Games People Played

gamesI was shocked to see a child ride past my office window on his scooter. Thought all kids did after school was play “kill things” video games. (Yes, here comes another back-in-my-day rant.) Not only was this child on a scooter, it was a self-propelled scooter. Amazing.

One of the reasons children stay in their little cells called “rooms” is because the media has convinced their parents that if the children go outside, they’ll be kidnapped, raped, and murdered. Guess it’s more humane to kill your children slowly with fast food.

Anywho, back in my day, we spent as little time as possible inside. We wolfed down food, and flew from the house every chance we got. Once I turned teenish, I discovered bare-naked titties on HBO–tuned between channels three and four–and spent less time outside. Still, as much as I looked forward to the next set of glorious black-and-white glands, my greatest love was to be outside playing games with my buds.

Aside from the ordinary games such as basketball on a slanted driveway, wiffleball in a small yard, and football on any random piece of land with few trees, we created and played various games, and I admit that some were quite violent.

  1. Fumble-Rumble: I think this might have been called “Kill the Queer” before sensitivity training. All we needed was a group of guys and a football. If you had the ball, everyone simply pounced on you until someone got the ball away from you, then it was his turn to get pummeled. I’m unsure what the object was, but I was smart enough to drop the ball quicker than a girlfriend with a lip sore.
  2. Capture the Flag: This was usually played in the dark. Two teams would be formed. Each would hide a piece of cloth somewhere on their side of the yard. There was an imaginary boundary midway between the teams. If you crossed it and were tagged, you had to return to your base (some tree in the back of your half). Folks, running in the dark in the days before electric clothes dryers was precarious at best–hence, the term “clothesline.”
  3. Tick-Tacking: We’d husk old corn (hard as rocks), sneak up on houses where we’d see some old fart reclining with a pipe and a paper, then chuck fist-fulls against the aluminum siding. Made quite a racket. Not sure why that was fun. Oh, we’d also take bars of soap and write dirty words on parked car windows.
  4. Pyromania: One of our buds would have the cool father–the one who never grew up. That father would venture to North Carolina, and bring back firecrackers and sparklers. We’d have Roman Candle battles, and throw lit sparklers at each other. Our fathers would beat us for leaving the sections of burnt wire all over the yard, which would become dangerous projectiles while mowing the lawn. We’d also blow up mailboxes … because. When we discovered the interesting effect magnifying glasses have when combined with the sun, we’d burn ants, leaves, and friends … because.
  5. Bang: Nothing is much cooler to a kid than making a loud noise. We’d buy explosives (yes, completely legal for an eight-year-old to buy gunpowder in the form of rolls of caps back in the day), grab a ball peen hammer from Pop’s toolbox, and proceed to deafen ourselves by striking rolls of caps on the sidewalk.
  6. Jump Off Shit: Kids don’t comprehend gravity very well. Must be caused by all the movies, cartoons, and pro wrestling we watched. We’d make ramps, and skin/bruise ourselves as we went over them on bikes and sleds. No material to build a ramp? No problem! Jump off stairs and rooftops. Heck, a carpet or pile of leaves should break the fall. Ow, my head.
  7. Throw Things at Things: I didn’t develop my pitching arm by throwing baseballs. The older kids in the neighborhood pelted me with snowballs, dirtballs, and walnuts, so it was either learn to catch and throw back harder, or be a sissy baby. Often this was as simple as find a can, put it on a branch (or have little brother hold it), then knock it off with rocks. When this bored us, we discovered moving targets. Living next to a busy street presented many prime wintertime targets. We’d toss balls of ice, trying to hit cars going around 50mph. What’s a few dents? Back then cars got dented. Nobody gave two shits. But, when one exceptionally no-fun-having driver would pull over and chase us, that was the stuff legends were made of.

I could go on, but most of my readers were dressing Barbie and Ken while I damaged my internal organs. Sorry, ladies. Let’s just hope you don’t have any boys like me.

Having a two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.

embgirl(quote by Jerry Seinfeld)

There are times when I wear my vasectomy scars proudly. When I see a bubbly little girl jogging around the kitchen while giggling, I think about how cute she is and, for a moment, I wonder if I’m missing out on one of Nature’s finest blessings. Then, she stops, puts on a miner’s expression, begins digging at her girlie bits, and attempts to appease her horrified parents.

“I’m not itching my va-gin-a.”

This is when I realize my testicles are best left disconnected, because I’m certainly unqualified to respond in a proper way.

“No? So, what exactly are you doing?”


“Go wash your hands.”


“Because … OH MY GOD. Stop smelling your hand.”

“It’s not dirty, daddy.”

“Look, we talked about this. If your va-gin-a itches, you must excuse yourself to the bathroom and scratch it in there, so nobody can see.”


“Because it’s not polite.”

“What if I scratch it through my chonies?”

“No, honey. Not when people can see you.”

“I can use a wooden spoon.”

“No. Sweetie, please make Daddy happy and go do that in the bathroom. When you are done, wash your hands.”

“But, you scratch your va-gin-a.”

“Daddies don’t have va-gin-as.”


“No. Daddy has a penis.”

“Is it itchy?”

“Honey, I don’t scratch my penis, but if I needed to, I would excuse myself to the bathroom, close the door, scratch it there, and then wash my hands.”

“Why? Is your penis dirty?”

“Can’t believe I’m having this conversation with a child. No, sweetie.”


“Fine. Look, baby, it doesn’t matter. Anything that is itchy below your belly button needs to be scratched in private. That’s why they’re called privates.”

“What if my toe itches?”

“Right. Let’s say above the knee and below the belly button. If it needs attention, do it in the bathroom, alone, and then wash your hands, whether the area is clean or not.”

“OK, Daddy. Now my va-gin-a itches, so I’m going to the bathroom to scratch my va-gin-a.”

“And, I forgot to mention this but you should not announce what you are going to do; you should just excuse yourself, and go do it.”

“My hiney itches now.”

“Is your hiney between your belly button and your knee?”

“Daddy, why is Grandma laughing at you?”

“Honey, take your fist out of your butt and concentrate. Is your hiney in the area where you should only touch it in private?”

“I’m not sure. I can’t see it.”

“It is.”

“I’m going to check in the mirror.”

“Check the mirror in the bathroom, and wash your hands when you are done.”

“I saw Mommy checking her hiney in the mirror.”

“Thank god. Your turn, honey.”

Any daughter of mine would certainly torture me with unanswerable questions:

  • Where do brown babies come from?
  • Why can’t I have a cookie? You have a cookie.
  • How come Symon keeps sniffing Syd’s butt, and making funny faces?
  • If I’m a girl, why don’t I have boobie bumps?
  • Is your daddy a hairy monkey?

Why the sudden population explosion of Mommy Bloggers?

They need to vent.

It’s no use venting to men, unless they are gay. Men won’t be able to relate, and they’ll sit there in a catatonic state, staring at the remote while hoping to witness an acute laryngitis attack.

Mommies are under lots of pressure to manage herds of unappreciative tiny people. These subjects are uncoordinated, somewhat unclean, malnourished, and they have no sense of time. If these people worked for you, they’d be terminated, unless you were Uncle Sam.

Fortunately, most of these mommies get their occasional nights away from the inmates. I study these herds. There’s usually a nucleus of frazzled ladies, gulping martinis, while beginning most diatribes with “Oh, you haven’t seen anything.” There are a few outliers in each pack. The happiest is usually the elder, who has ordered her inmates to vacate and visit infrequently. She recalls those trying days, and is glad to have escaped with some sanity intact. Of course, she probably didn’t have the luxury of hammering out 500-word vents to the cyber world. She sucked it up, took her lumps, and healed with alcohol. The other outlier is the silly, childless girl strolling down the aisle toward oblivion. All she wants to do is drink, dance, and kiss cute boys. She’s frightened by the state of the Mommy Bloggers, but she’s confident she’ll never become one. And, the MB world chuckled maniacally.

On my way to Taco Tuesday, I was approached, surrounded, and overtaken by a Mommy Blogger and her subjects–two boys, two girls between 8 and 13. My vasectomy was never so appreciated. Mommy was robotic and glazed-over as she shouted commands that were ignored. She reminded the monkeys they should be careful not to stumble off the curb into traffic, which was speeding by. Perhaps she secretly wished the man who impregnated her were standing within kicking distance, so she could admire his ass meeting bumper. The stumbling boobs circled the valet, got greasy hand prints on the front door of the fine restaurant, and began stealing candy from the hostess’ station as mommy mentally composed that night’s blog. I swatted one pest away from my knee, left the melee, and approached my temple–le bar.

After stuffing myself with tacos stuffed with carne asada, my attention was directed to a 50th birthday party table, occupied by a dozen or so bloggarinas. My teammate and I just had to stop by and say hi. I balked, but my man used penis-logic on me: He needed a slump-buster, preferably in the form of angry sex with a Mommy Blogger. I said it was unlikely. I was wrong. She had three children aged 11-15, large breastuses (his words, my thoughts), and five orgasms. All my bud could say is, “God, I love being me.” Then, he did the unthinkable–he showed me pictures. I’m sorry. I don’t mean the act of showing me was unthinkable. That was quite possibly the finest gesture I’ve received in months. The unthinkable part was that she would allow herself to be frozen in time–nipples up, clit down.

He remarked that, while she seemed stressed before their tumble, she seemed relieved thereafter.

“Perhaps, after dealing with three little menaces all week, she needed a slump-buster, which was you.”


“She was either going to take her frustration out on you or the blogosphere.”

“The what?”

“Right, you would have no reason to visit that dark planet. Look, just be happy that you’ve unloaded your love muscle and reloaded your spank bank.”

Kids, here’s your Uncle Phil encouraging you to continue aggravating your mommy so she continues venting in words and many other wonderful ways.

Welcome to the Cirque du Pool Noodles

Load the kidlets into your SUV and come on down to this lovely resort. Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just a childless curmudgeon who decided a peaceful respite might might get me closer to Cape Sanity. Silly man. You probably won’t even notice me sitting near the pool bar with my Kindle and SPF 1000. Why would you?

Ah, here you are, finally. Welcome!

I watch your clan as you approach with a human swarm of strollers, bags, children, cheese snacks, and flotation devices. You blend in perfectly with the rest of the entertainment:

  • Infants with chubby legs and wide-rimmed hats who can’t wait to be dunked into the pool so they can relieve themselves therein … kind of like their grandparents.
  • Two-year-olds coated in white glop who run around the pool like drunks in an obstacle course while you tell them (twelve times this hour) to “stop running or else.”
  • The four-year-old boy crying as you drag him around by one arm because he wants to leave and will cry when you try to leave because he wants to stay.
  • Six-year-old girls with blue lips and crooked goggles who cling to the side of the pool and ask you to watch.
  • The six-year-old son your husband decides to toss around the pool like a javelin. Don’t worry, it’s not technically abuse, regardless of the horror you see in your offspring’s face as he flails through the air into a belly flop and lung full of chlorine. What’s the harm in a few emotional and physical scars? They build character.
  • Eight-year-old boys who you have armed with pool noodles–especially the clever, new ones that they can fill with water and shoot at people who don’t want to get wet. Neat-o!
  • Ten-year-old girls who are bored.
  • Teenagers who pick their zits and check their phones incessantly.

Don’t infer from my sunglasses, earbuds, and the line of beers under my chair that I don’t enjoy your little circus. It reminds me why I had my man-ovaries disconnected. You’re a natural ring leader; I’m not cut out for the job. I’d be sedating the circus midgets and locking them in the room so I could burn in peace.

I see you’ve inspired a woman who proudly parades her baby bump around the pool with a bikini tucked beneath the flesh-colored medicine ball with an out-y. Her children would certainly not act like yours. They’ll behave.

Well, that was a fun weekend. Let’s do it again real soon. If you ever need a babysitter, you know who not to call.

Little Cesare

Since eliminating the possibility of offspring I’ve been having nightmares about raising two troublesome tykes–one of each gender. My son, Cesare, is ten-years-old and he’s a tyrant.

“I’m tired of leaving work to pick you up from the principal’s office. Next time your skinny ass is walking home.”
“Da-ad. You told me to stand up for myself.”
“You kicked a little girl in the vagina. What the hell is the matter with you, son?”
“Well, as it turns out, girls don’t have balls, so what was I supposed to do?”
“How about not kick her in the crotch, for one?”
“It’s your fault, anyway.”
“Really? How so?”
“She was making fun of my name, which you gave me. Thank you very little.”
“It’s tradition. The first son gets named after the grandfather.”
“My friends walk around with hip names like Connor and Tyler. I would have welcomed Joe or Bill for fuck’s sake.”
“Language! Your name is unique. You should embrace that. No little girl’s teasing should make you have a violent reaction.”
“She called me queasy Cesare, the pants pee-er.”
“That’s pretty clever, actually.”
“How’d you like a kick in the cunt, too?”
“I don’t have … ugh … hey! Watch your mouth!”
“You swear all the time.”
“That’s no excuse. I’m an adult.”
“Whatever. Say, why don’t we stop by the pub and grab a brew? You seem uptight. Maybe it would mellow your ass out.”
“I am mellow, damn it!”
“Right. Come on, Pop, let’s have a beer or six.”
“You’re not drinking beer. You’re ten.”
“Fine. I’ll have a cranberry rocks and be that cute kid all the chicks dig.”
“I’ll never understand why that works.”
“Just leave it to me. I got you, bro.”
“Just keep the monkey-love noises down after you bring the bar slut home. House is on tonight and I don’t want any distractions.”
“Well, what if the bar slut conveniently has a mini-slut with her?”
“Interesting prospect.”
“It happens. Maybe the mini-slut would want to get all freaky-deaky with Little Cesare.”
“No doubt. She’d need to wait until House was over. Do we have any wine?”
“Yes and no, you won’t be drinking wine.”
“No weed either.”
“You suck. It’s not fair. You get to use contraband to gain access and I’m left with my boyish charm and Pop Rocks.”
“What the hell does Pop Rocks candy have to do with it?”
“Oh, you didn’t know? They’re only the best thing since Altoids.”
“Best for what? Breath-freshening?”
“God, you are oblivious. Pussy eating, dumb-dumb.”
“Think about it–all of that fizziness causes vibrations and sensations. Next thing you know, lying next to you is a quivering lump of post-orgasmic sweetness.”
“Huh. Go figure.”
“See? We should hang out more. You could learn a thing or two.”
“You’re fucking TEN, slapnuts!”
“I’m an old ten. Now, how about that drink?”
“Fine, but you’re buying.”
“Fine. Hey, think you could advance me a fiver on the allowance, Pop?”