Tag Archives: humor

There’s a Right Way to Put Your Dog to Sleep (GQ)


The author (in black), his brother and Cutty, circa 1991, judging by our oversized Ocean Pacific shirts, probably

.GQ — Despite the name they gave my dog, my parents were not alcoholics. Far from it. I’m not sure we actually had any booze in the house when I was a kid, and if we did it was probably in a Notre Dame commemorative placekicker bottle, purchased from Service Merchandise with a coupon. We did have a Scotch terrier mix though, and her name was Cutty. Cutty Sark. Like the Scotch.

Cutty was an adorable and slobbery wet mop known for her thick black fur, dragon breath, and scant bladder control. (Seriously, best dog ever, but if you’d brought one of those hotel-room black lights to our carpet, you would have seen nothing but a minefield of long-dried puddles. If I’d had girls over, it would have been a problem. It was not a problem.)

There was a lot to like about Cutty: She could smile on command (though it might have been a growl; dog expressions kind of all run together), she could catch mice (which came in handy when you live in a 400-year-old house on some county road in Indiana), and she could consume an entire box of twelve chocolate Santas in one sitting, although the subsequent 24 hours are something I’d like to forget. And without going all Charlie Brown-and-his-Snoopy on you she was a loyal and often damp friend to me for nearly 15 years, which is probably why it fell to me to put her down.

Read the full story here.




The 10 Worst Couples You’ll See at the Gym (GQ)

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GQ — Welcome to January! If you’re like us, you spent the entire last month alternating between platefuls of Honey Baked Ham and a forest’s worth of peppermint bark—which now means ’tis the season for panic-stricken exercise.  And with that newfound motivation comes the temptation to bring your significant other along for a good public workout. That’s fine in theory, but it can go wrong in so many different ways. Next time you’re at the weight-bench, running-trail, cardio-mambo class or whatever, look around and see how many of these gross generalizations are sweatin’ to the oldies next to you. And then make sure you’re not one of them yourself.

12 Kids’ Book Characters Who Are Not To Be Trusted (NickMom)



NickMom — Yeah, don’t act like you haven’t thought about it.

The full version over at NickMom.




I Make My Junior High Band Debut at Age 39


This thing is harder than it looks, man.

Island Packet — I don’t want to make a big deal of this, but I performed at my first-ever junior high band concert last week. Stage and spotlight and my mom in the audience taking pictures and everything. It was a pretty big milestone, especially since it was a concert for fifth-graders and I’m actually 39 years old.

See, I never participated in band in junior high or high school for one very simple reason: I didn’t have to. (To be fair, I also possess the approximate musical talent of a sack full of jelly donuts, but it was mostly that first one.) I wasn’t just going to go “joining the band,” man, I had important demands on my time, such as getting really into pro wrestling for three years, learning to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 using only muscle memory and thinking very hard about maybe possibly one day asking a girl out. Band for me was not mandatory. Band at my son’s school is mandatory.

That’s pretty great, of course. Schools across the country are slicing away everything from band to PE to art to textbooks with evolution and climate change in them, so we’re incredibly lucky to have the 10-year-old enrolled in a place that not only prizes music education but also punches you in the face with it.

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Photography Turns My Generally Pleasant Son Into a Sobbing Red-Faced Mess

This is actually a pretty good one.

This is actually a pretty good one.

Island Packet — My younger son, 3, is a delightful little potato of a child. Where his older brother was cautious, he’s unguarded and impulsive. Where his older brother was quiet and thoughtful, he’s boisterous and shouty. Where his brother can subsist for weeks on Clif bars, microwaved bacon and blue Gatorade, he’ll shovel down three slices of pizza in one sitting and then, upon being put to bed, report with precious sincerity, “I need to eat a Pop-Tart.”

He’s a physical, external, gregarious little Weeble person, except in pictures. In pictures he’s a sobbing red-faced mess who, according to the photographic record I’m establishing anyway, lives the approximate life of a Dickens sweatshop orphan, only without all the whistling and hope.

I cannot figure out why this is, if for no other reason than the sheer volume of pictures that exist of him. I take a lot of pictures. A lot of pictures. Whenever the Apple people upgrade their iCloud storage, they check with me first. There are a couple of buildings on the Google campus named after me. This guy from Life magazine called once to be like, “Dude, is everything OK?” It’s a lot of pictures, is what I’m saying.

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The Secret Fast-Food Menu Items OF THE DAMNED (GQ)



GQ — As if we needed further evidence that the whole secret menu craze at fast-food restaurants has jumped the shark, yesterday a latte enthusiast named William E. Lewis Jr. ordered himself a very much off-the-menu XXXXL cup of coffee including 101 shots of espresso and 17 pumps of vanilla syrup.

What’s next? We got to guessing. Below, the eight next secret-menu items we expect to see:

Burger King: America Burger. It’s just a regular burger, but every time you take a bite an air horn goes off and the chorus of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” starts playing.


Read the full list here.




Attention, Teachers: If My Son Seems Tired Tomorrow, It’s Probably Because of Pearl Jam

pearl-jam-jeff-vrabel-eddie-vedderIsland Packet — Soooo everyone here would take their 10-year-olds to a Wednesday night rock concert in a far-away city, right? That’s an acceptable parenting decision? Because I kinda sorta did this, and the response so far seems to be evenly split between “He’ll remember it his whole life” and “You are a negligent monster and we’re kicking you off the PTO.”

I agree with them both, because I started out the night with a fifth-grader whom I wanted to expose to new experiences, but left the show carrying my sleepy baby because he fell stone-cold asleep in an arena chair.

There I was last night with my son at a Pearl Jam concert, a good two hours away from his night-night books, bed and the school he was required to attend at 7:40 a.m. the next morning. And there he was, sound asleep, curled up in the chair like a precious little angel, albeit one surrounded by guys carrying 60-ounce beers and shout-singing lyrics from college. Given the chance, the kid will tuck himself into bed under a bundle of blankets and stuffed bears and read Percy Jackson books until 11:30 each night, but take him to a concert and it’s “Ohhh I’m sleepy at 9:30, did you bring a pillow?”

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Fish Are Expendable As Pets, There, I Said It


This was easier to find on Google than you think.

GateHouse — First, a confession: I murdered about eight fish this summer.

It wasn’t my fault, and by that I mean it was entirely my fault. The tale is long and tragic, but the short version is that when you’re driving a moving truck, it’s best to not leave Tupperware containers full of goldfish on the floor of the cab, because that floor gets hot. And that makes the water hot. And that makes the fish hot, and dead, mostly dead. If there was a bright side, though, the cab smelled delicious. (And if it makes you feel better, the frogs survived, right up until I transferred them into my new fish tank and they immediately perished, presumably from comfort.)

Second confession: I don’t have much experience with taking pets for operations. I’ve only done that once in my life, and it was with a dog, and it was less an “operation” and more “the last walk she ever went on, if you’re catching my drift.” But I do know this: Cutty’s non-operation would have been expensive, prohibitively so, and as much as we loved her, and as cold as it sounds, it wasn’t feasible. And that was for a dog, an animal that can interact with you, slobber on you, provide “unconditional love and companionship” or whatever for you. I can’t imagine what our financial cutoff would have been for a fish. Wait, yes I can. It’s zero.

Because fish, let’s be honest, are expendable. There, I said it. I realize I’m inviting volumes of hate mail from the nation’s lively lobby of fish fans, but I’m not too worried. Their influence lately has been… scaled back. I pretty much think they’re… fin-ished. Do you see what we just did there, how veered from an emotional moment about euthanizing the dog of my childhood to idiotic fish puns? We’re all about versatility today.

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The Day They Let the Fifth-Graders Work From Home


This is basically what it looked like, except with slightly less unhinged stock-photo joy.

Island Packet — I am lucky enough to work from home, which is pretty great. I don’t have a commute, or problems with the printer, or cubicle-mates. My wardrobe is usually somewhere between “daily jeans Friday” and “Jimmy Buffett concert.” I work on porches and eat a lot of waffles on the clock. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a lot of jobs where waffle consumption has been this acceptable. Pretty much just this one and that one summer I robbed a Waffle House.

But working from home works because I’m 39. I can segment my time, establish a block here for working, a block there for lunch, 10 minutes here to change the laundry, 10 minutes to run to the coffee shop. I can do that because I’m old. I’d have been terrible at it in fifth grade.

I bring this up because my 10-year-old was home on Tuesday for what is known in his school as an “E-Day.” You might think the “E” stands for something critical, something so extraordinary as to warrant parents taking the day off. Like “Evacuate the school!” or “Excused! You’re excused because you’re sick.” But no. The “E” stands for “electronics,” and it’s a day — a mere two weeks into the school year — when kids are supposed to stay home and learn.

There are going to be three more of these things too.

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In Which I Try To Convince a Grown Woman That You Shouldn’t Eat Babies

A-Calm-Reasoned-Argument-For-and-Against-Eating-Your-Cute-Fat-Baby-by-Kim-Bongiorno-and-Jeff-Vrabel Let Me Start By Saying — This week, over at the great Let Me Start By Saying, I make a thoughtful, reasoned argument for why you shouldn’t eat babies. I feel this is a pretty logical point, but there appears to be some pushback. Read the entire debate here to find out exactly how I lose.   . .


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