Archive for March, 2010

Land of Misfit Toys in the Attic

March 18, 2010

So last night as I was getting ready to go to bed — after, ironically, watching NBC’s Parenthood utilizing the TiVo® technology — The landline started ringing.  I wondered who died because the landland only rings when there’s either an emergency or someone is trying to sell me something I don’t want like a Democratic majority congress.  And it was 10:00…at night!  Who the fuck calls a man at 10:00 on the goddamn landline on a school night?  Why we still have a landline I don’t even know.  Not my decision.  When it rings I cringe.  So I answered to get it to stop ringing.

It was My Dad Homie™ Gavin on the landline.  And it was an emergency.  MDH™ Gavin was pulling one of those “assembly required” routines with some new plastic toy hecho en China for one of his lovely little (racist) offspring.  He called to express his dad-frustration at how “fucking cheap” this “fucking shit” is “fuck my life!”  Basically I got autodialed by 1-800-fuck-nut or some shit.  He wasn’t even at the assembly stage yet.  MDH™ Gavin was still fucking unpacking the shit.  He basically put the phone on speaker and proceeded to beat the shit out of the packaging.  Ha!  “It’s both fucking shrinkwrapped AND goddamn fucking twist tied to death” he noted.

I just hung up and went to bed.  I ain’t got time for this.  It was Wednesday and I had my weekly lovin’ to get to.  But as I was dozing off to dreamland (eight minutes later), I was reflecting on how bad kids toys do suck.  I grew with great toys like G.I. Joe with kung-fu grip.  Represent!  No Furbys on acid or any of that scary “batteries required” bullshit like LeapPad®.

I decided to do some toy research for MDH™ because I’m altruistic like that.

My daughter is on the cusp of 8 and I figured I’d ask her about toys.  I wondered what were some of her best and worst toys.  She’s an only child and I can talk to her like I do other adults (I was an only child too so I know).  So I asked her this morning, “Hey baby, what were some of your favorite toys and which ones were not so good?”  Get this, she answers, “Why are you asking me this?  What is this for?”  I had to negotiate for the information.

Anyway, I got the dope.  Here are the good toys (or things she spends time with):

  • Nintendo D.S. – I was resistant at first but I figured (and argued with her mother) that she should not be excluded from this skill set.  It would be something she and the other kids could have in common.  Well I never had expensive and cool shit like this so it was fun to hook the kid up.
  • Skateboard – Not some cheap plastic piece of shit, but a real Jr. sized skateboard complete with double tail and precision bearings.  I was a late ’70s, early ’80s LA skate rat so that was a no-brainer.
  • Bike – Not some cheap 300 pound piece of shit with white tires and tassels, but a real aluminum Jr. sized BMX.  I was a BMX racer so I wanted the hook the kid up.
  • Legos (doy)
  • Art Supplies (doy #2) – I had to start buying her her own supplies because she kept using my shit like she somehow owned it.  Now she has bins of supplies that I borrow like I somehow own it.
  • Razor scooterIt’s so fun!  I mean, for her.  I tried it to see what it was like a couple of times, but she loves it.
  • Cameras – My cameras, her mom’s cameras (doy #3) – We finally bought her her own camera since she became proficient using ours.  In fact, she taught me a thing or two about my new SLR that I never bothered trying.
  • iPod – Again, after basically stealing ours, we finally got her her own iPod.  Now the problem is I have to keep downloading shit for her.  It’s like I’m her Coolie, she buys more iTunes shit than I.  But the good deal is we can share music interests.
  • Trains – Do you know how much that Thomas the Tank Engine shit costs?  Thousands of dollars later we gave all that shit to a neighbor.
  • Tech Deck Skateboards – Just fun.
  • Books (doy)
  • Guitar – Uncle Rich from the Kingdom of Leisure sent her a real 1/2 sized electric with two real amps.
  • Drums (my drums) – She says she wants to take drum lessons.  I said study piano first.
  • Her American Girl Just Like Me doll.  Narcissistic kids!

At least it’s not all about me so shut the hell up.  Like MDH™ Gavin said, “You’re welcome, world.”


March 14, 2010


He knew I hated programming but he made me take classes in it because “It’s almost impossible to get fired.” He thought it would be a good career because it’s easy to get lost in the system so you can be totally incompetent and still make a good salary. Unfortunately, it’s hard to collect a paycheck after you’ve blown your own fucking head off.


My dad paid my tuition if I took math every year (this is Canada remember where tuition is about $1,500 a year). Have you ever taken Calculus or Algebra after say, high school? It is so fucking hard you have to: Not go out the night before, have a huge breakfast, bring a coffee, and sit in the very front concentrating your fucking ass off from the minute the (Chinese) professor (with terrible English) walks into the room. The exams would be a question like, “Find the surface area of 3x + y cubed spun about the z axis” and the answer would take the full three hours to write out – and I’d get it wrong.

Homework for these courses took about 80% of my free time and all the subjects I actually wanted to take suffered so my whole college experience was much shittier than it should have been. To this day I have no idea what a derivative is and only know it as, “You take the little number on the top right and multiply it by the big number at the front.” I have never used any of these stupid number tricks once in real life.


Again, it’s pretty hard to get fired once you’re in a union and you don’t have to work that hard. Thanks for the  vote of confidence old man. What am I, a fucking fugitive? Can we at least wait until I have a serious head injury before devoting my life to not being exposed?


When I finally had the opportunity to build my dream house, my wife and I went to the book store and bought up every book of plans we could find. We then hired an architect to help us amalgamate all our sketches into one, workable home. Dad said this was idiotic and suggested we get a prefab house shipped in from Florida.

To be clear, he was talking about a square shell that is 100% finished. You just dig a hole, pop it in, and add windows and some plumbing. Even the electrical is already there. This is a guy who moved us to one of those cookie cutter fake suburbs in the country where I often got lost because every street looked exactly the same. He loves the new house and has almost admitted he was wrong about the prefab thing.


Approximately 100% of kids nap up until they’re two years old. After that, a good half of them still nap until they’re three. According to the old man, this is lazy. Kids shouldn’t nap at all. That way they’ll really hit the sack when they do finally go down. He also doesn’t believe in bed time and let’s my daughter watch R-Rated movies until she simply passes out at 11:30. Sorry. “Let” my daughter. He’s not in charge of bedtime anymore.


Again with the fugitive shit only this time it’s about drunk driving. Apparently the secret to driving impaired is to be slow and cautious and not give the cops a reason to pull you over. This worked great for the first 3 months I had my license until I went to jail for drunk driving. It’s not easy to pull off a high-speed police chase when you obey the speed limit and indicate before every turn. My brother didn’t fare much better when he turned 16.


My dad grew up with bare cupboards so when he sees my full ones he yells, “I hate excess!” and runs to bed (true story – and he did it after he polished off my wife’s $30 wine she was saving for a dinner party). My dad pulled out all the ingredients above and chastised me for buying such ludicrous amounts of food. He actually said, while laughing, “If only they’d invent something that combines all these chips with all that fucking cheese and, what’s this stuff, S-A-A-L-Z-Z-A?” When I proceeded to put together some nachos he yelled that excess thing and vanished to his bed.


If my mother goes back to Scotland to visit family, my dad will simply not eat the entire time she’s gone. She’ll come back to a spotless kitchen with nothing but empty cans of Old Milwaukee. If things get really bad he may eat a loaf of bread or some raw spaghetti but for the most part it’s tea all morning and beer all night. It’s not uncommon for men in Glasgow to die of this habit which is why nobody there gets divorced. Without women, they starve to death.


My dad grew up poor in classist Britain and assumed looking weird would cripple me for life. One bad report card and I’d be stuck in a factory with green hair and tattoos while all the preppies told me when I could punch out. I had to hide my punk clothes in a bush by the bus stop because if he saw me leave the house like that, he’d rip my shirt off and replace it with a polo (which looks ridiculous when paired with a mohawk).

What he didn’t get is, teachers are usually School Spirit geeks that loved high school so much, they refused to leave. Punks to them are the kind of characters that make the yearbook exciting. As long as you kept your grades above a C, they’d spend most of the class blowing you under your desk.


This one’s a doozie. My dad always adamantly refused to be stamped at water parks or any kind of big event where they need to keep track of people. He’d always yell at the poor teenage bastard who was just trying to do his job, “WE’RE NOT BLOODY CATTLE YOU KNOW! THEY DID THIS TO THE JEWS! I DEMAND TO BE TREATED LIKE A FUCKING HUMAN BEING!” This bizarre line-in-the-sand always led to the manager having to come over and give him some kind of stupid laminant he’d have to wear around his neck for the rest of the day.

He disapproves of my brother and I allowing ourselves to be treated so inhumanely and will even give us shit if he sees we have stamps on our hand from going to some show the previous night. His rage on this subject is inversely proportional to our laughter.


March 13, 2010