Mar 16, 2009


A couple of weeks pass by and they were not "uneventful."

In school, we were learning all about strangers and the dangers that surround them. We were being taught not to get in cars with strangers, or taking candy or gifts from them.

Although now being older and wiser, I can very honestly say that it's tough not to take things from strangers. They got the best candy and the coolest gifts. I'm just saying.

We were also taught to yell for help if a stranger comes to close to you, and to never walk anywhere alone.

All of this is very important and vital information for both parents and children. I may be telling a fun story today, but that doesn't detract from the importance of the danger children are in. But, I believe in teaching them to use common sense, which when applied liberally requires a lesser amount of scare tactics and will instill some confidence in the child that will prove very useful. I mean what's the point of teaching them about stranger danger, when they put themselves in a position where they are vulnerable. Wouldn't it be better to teach them how to avoid that particular situation by not being in it?

Sorry, that was a soapbox moment. I'll try to avoid them as much as possible in the future...although I won't guarantee that I'm going to try very hard. Hehehe.

On one particular venture to Sentry Foods (which if you can't tell by the name is a grocery store), my mother had told me that she didn't want a repeat of the Walgreen's incident.

She said we were only getting the essentials, and no "treats".

Which pretty much meant no Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, or Alpha Bits with marshmallows. No Pringles, Mr. Goodbar, or Hawaiian Punch. This was a quest for bread, milk, and eggs.

O.K. to be completely honest, I was disappointed, but I was going to keep my mouth shut.

I hadn't been allowed to join my mother on any shopping excursions for the last couple of weeks.

Yes, what I went through the previous two weeks was SO worth it!!

I was supposed to be a chubby child size robot that could walk but NOT talk. I was O.K. with that, I was so tired of going to the upstairs neighbors while Mom was shopping.

You know those babysitters or their homes that have the weird "soup" smell? That was the upstairs neighbors.

Anyway, I was the model of excellent behavior, and since we were walking Mom had some time to think. She said that since we were in a hurry, I could go look at the magazines.

I know what you're thinking. How could that speed things up? Since she was only getting a few things she could take the express lane which was located right next to the magazine rack.

I responded with a very subdued (although I was stoked) "Okay and thank you Mommy."

Oh don't look at me like that. I wasn't going to blow this opportunity.

We walked into the store, and with barely contained enthusiasm I made my way to the magazine rack.

I picked up the brand new Starlog Magazine, a Superman comic and a Captain America comic, planted my chubby six year old ass down and went to town. Page after page of pure joy, fantasy and heroics refilled my imagination.

"It's time to go."




"No Mom, please just five more minutes. Please?"

"NO. Were leaving right now"

She grabbed my left hand and...

The events that transpired actually took place in a span of about 10 seconds, but I am going to slow it waaaaay down so you have a picture perfect image about what took place that late afternoon.

"No Mom, please just five more minutes. Please?"

"NO. Were leaving right now"

She grabbed my left hand and...

I yelled "Stranger stranger!!"

Her hand was still gripping mine and became vice like.

Her normally calm demeanor disappeared.

Later in life I would read lines like this from a lot of different sources 'a burning rage just below the surface', but on this particular day, I actually saw what it looked like.

"CUT IT OUT!" My Mom whispered through clenched teeth.

The manager of the store was in the Customer Service desk which was right behind the rack of magazines where all the drama was unfolding.

He immediately stood up, stared directly at my mom and with a steel edge in his voice he asked "Is something wrong."

At that moment the only thought in my head was "OH NO!!!"

I wouldn't be using curse words for another couple of years, but if I had know any at that time, you know damn well I would have used them all.

My body went rigid.

I whispered "No every thing's fine."

My body went into automatic mode.

I walked behind her dutifully.

She said not one single word.

Now that time has officially gone back to normal speed and is no longer in slow motion I knew I was a dead boy walking. But I was a dead boy with another Starlog. For some reason realizing that I was still holding onto the magazine, did not make me feel any better. I knew what was going happen when we got home.

All I can really say is that this time the punishment fit the crime.

And this time...NO.

It was NOT worth it at all.

Currently listening:
Second Coming
By Shotgun Messiah
Release date: 1991-10-22

Mar 12, 2009


It was a Saturday morning and we needed some medicinal provisions from the local Walgreen's.

Whenever we went to a store, I was allowed to go by the toys and the magazines by myself. As long as I followed the rule about asking for stuff.

The rule was simple...


On this particular shopping venture there was a brand new rule of conduct added.

"Do NOT talk to strangers!!"

It would seem I had this habit of going up to people and just talking to them.

Of course in my six year old brain, strangers were just people you didn't
know yet. When you start talking to someone new they are strangers,
that is until you get to know them and thus making a stranger, your

This made sense to me.

My mom disagreed. Then and now.

With the glare of death and the addition of this following statement "If you don't know who they are, they are strangers and you CANNOT talk to them. DO YOU Understand THIS?" convinced my brain that mom was not kidding this time...not even a little bit, not even a lot.

We arrive at the Walgreen's, and I made a beeline towards their toy section.

After perusing the toys, I headed towards the magazines.

I was looking at a Starlog (which is a sci fi magazine) that had some
Star Wars pictures on the cover, when one of those "strangers" came by
and picked up a copy of the same magazine.

Clearly remembering my mothers rules regarding strangers ("Do NOT talk to strangers!!"), I stared at the magazine and said very loudly "What's your name." This was not starting a conversation. This was just making a random statement that we kids are oft to do.

As you can see, I am following my mothers instructions.

"Excuse me, but did you say something?" the stranger asked me.


Another one of my mom's rules was "Never be rude to adults." She was a firm believer in the "kids should be seen and not heard" philosophy. Of course when my sister would make her appearance six years later, she would be exempt from the "seen not heard" rule.

Clearly not answering this man, would be an INFRACTION to another one of her rules.

So this much smaller and cuter version of the guy typing this story for all of you to read restated "What's your name?".

"uh James, well Jim to my friends." answered the man previously known as the stranger.

"Hello Jim, my names Jose. Now I can talk to you because you are not a
stranger. You are Jim and I know that. Did you like Star Wars? It's
my favorite movie but I like Superman too..."

At that precise moment, well I Want to say that I heard my mom coming up behind me, but that wouldn't be completely accurate.

What I felt was a disturbance in the force.

Like the feeling of a million spankings were headed my way.

I actually felt that icy glare freeze the hairs on the back of my neck.

That, pretty much meant that the judge known as mom had just put my ass on trial, the jury known as mother had passed judgment and when we got home I would be facing the punisher known as very mad mommy.

I immediately went into "Save my butt" mode.

I mean that literally.

I told my mom that this guys name was James, Jim to his friend and that he likes Star Wars, and that I had followed her rules.

I didn't start talking to him.

I was talking to myself and he started talking to me.

I reminded her how she always told me not to be rude to grownups.

I repeated what I had said and then he said his name was James, Jim to his friends.

Now that I knew his name, he wasn't a stranger anymore.

That means I COULD talk to him.

I even added that according to the bible "we were all brothers and sisters."

She, of course, didn't approve nor appreciate the fact that I had found a loophole in her rule.

When we got home I didn't get a spanking. I got worse.

I received the "I'm disappointed in you" speech, and was then sent to my room.

Mom told me to sit in silence and to "contemplate my actions", and that's when I noticed something.

Much to my surprise I realized I was still holding the Starlog.

In all the excitement and fear I forgot that I had been looking at it.
Mom was so mad at me she didn't notice what was in my little grubby
paws either.

That night while in my room I sat on my bed reading and looking at my new magazine and contemplating my actions, I learned two things..

First, I learned about loopholes, and second that sometimes, the punishment was worth it.

Currently listening:
The Trinity Session
By Cowboy Junkies
Release date: 1990-10-25

Mar 9, 2009


Rules of Marriage: When the subject of that joke is the person you married, it's no longer funny and the upcoming pummeling will be painful.


Rules of Marriage: Telling that joke during a family dinner, not quite as funny.


Rule of Marriage: Masturbation jokes are funny.