Tuesday, October 21, 2014

‘You can’t clock a toilet’ and other disputable facts

It’s cute the way kids talk. Until it isn’t.

A speech therapist mom and writer dad, we work in words all day long, and as such, our girls are far less likely than most kids their age to get away with poor speech. I mean, we’re not over the top—we’re not using flashcards like Rick Moranis in Parenthood—we just feel as though they’re at the age now where it’s important for them to pronounce things correctly. Ya’ know, to learn and stuff.

Which is fine … until they manage to drag you down with them into the abyss of meaninglessness.

They say pick your battles as a parent, and it’s true. It’s not that I pick the wrong battles—although I do—it’s that, once engaged, I get strung along on an adventure that is so far away from the initial point I was trying to make, I end up alone and left for dead on the island of confusion. If I didn’t know better—although I don’t—I’d say they do this intentionally. To wit:

Me: Anything exciting happen at school today, girls?

Girl 2: Marley at school said the toilets were clocked.

Me: That’s a great story. (debating whether or not to even bother) (voice in head screaming “DON’T BOTHER”) (decide I shouldn’t bother) (can’t help it) And it’s not “clocked,” it’s “clogged.”

Girl 2: Yep. The toilets were clocked.

Me: Honey, it’s not “clocked.” It’s “clogged.” You can’t clock a toilet.

Girl 1: It was, Dad! I sawl it!

Me: OK first of all, it’s “saw,” not “sawl.” I don’t know how many times we have to go over this. Second of all, I’m not saying Marley was wrong about the toilets being clocked; I’m say—wait …

Girls: (in unison) SEE, DAD? (start giggling)

Me: Ugh! You girls get me so flustered. What I was saying was, I’m not saying Marley was wrong about the toilets being CLOGGED—I’m sayi—

Girl 1: DAD DAD DAD, can we watch “Wild Cracks” when we get home?

Me: Oh my GOODNESS. I’m in the middle of talking here! Do we really need to have the interruption conversation again? Sheesh. And for the millionth time, it’s not “Wild Cracks,” it’s “Wild Krats.” Ts, Ts. Like cats.

Girl 2: One time I sawl cats at school tomorrow.

Me: You can’t even be serious right now. I don’t even know where to start with th—

Girl 1: Dad, the way you clock a toilet is with poo. I know that for a fact.


Girls: (start crying)

Me: OK, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled. It’s just that I’m trying to get you girls to listen to what I’m saying. You need to speak the right way or people aren’t going to know what you’re talking about. A clock tells time; a toilet gets clogged. It’s not, “I sawl it;” it’s “I saw it.” Like a see-saw. You’re not going to want to be in first grade sounding like you’re 2 years old, right? Are you guys listening?

Girl 1: Dad?

Me: Yes?

Girl 1: So are we gonna watch “Wild Cracks” or what?

 "And I discovered the 'cats' she spoke of earlier were actually bagels. Other than that, I think she's ready for Kindergarten."

Note: This column appears in the 10/23 issue of The Glendale Star and the 10/24 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spam email of the week


I have a fund? I have fund. I HAVE A FUND!

My Dear,

I am Miss.Faith Okeke a Computer IT with central bank of Nigeria.

Good ol' "Mississippi" Faith Okeke - the Nigerian computer tech with a no-nonsense approach that belies her Southern charm. Coming to CBS this fall.

I am 26 years old, just started work with C.B.N.

I mean C.B.N. And now.

I came across your file which was marked X and your released disk painted RED,

Whew! That's a relief. Had my file marked XXX and disk painted GREEN made it to Nigeria, I would be very, very concerned. Phone calls would have to be made. Diplomatic relations compromised.

I took time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees and certificate but the fund has not been release to you.

Hmmm. That's annoying. When you almost pay a certificate you expect a fund release. That's just common courtesy. One would think I'd be aware of the fund not being released on account of not having a fund, but this is all news to me.

The most annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you, instead they let you spend money unnecessarily.

Earlier I was annoyed, but now I am really annoyed. I am going to send them an amount of money so exorbitant it will make them RUE THE DAY they caused me to spend frivolously.

I do not intend to work here all the days of my life,

I sense a change in theme here. Can we get back to talking about my fund?

I can release this fund to you

Thank you.

if you can certify me of my security, and how I can run away from this Nigeria if I do this, because if I don't run away from this country after i made the transfer, I will be seriously in trouble and my life will be in danger.

Isn't it just like "Mississippi" Faith Okeke to put her life on the line for me, a person she doesn't even know except for what she saw on my RED-X tape, which, if I remember correctly, was three hours of me trying and failing to make gnocchi from scratch.

Please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria, you may not understand it because you are not a Nigerian.

Don't use a mafia analogy and then tell me I wouldn't understand. I'm from New Jersey.

Speaking of New Jersey, shout out to Naughty by Nature:

If you ain't ever been to Nigeria
Don't ever come to Nigeria
Cause you wouldn't understand Nigeria
So stay the BLEEP out of Nigeria

 - "Mississippi" Treach

The only thing I will need to release this fund is a special HARD DISK

This is becoming very "that's what she said." You may not understand because you're not American and/or 11 years old.

we call it HD120 GIG.

This is some James Bond type ish right here. Even if our correspondence were to be intercepted by the Nigerian mafia, I am confident they would be unable to crack our complex HARD DISK code, and would have no idea how many gigs are in the HD120 GIG. So let's do this. How does this work?

I will buy two of it, recopy your information, destroy the previous one, punch the computer

Please don't punch the computer. The computer is innocent. Actually, you know what? Punch the computer. I don't care.

to reflect in your bank within 24 banking hours. I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, after which I will run away from Nigeria to meet with you. If you are interested.

Are you ... asking me out? Let's just say my HARD DISK just went up to 150 GIGs, if you know what I'm saying. You may not unders-

Do get in touch with me immediately,You should send to me your convenient tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re confirm your banking details,

Yes, let us communicate by fax for easy communications. The fax will be the easiest way. I just faxed you two things: a) my bank routing number and b) a picture of my fist to threaten your computer with if it asks you ONE MORE TIME to re-confirm my banking details, sheesh.

For phone conversation,please call me on +2348052520211

(pleasant woman's voice) Hello! You have reached the voicemail of the Nigerian mafia I mean C.B.N. If you know your party's extension, please dial it anytime. To obtain a certified copy of your personal HARD DISK, press 1 for RED, 2 for GREEN. If your personal HARD DISK is YELLOW, please hang up and dial 911. For Skip Allen, press 3. For Christian "the Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye, press 4. For "Mississippi" Faith Okeke, press 5. For all other calls, please fax us your bank account and routing number. It's the easiest way.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Christian Louboutin Bargain Sales

Let's do this.


Welcome to christian louboutin outlet, be in the front of fashion, Christian Louboutin shoes are welcomed.Christian Louboutin shoes are the shoes stylish women deserve to own.

Being stylish in itself is what earns a woman the right to have Christian Louboutin shoes, which are also stylish. And welcomed? Theoretically, a woman who punches puppies in their little puppy faces but who is also stylish *deserves* Christian Louboutin shoes. I hope the women of third world countries can rest easy tonight knowing the reason they don't have nice, expensive shoes is because they don't deserve them because they aren't stylish. So far, this email has its finger on the pulse of virtue and basic morality.

ANYWAY, I know nothing about women and have been fooled by emails before. Do you have photographic evidence that Christian Louboutin shoes are truly something women like?

This montage of crap is very helpful. Let's break it down:

YA'LL GOT THE NO-BOUTIN BLUES - Kanye West, prolly


??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? #SHOES


Even though the price of Christian Louboutin shoes isn't cheap at all, a pair of Christian
Louboutin can accompany with you for a long beautiful time.


You were not cheap
Like at all
But you have accompanied me on this long journey of life
Through the bad times
Like at that funeral
(I looked great)
And at that club where that hot guy bought me three vodka tonics
The time with you has been as long as it's been beautiful
Your heel never broke, even when my broken heart never healed
Christian Louboutin shoes, I deserve you
And you me 
Only now I realize 
The footprints on the beach were yours this whole time 

Besides, Christian Louboutin shoes are much cheaper if you know how to buy them online.Christian Louboutin Outlet are designed for women who crave for fashion.

Do you have any emails designed for women who crave English?

Whether you want to find trend shoes out for dating or shoes for holidays

Oh these old things? These are just my black and white MLK Day Christian Louboutin shoes to represent racial equality. I see you're wearing ... are those sandals? How pleasantly pedestrian.

or send them as a gift to girlfriend or your mother,

I can't buy my wife an Old Navy t-shirt without her finding a reason to return it, but yes - maybe I, 36-year-old straight man, should buy Christian Louboutin shoes FOR MY MOTHER.

Christian Louboutin shoes can satisfy you.

Like chicken soup for the soul. A dark, dark, disturbed soul.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scared snap-less? Seatbelt strategy stymied

When we embarked on a family drive to my grandparent’s house when I was young, we would pass this large building. There was no signage out front, and I was always curious as to what the building was. One day, as my dad drove us all to Mum and Pop’s, we inevitably passed it, and I finally asked my dad about the building.

My dad, while spying me through his rearview mirror said, “Oh, that? That’s the Seatbelt Federation building. They monitor which kids are wearing their seatbelts in the passing cars, so if I were you, I’d get mine on LIKE I TOLD YOU WHEN WE LEFT THE HOUSE.”

I couldn’t get my seatbelt on fast enough. I’d like to say it was my childlike naïveté and not sheer idiocy that spurred me to action, but I’m pretty sure I was a teenager before I realized it was really a professional building that rented office space.

Fast forward some 30 odd years, to my daily routine of strapping two girls into their car seats. They’re both at the age now where they want to do everything on their own, never more so than during this process. “DAD, stop! I can do this!” Our oldest can, in fact, strap herself in; our youngest has only exhibited the ability to occasionally accomplish this feat, so I’ve taken to buckling her in but allowing her to snap the breastplate. This has been a happy compromise which has caused me to feel like a great father, if only for a few seconds.

Besides demanding they strap themselves in, they’re also questioning why they need to be secured in the first place. Knowing that delving into the topic of car accidents will only lead to deeper questions about death and Heaven, I’ve responded by telling them that if the police were to catch them without their seatbelts, I would get arrested and have to go to jail and eat scorpions. (Years ago, while trying to manage some behavior that I can’t even remember but for which my wife and I may or may not have led our daughter to believe could result in hard time, we informed our oldest that the only available cuisine in jail is dead scorpions.) Unlike my father’s tactic with me, I believe this information has intrigued the girls more than it has scared them straight.

Last week I was driving them home from school after the usual routine of allowing the girls to strap themselves in. For some reason—likely because I was juggling “Frozen”-themed backpacks and multiple construction paper projects while trying to field questions about why we can’t immediately go swimming—I neglected to ensure our youngest had properly snapped her breastplate.

At a red light about five minutes into our drive home, on realizing her sister was not properly strapped in, our oldest pounced on exposing the misdeed. “DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD SHE DIDN’T SNAP IT SHE DIDN’T SNAP IT!” This was not panic out of urgency for her sister’s safety, by the way, but unhinged excitement at the thought of her sister being in trouble.

I quickly turned around, snapped the breastplate and, while taking my fair share of culpability, delved into lessons about trust, danger, and responsibility.

At the next red light, I turned around to see if either of them had absorbed anything I had been saying. They hadn’t, of course, best evidenced by the super-intense glare of our oldest out the opposite-side window. “What are you looking at?” I asked as I turned to see for myself.

It was a police car waiting in the lane right next to us. By the time I turned back around, our oldest was flailing her arms, furiously trying to get the officer’s attention while also pointing at her sister and yelling, “ARREST HER! ARREST HER! SHE WASN’T STRAPPED IN! CAN YOU HEAR ME? ARREST HER!”

Thank God the windows were closed and the light turned green before she actually got the officer’s attention and started lobbying for my arrest, too. Yet again, trying to implement a parenting strategy of yore backfired.

Oh well. Nothing left to do now but fess up to the Seatbelt Federation, which I did in a formal letter. Waiting to hear back.

Note: This column appears in the 10/16 issue of The Glendale Star and the 10/17 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Re

I hate you.



I hope you don't mind me contacting you.

Not at all, Dmitriy Golovin [nikogdin@yandex.ru]! I am just sitting here at my full-time job for which I have a laundry list of daily responsibilities that - let's be honest - can wait while I open this email regarding nothing that was sent to me by a robot with a misspelled name that is at at odds with the BS email address for which it's associated.

What's good, Dmitriy?

I enjoy collecting souvenirs from various corners of the wide world and this has turned into a hobby.

OK. This is good for me to know. I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU DMITRIY. I wish you a long, fruitful existence of caressing your souvenirs lovingly when you are not busy sending out emails to random people about how much you love your souvenirs. Is it OK if I get back to work no-

I was hoping that you would be kind and send me a little something.


I have received gifts from all over the world, including handles,


Dear Dmitriy,

Thank you for reaching out to me via email. I am thrilled to participate in your affection for worldwide souvenirs. Within this package you will find one of our country's famous handles. We are renown for using handles to carry things, and I don't think I'm being immodest to say that our country's handles are by far the best handles you can find anywhere in the world. I ripped this one off my mother's luggage, which she won on our country's version of "The Price is Right." (Here it is called "How Much For Everyday Thing, Prisoner?") Please enjoy and stay bless.

Love always,

Pooty Tang, South Americaland

badges, charms, coins, souvenirs with symbols of cities and countries.

Before I decide whether or not to grant your request, tell me, Dmitriy - how do all of these things make you feel?

It makes me very happy.


I would be very pleased if you would take the time to send me a small souvenir from a remarkable placeand.

We have so many remarkable placeands here near Phoenix, Arizona, it's going to be a real challenge to decide what to send Dmitriy! Maybe I will just send him the official badge of Arizona, which is Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Steven Seagal standing on top of a border fence while holding guns in the air under the caption "DON'T TREAD ON US." It's very beautiful, and all I have to do to get one is join their posse for a time period not to exceed six years.

Excuse me if for some reason you get my letter again.

"Forgive those who are redundant in their efforts to gain worldwide souvenirs." - 11th commandment

Thank you for taking the time to read my email, I would be very grateful if you would be able to help me.

Kind regards


Thank you for your kind regards, Dmitriy, and it's been my pleasure to read this email. Now, what is your address so I know where to send the Steven Seagal badge?

My address
Golovin Dmitriy

Your indecision regarding which of your names comes first will allow me to pay the postage on this with confidence.

str. Uralskay 8/1-19

Hmmm, not seeing a zip code there. Thankfully, my full-time job affords me certain mailing-related advantages. So let me just run this through my trusty address confirmation machine and se- (large explosion that can be seen from outer space)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Congratulations!! Your Payment Is Ready (States Federal Reserve)

I wasn't expecting a payment, but the double exclamation points on this congratulatory email from the federal government speak to the legitimacy of my situation. I have butterflies of excitement in my tummy.

Date:- 22/09/2014

Totally real department of the government? Check
I'm a fraud victim? Check?
Payment code? Check.
Recent date written almost accurately? Check.

This all checks out.

Attention:- Beneficiary,

Call me Mike.

It has come to our notice that you have been defrauded of your hard earned money by fraudsters from Africa and the rest of the world.

DANG AFRICAN FRAUDSTERS! (shakes fist to the sky) Welp, at least justice is being served, even if there is no detail regarding exactly how the fraudsters have been defrauding me of my hard-earned money so that maybe I can adjust my spending. Whatevs. Point is that: haters goin' hate; fraudsters goin' defraud.

(Shout out to "the rest of the world" for playing second fiddle to Africa. In the game of worldwide defrauding, it's Africa versus the field, and Africa is #winning.)

During the last Anti-Fraud meeting held in Washington DC USA,


it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world on the loss of fund by various foreigners to scam artists operating all over the world today.

Is there no such thing as a spam email editor? I mean really guys. Let me get this straight though:

During the last anti-fraud meeting (not a real thing), the rest of the world was alarmed by how many foreigners (how do we define "foreigners" in a worldwide context?) are being scammed by the rest of the world? Yes? OK, got it.

After the meeting, we have decided to redeem the good image of African Countries,Therefore,an immediate payment of $10,500,000.00USD (Ten Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) has been ordered for each of the affected victims.

United Nations: Africa, what's the deal, yo? Your fraudsters keep stealing money from everyone.

Africa: What? Pffft. Naaaah.

United Nations: Africaaaa ... ?

Africa: ...

United Nations: ...

Africa: OK fine we did it.

United Nations: We think you should give back the money.

Africa: OK. But only to redeem our good image, NOT because we don't like money.

United Nations: Wonderful. How much per person, so that we can alert the affected parties via email?

Africa: (punching numbers into calculator) Uhhh ... $10.5 million each.

United Nations: Seems fair.

Fill the required information below so that we can start processing the release of your funds.

1-A Copy Of Your Identity

Media pass to 2008 spring training games attached.

2-Current Home Address For Delivery

8675309 Boner Road
Rest of the World, Earth 12345

3-Date Of Birth



Fraudster Publications Manager

In this
regards,You are to contact the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Mrs Janet Yellen on her private email so as to attend to your email response swiftly: (jan.yellen@aol.com).

OK, I will email all of my personal info to the vice chairman of the federal reserve at her AOL account. I normally wouldn't do this, but some causes - in this case, restoring Africa's image (and also me getting $10.5 million) - transcend "gut feelings." Besides, those are just butterflies.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Purchase

Seems like this person would like to purchase a newspaper subscription. I can help with that.

My name is Jeff Wilson and i will like to know if you carry (SPRINKLERS) for sale.

I have three things to say, Jeff Wilson:

1) wtf this is a newspaper, get a hold of yourself, man.
2) I'm not sure you understand how to use parenthesis.
3) Yes, we do.

If yes , reply me back with your website so that i can select the one that am interested in purchasing from your company

Have you tried Googling "SPRINKLERS?" It is likely a more efficient means of attaining SPRINKLERS than emailing the publication manager at a weekly community newspaper, especially considering newspapers and SPRINKLERS have had a long adversarial history. That said, our website is https://newspaperSPRINKLERS-select-your-favorite-one-by-checking-this-website.edu.

also i will recommend a freight company for the picked up.

Geez dude how many SPRINKLERS do you need? J/k I will send the SPRINKLERS via your recommended SPRINKLER courier service. How about UPS(PRINKLERS)*?

*that is how you use parenthesis**
**you just got served

Thank You

You're welcome, Jeff Ellipses.