on her left index finger --- the very finger she’s using to slide the quarters and dimes out of their respective compartments --- are totally and completely gone.

“Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a stick!” I say. “What the hell is that?”

“It’s my finger.”

“If that’s a finger, I’m Buzz Lightyear and this wristwatch is my secret link to Star Command. That is NOT a finger, missy.”

“It’s not, sir?!” she says, waving her emaciated little stump in my face. “If it’s not a finger, what is it?”

“You tell me, sister. What is it? Is this some kind of twisted little Disney inside joke? Do all of the cast members with severed digits get oral from the Mad Hatter or a free funnel cake or something? Or is this your personal homage to Captain Hook?”

“None of the above, dipshit,” she says. “This is the finger I’m going to use to put mayo and mustard on your sandwich.”

With that she squirts a long dollop of Miracle Whip directly onto her wannabe finger and runs it across the top layer of turkey. My stomach begins to feel warm and queasy. If she doesn’t remove her little piggy from my overpriced late breakfast this instant, someone with nine and a half fingers is going to be mopping up vomit.

Time To Locate The Star Command Salad Bar, Space Ranger Starla
We made it to the 3:15 Buzz Lightyear show in Tomorrowland. We’ve seen the show before, but much like the collection of Barney videos we have at Evans World Headquarters, Barney’s Biggest Fan and Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son have no problem watching it again and again and again, until they’ve memorized the dialogue and dance steps and can recite the whole skit in their sleep.

The show was somewhat different this time, however, because the cast member dressed in a green Space Ranger outfit had a huge ass. Taking a calculated risk, I asked Hot Wife to confirm my assessment of the junk in Starla’s trunk.

“Honey, is it me or does Starla have a really big butt?”

“What are you talking about?” she said. “Put your dinagling back in your pants and watch the show, idiot.”

“I’m trying to watch the show, but Starla’s big old ass keeps blocking my view of Zurg.”

Hot Wife just rolled her eyes. I saw then that it was incumbent on me to speak up. I stood up, put both hands high in the sky and said, “HOLD IT! HOLD IT! STOP THE SHOW! HOLD ON FOR A SECOND!”

The music stopped. Buzz and Zurg and Starla stopped dancing. All eyes were on me.

“I’m sorry, but Starla’s big fat ass keeps blocking my view of the show. Mr. Lightyear, is there a gym at Star Command?”

“Yes, we have a small fitness center,” Buzz said. “A few elliptical trainers and treadmills – that sort of thing. And a juice bar.”

“Good,” I said. “I mean tell me if I’m wrong, but don’t you think Starla could afford to drop about 20 pounds of ass? Look at that thing, sir. Talk about ‘To infinity and beyond.’”

“He does have a point, Starla,” Buzz says, turning his attention to the owner of the outer-galaxy’s version of Shirley Hemphill. “Perhaps you might be of better service in the fight against Zurg if you cut down on the Pop Tarts and Cheetos and increase your cardio.”

“Yeah, Starla,” I said. “I spent two months’ salary getting into this park and if I had known my hard-earned money was going to get me a front-row seat to look directly into your oversized caboose, I would never have gotten off of the Monorail. Now drop and give me 20!”

You know the rest. Starla runs from the stage in tears. Security escorts me from the park. We make it home in time for SportsCenter. And I go to bed happy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

If It’s Such A Small World After All, Why Do I Have To Pay $50 To Get In?

I don’t want to just come right out and say where we are taking the kids tomorrow because you just never know. My four-year-old son is pretty web savvy and there’s no guarantee that he’s not reading this right now (and if you are, dude, please don’t ask mommy to tell you what “fuck” and “shit” mean --- I’ll tell you later).

To maintain the veil of secrecy (so as not to have to answer a litany of questions between now and the moment we get to this secret, ridiculously expensive place), I’ll describe it for you:

1. It is in Anaheim, CA

2. It has been called, “The Happiest Place On Earth” (and no, it’s not that titty bar near Angels Stadium, although that place is quite happy if you bring enough one-dollar bills and pay this really ugly chick with a discolored prosthetic leg and a mouthful of gold teeth $20 to give your neighbor a lap dance and admonish her to “make it dirty.”) (And son, if you’re still reading this, a lap dance is what mommies and daddies do after little boys and girls go to sleep and there’s nothing good on TV.)

3. There are large, happy-faced rodents and dogs and princesses there who pose for pictures with visitors and scare the bejesus out of little boys and girls who think the animals are going to eat them or drag them back to Toon Town and make them their bitch.

4. You get to wait two hours in line to go on a rickety old ride that lasts 90 seconds and renders you either soaking wet, scared shitless, bitter for having waited so long for such a stupid ride or, in the case of one park visitor who went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad last year, dead and shredded into tiny little pieces like bad carnitas.

5. When it gets dark, you get to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade, where everyone else is looking at the brightly colored floats and you start ogling all of the aforementioned princesses as they ride by, fantasizing what kind of deep sea trouble you could get into if you could just get 10 minutes alone with The Little Mermaid (Son, if you’re still reading this, I’m talking about playing Chutes and Ladders with her. That’s all. Just good, clean fun. Now turn the computer off and go to bed.).

6. Every time you get on a new ride, some uppity female voice says, “Remain Seated Please. Permanecer Sentado Por Favor.” By the time you’ve ridden Space Mountain for the eighth time, you’re like, “OK, shut up already! What are you, my mother?”

7. As you stand in line for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, you can make wild bets with your friends about specifically what drugs Walt Disney was taking when he developed the concept for the ride and specifically what mental disorders he was suffering. According to my well-placed sources in the psychology world, the answers are high-grade LSD, Miller High Life, a Filet O’ Fish with extra tartar sauce, paranoid schizophrenia and a belief that he was being chased by a cricket wearing a top hat and carrying an umbrella (there is no name for the latter in the DSM-IV, but we have deemed it “Jiminiphobia”). (And son, if you’re still reading this, “LSD” is another way to say Mormon. Didn’t I tell you to go to bed?).

Monday, January 03, 2005

The House at Poop Corner

There is a knock at the door.

“Who is it?”

“Honey, it’s me. Are you OK?”

“I’m fine.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m taking a dump.”

“You’ve been in there for a long time. Is everything alright?”

“Everything’s fine dear. Can you just give me a few minutes please?”

“OK. Bye.”


A moment later, there is another knock at the door.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, daddy.”

“What do you need, bud?”

“Well, I just want to know if you wanted to play with me.”

“Yeah, I do. I really do. Can you just give me a couple of minutes?”

“Why can’t you play now?”

“Because I’m going poo-poo, buddy.”

“OK. Come and find me when you’re done, OK?”

“OK. Bye.”


A few moments later, another knock.

“Who is it?”

“Daddy!”

“What do you need, peanut?”

“Daddy! Barney!”

“Honey, I’ll put Barney on for you in a minute, OK?”

“Noooo! Barney, daddy! Barney!”

“Sweetheart, daddy’s going poo-poo. Can you go ask mommy to help you with the Barney tape?”

“Nooooo! Daddy do it! Barney!”

“Barney’s dead, honey. Daddy killed him with a chainsaw.”

“Waaaaaaaaaaah!”


A minute later, another knock.

“WHO THE FUCK IS IT?!”

“Daniel, did you just tell our daughter that you killed Barney?”

“YES! GO AWAY!”

“Why? Why would you do that to her?”

“BECAUSE, WOMAN! I’M TRYING TO TAKE A SHIT!”

“Lovely. I guess your bowel movement is important enough to scar our daughter for life.”

“IT IS! NOW GO AWAY AND TELL EVERYONE TO STOP BOTHERING ME!”


A minute later, I glance over and find that there is no toilet paper. I holler out for assistance, but no one will come. They don’t want me to yell at them. They’re smart.

A minute later, I realize that I’m going to have to wipe my butt with my underpants.

I’m All, “Yeah, You’re A Total Shitwad”

I know this woman who is both a licensed clinical social worker and a complete dumbfuck weirdo. I find that to be a bit of a disturbing combination because when you talk to someone who is trained to deliver mental health care, you like to think that what they say is coming from a place of cognitive and emotional understanding. Yet this person, this dumbfuck weirdo, seems unable to comprehend even the basic tenets of interpersonal communication, let alone how to effectively read minds.

Today she was asking me to help her with something meaningless. She prefaced her request with a bit of a background story, and as the telling of this story droned on and on, I apparently began to wear the look of someone who couldn’t give two shits about what she was saying (I do that sometimes when I’m forced to listen to nonessential gibberish and self-congratulatory jibjab).

HER: “…and so what he asked me to do was have us work up just a simple description of how Tab X goes into Slot Y and forms this unbreakable bond, kind of like that old commercial where the guy Super Glues his hard hat to a metal beam and then hangs on for dear life. Remember that? Oh my God, that was so funny.”

ME: [Silence.]

HER: “You’re like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’”

ME: “No, I’m not like ‘Yeah, whatever.’” I was thinking. And don’t tell me what I’m ‘like.’ You don’t know me. Just shut your fucking mouth for a second.”

I have never known anyone who was so uncomfortable with silence, as if the flapping of her gums created the oxygen for all of planet earth and if she were to stop merely long enough to take a breath or pick that big piece of broccoli out of her teeth, life on earth would perish instantaneously and then she would never be able to buy that Kate Spade bag she’s been eyeing. The bitch.

[I will pause here to apologize profusely to those of you who are offended by profanity. It has recently come to my attention that my parents and some of my friends’ parents read this blog on a regular basis and I shudder to think that your image of poor, sweet, innocent little Danny Evans has been replaced by the image of a raging, potty-mouthed lunatic who shaves his eyebrows and can't keep his finger out of his nose and recently initiated a very public divorce with one of his toiletries. But, shit, I gotta be me.]

After I told her to shut up for a second so I could think, I asked her a few clarifying questions so that the bullshit hogwash she wanted me to write would be spot-on (I didn’t want there to be a rewrite, which would have necessitated another conversation with this shitwad and another 15 minutes during which I would be unable to take my eyes off of the offending broccoli).

She answered my questions with, “Oh, good questions. You’re all, ‘God, why can’t this idiot just tell me the whole story the first time around?’”

“No!” I holler. “I’m not all ‘God, why can’t this idiot just tell me the whole story the first time around?’ Will you please stop telling me what I’m ‘all!’ Don’t get me wrong – you ARE an idiot. But when I want you to know what I’m ‘all,’ I’ll tell you. I’ll say, ‘You know, fucknugget, I’m tired of your mouth. Zip it!’ And you know what else? You have a piece of broccoli the size of Des Moines in your teeth and I feel really sorry for that piece of broccoli because no poor vegetable should be subjected to your mouth for that long.”

Saturday, January 01, 2005

An Open Letter To My Hair Gel

Dear Dep Maximum Hold,

You know you’ve always been my favorite toiletry. There’s just no way to tell you how much all that we have been through together means to me. But sometimes people and their toiletries grow apart.

What I guess I’m trying to say is this: I think it’s time we both see other products.

Try not to cry, Hair Gel. We’ll always have our happy memories. You’ve ridden shotgun during virtually all of the watershed moments of my life. I applied you liberally the night of my senior prom, although you and I both knew the chances of reaching even first base with Wendy “The Maddog” Maduff that night were negligible at best. You stood by me all throughout the 1980s, supporting me when I alternately tried to style my hair like all of the members of Duran Duran, and that one time when I tried to mimic the radical hairdo of that fancypants singer from Flock of Seagulls. You never laughed. You never judged. You just…I don’t know…held.

And the night I married Hot Wife, you were right there under the stars with me, holding my yarmulke in place like a champ. I’ll never forget that. You weren't my Best Man, but you were definitely my Best Personal Grooming Article.

It feels funny to say this, Gelly, but I’ve found someone else. It’s a pomade. It understands that I’m in my mid-30s now and as my hairline recedes I’m going to need to do more creative things with my hair than just rubbing you through it and walking out the door. I need body. I need spirit. I need people to know that I don’t believe the wet look is still in vogue and that I don’t still harbor some twisted desire to look like Billy Idol.

Of all the breakups I've ever had with toiletries --- spray-on deodorant (not good for the environment), tooth-whitening strips (didn't work), Listerine (tasted like stale pig piss) --- this is by far the hardest on me, Gelly. You've done nothing wrong. We've just grown apart. We're different people now (well, you're not a person, you're an inanimate tube of chemicals and dye, but you know what I mean).

It's me. It's not you. Know that.

I wish you nothing but the best, Hair Gel. Good luck, and thanks for everything.

Love,
Danny