Down the Hatch!

Well, good Friday evening!

What a day it was. It had Crazy Town Awards Ceremonies, kid meltdowns, one kid beating another kid with a girl’s bracelet, and some horseradish.

If you watched the recent Cone Off in the Park, then you will recognize The Organizer. Erin. She’s really, REALLY efficient. One day recently, she called me and said, “I think we should eat horseradish. For your blog.” Huh? Why? Well, because it will be torture and torture is funny. I agreed. Apparently, Erin showed up at the park last Friday with horseradish and spoons in hand. The only thing she didn’t have was me. And I was using a port-a-potty out in the middle of a forest. But I won’t take you down that nasty road again. You may or may not have already endured 4300 words about all of that.

So, today was going to be the rescheduled horseradish-off. I called her just to make sure we were still on. And then I called her again to ask what our goal was with this. And then I called her one final time to reconfirm what I had previously confirmed. There’s no real need to do this with an efficient person, but I am not efficient, so I had to keep calling. It did work out in my favor, though, because by the end of the third conversation, she had volunteered to pick up my kids (well, they’re not really mine…but they were in my charge today), bring the horseradish, the spoons, some Little Debbie Swiss Rolls to take the taste out of our mouth afterward, AND bring a camera. I couldn’t find my camera. It was hidden under a pile of non-efficiency.  And at the end of her list of what she was bringing, I said, “Then I’ll just bring me.” Awesome.

But back to that Cone Off for a second. If you saw that, then you know that Erin rocked that like she was born to eat that one melty ice cream cone from McDonalds. Three years later, I finished mine, long after even the 7-yr-old had savored hers. I came in dead last. But today, the results were different. It really wasn’t a contest, exactly. It was just a weird way to spend time. I don’t want to call it a waste, though, because I have a new talent and a new sauce for my hot dogs.

When you watch this video, take note of just a couple of things:

  • When I start yelling “I did it!”, you start watching Erin. It gets funny.
  • When Erin tries to talk, listen to her voice. She’s lost it. It wasn’t a put-on. She is practically suffocating here. It sounds a little like she swallowed a talking gerbil whole.
  • When she leans over, notice how close to vomiting she is. It would have been so awesome if she had. Vomiting is fun. Especially when it’s horseradish.
  • During all of this, her sweet daughter keeps trying to give her water to save her life.

Who knew that the girl who can’t handle medium picante sauce would be able to swallow a teaspoon of horseradish without a runny nose? It’s really too bad this is a worthless talent. And in case you are wondering if I am aware that I am a dork, I will answer that here. Yes, I am aware that I am a dork.

So Erin is still the most efficient person I know…except in the eating of straight horseradish.

Crazy Town

I feel like I just narrowly escaped from Crazy Town. I get this feeling sometimes when I have to sit too long in the waiting room of a pediatric neurology office or something similar. I do not usually get this feeling at a school awards ceremony. But today…today was special. All the crazies were out. And the principal did not have her manual on running things like a well oiled machine.

My child was called up to the podium within 5 minutes of the program starting. This is both good and bad. I was instantly rewarded for being there. But the bad of it was that I was trapped in a horrifying swirl of poor behavior and odd decisions for the next 45 minutes. And I no longer really needed to be there.

People watching has always been something I loved. I still love it, but I do like to pick a comfier seat when I am going to do a lot of it. But today I sat where I sat and I saw what I saw and now I’m going to continue my path toward drivel…

A large family came in and sat down to my left. They were pleasant enough, but there were a lot of them. With 1000 kids. Or 3. Either way, they were running amuck. Their daughter, the one who’d be receiving an award, was sitting directly in front of me, which meant that I was unfortunately part of their CONSTANT interaction with her. Had they been separated from her for weeks? Had she never received an award? I kind of doubt that was the case. Were they filming a documentary about Awards in the Western Hemisphere? I just don’t know. But it was nuts. And there was a 1-year-old who wanted to be with his sister during all of this. Pass the baby over the chairs. Baby walking back around. Baby getting up, baby sitting back down. Baby being passed over the chairs again.

Immediately to my right were The Wavers. Lots and lots of crazy waving at a set of twins that were in the same class winning identical awards. I’m just kidding. I have no idea what kinds of awards they won. I was in a coma by the time they got called up.

Even more interesting than what was going on in the chair-seated audience was what was going on among the standing-room-only set. These people were to my left. An interesting point–which seems obvious, but apparently isn’t–that should be made to this category of people is this: Even though you aren’t seated, we can still see you. And hear you. And oddly enough, the same rules of etiquette for a formal awards ceremony actually do apply to you.

Remember the dude I so awkwardly introduced myself to on the Boggy Bottom campout? James? Well, he was there, among the Standers. And unbeknownst to me, he also has a 1-yr-old. Jimmy was up front getting an award. Jimmy’s little brother was over-the-top proud of him. He was waving his arms and squawking wildly. And before I could even shake my head in disdain, that kid was running down the side aisle and jumping up on his brother. Typically we just stick with applause for these things, little Jimmy Junior. But maybe flesh piling is okay, too. I can’t believe I ever made my own children sit in the chairs quietly…

Also among the Standers was my son’s teacher. She had been sitting with her class until Telson started getting a little out of control. I’ve heard about Telson.  That’s like Nelson, with a T. Why don’t we do that with more names? If Nelson is good, why not Telson? Or Flelson? Or Yelson? Really. Why waste a perfectly good combination of vowels and consonants? Like Mark. That’s a good strong name. Why not Gark? Or Jark? Tark. I’m just saying. Anyway, back to Telson. He was sitting criss-cross applesauce (I cannot believe I just allowed myself to type that) at the teacher’s feet. Not 2 minutes into that “time-out”, a very scary dude walked up. One can only assume that was Telson’s dad. He wanted to know why Telson was over there in a time-out. The teacher began to explain and he began to argue with her, as quietly as he could. I couldn’t hear actual words, because of the documentary on How to Have Babies and Take Pictures at Awards Ceremonies that was going on right next to me. But I could see expressions. The teacher was holding her own, which was impressive, because I gotta tell you: This dude was big and intimidating. The crowd couldn’t have saved her, if it were to come to that. But it wasn’t the teacher who was in danger. It became immediately clear that the person who should be, and was, trembling was Telson. He got very still, almost like he was suddenly over-medicated. His eyes were big and round and frightened. The whole scene, which had seemed amusing at first, was beginning to make me feel sad.

When would the celebration of young lives and intellect end?

It did. In the chaos of people filing out, I saw Louisa standing alone outside the cafeteria looking as if she was on the verge of tears. She had lost my son’s class. I can see how that happened. It was a zoo in there. I took her hand, led her around to the first grade wing, and then I high-tailed it to the parking lot faster than I have ever high-tailed it before. I took a deep breath, blew it out much more loudly than was necessary, and walked to my car thinking of good replacements for the name Luke.

Huke. Gruke. Snuke. As I did this I realized all the rhymes with difficulties of this name. With Nuke, Fluke, and Puke in there, it would never have passed the Snapp Names Screening.

But unless we find a little tiny baby in a basket on our doorstep with a note addressed directly to us by name — spelled correctly and on linen stationary (this was all I could get Todd to agree to), there won’t be any more to name. And if the Awards Ceremonies are all going to be like that one, maybe I’m okay with this.


I will truly try to come up with something pithy to say later. I’ve been trying for weeks. Perhaps today is the day. But before I cart myself and two sick girls off to a riveting awards ceremony for Mamasboy, I want to take this opportunity and use this platform and shake my very tiny cyberfist as I shout, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…..”

Pia Toscano should not be leaving American Idol. Anyone who knows their own address and can string two sentences together knows that this is a black and white matter. She was made for this competition. Though I still love Casey like he’s my long lost hairy child, Pia was really made to win it.

At the beginning of the season, I made strong statements about being OVER it since Simon left. I wasn’t going to watch. Since then, I’ve watched more than 15 hours. However, the more the judges all say the same thing and sound no more intelligent than I do right now, and the more good people keep getting sent home, the less I care about the whole deal. I didn’t watch last night’s utter fiasco. I found out on Facebook and then promptly went to bed by 10 p.m. I should have lost sleep over it, but I determined not to.

Without Simon, there’s no brain.

The other worthless topic I want to discuss is one that made me laugh and really shouldn’t have was a news story I caught early this week.  It began like this:

Police in Maryland are on the hunt for the perpetrator of what appears to be an April Fools’ prank that left a man glued to a toilet at a Wal-Mart store.

Now, I do have sympathy. That’s a horrible April 1st prank and a horrible situation to be in. But the writing of the article just got me. Here’s some more and then I’m off to celebrate.

There, they found the 48-year-old victim, who called for help after realizing the sticky situation he was in when he tried — and failed — to stand up and leave the superstore’s restroom, Donnelly said.

It took responders 15 minutes to remove the victim from the stall, but they were unable to disconnect the toilet seat from his body, Donnelly said.

Oh, man.