Smile Politely

Random Access Memory

Initially, I thought having a week off from this column would be a welcomed break. I’ll be the first to admit there is little to no substance in what I write, but it still takes some effort to think of a topic and spew its details onto a blank page. In order to help be better prepared, I took some notes on my phone, as I often do, to record life’s delightful little nuances. Opening my notes, it became obvious rather quickly that the last two weeks have been a giant blur … apparently, I’ve been surrounded by a haze so thick that I didn’t even understand the notes I had taken. So, rather than being of any use, I read them with a tilted head and squinted eyes before shrugging my shoulders and pulling the following garbage out of you know where. I apologize in advance for the extreme lack of cohesion, and promise to do better next time.

Wise Guys

The children who live in my house are often just as difficult to understand as this week’s notes. Not that they don’t speak clearly, but, for example, since I sat down to write this, they’ve been repeatedly shouting, “Crazy fries!” “Tofu in my mouth!” And, “Who farted?” So, since I tend to be sober most of the time they’re around, and because I hear their voices all day long, they are my easy targets this week. 

It occurred to me recently that my four-year-old knows everything. He really does. No matter what you say to him, he responds with, “I know.”

“You need to go potty before we leave.” “I know.”

“You can’t have dessert until you eat your dinner.” “I know.”

“It’s not nice to repeat everything your brother says.” “I know.” 

My six-year-old, on the other hand, introduces all of his sentences with, “Know what?” Yes, before everything he says. “Know what? I set the alarm on my phone.” “Know what? My visor keeps the sun out of my eyes without getting my head sweaty.” “Know what? I’m going to wear my party shirt today.”

When I stopped to wonder why I was getting so annoyed by the constant din of their little voices, I realized it’s because this is what I hear all day, every day: “Know what?” “I know.” “Know what?” “I know.” “Know what?” “I know.” In an attempt to retain what’s left of my sanity, I took their rhetoric to the-chicken-or-the-egg level, and have been entertaining myself philosophically wondering which came first. 

Tids and Bits

Aside from that gem, the only other thing I can offer this week is some random bullshit that will likely do little to educate or entertain.

I saw two people in the parking lot of the Champaign Public Library open their car doors by putting keys into the locks. It looked so strange. Then I thought about how the only other people I know who don’t have those little “FOB” things to unlock their doors are avid readers. I scientifically concluded then and there that the more a person reads, the older his or her car is likely to be.

I think getting “Rocky Mountain Oystered” should be a verb, if it isn’t already. I know how I would define it, but in order to keep some level of taste here, I’ll let you come up with your own definitions.

I wonder if there’s any money in a “Find My Lighter” app.

I can’t eat popcorn with my right hand.

I think going from coffee to beer makes for a good Saturday.

I don’t think anyone can successfully wear denim on denim … I know I just broke a few hearts with that confession.

I let my kids play the instant lottery.

I still know all the words to Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes,” and the last time it came on the jukebox at the Brass Rail, I was the only one impressed by this realization. 

I want someone to write a joke involving Yule Brenner and Bruce Jenner.

And finally, I may have taken a half-full pitcher of beer off a table near my own after watching its previous owners leave it there. But there’s no way I would have done that had it been half-empty.

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