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That one time Mom got really mad at Dad…

29 Jul

Yeah I know, there’s been a couple of these (tons actually).  I was reading a post I have waiting in the wings about the boats my family has had over the years when a memory hit me.  Memories do that to me.  For instance when I hear Rusted Root’s The Cat Turned Blue, I am instantly transported back to 12 year old me, playing some space game on my brothers computer.  This game was the stupidest game ever invented.  All you did was spend hours holding the stupid arrow key flying your ship across the screen trying to reach some distant planet.  Fortunately the music made up for it:

Who’s the most awesome digress-er in the world?!  That’s right.  I am.  I think it’s the A.D.D….  Back on track:

So mom got really mad at my dad.  Why?  Who knows.  He probably yelled at her for pulling her wrong when he was shoe skiing.  Or maybe she turned too tight and he went rolling across the water (which was actually hilarious watching a 325lb guy flying across the water).  What ever the reason, mom was fed up with his crap.  So she did what any self respecting woman would do:  She left.  She packed up us kids and took off.  She just left my dad floating there in the middle of the lake.  I don’t think he was wearing a life jacket either…  Eventually she cooled off a bit and we went back for him and all was well.

Playing with fire: Part 2

21 Jul

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my experience as a crappy Boy Scout.  I wrote about how I got my fire chit and was able to build awesome fires.  Back in May I wrote about me throwing flaming paper airplanes out of my second story window.  I said that was my last time playing with fire, but not my brothers.  Here is his tale:

Behind our house was for the longest time a construction company’s stockpile and yard.  Directly behind our property they had put a bunch of small mounds of dirt for some purpose I suppose.  Picture a mogul field but rather than being on a ski slope these were on flat ground and you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about.  My brother and I thought it would be a great idea to have a camp fire one fine summer evening, toast marshmallows, sing songs, etc.  So that afternoon, me being the ex-Boy Scout with 3/4ths of a fire chit built a killer teepee surrounded by a log cabin stack of wood, kindling, and paper.   One of us stupidly brought a packet of matches with us (I contend that it was my brother who brought the matches, I’m sure he thinks otherwise).  As I’m building our fire, surrounding it with stones, etc. my brother is lighting matches, watching them burn, then dropping them on the ground.  Did I mention that these hills had been there a LOOOOOOONG time and it was a very dry summer so all the vegetation (weeds) that had grown on top and around the mounds was nice and dry?  Yeah, I’m sure you can see where this is going.  I told him to knock it off and stop wasting my matches.  His reply?  “Just one more.”  Of course he lit “just one more” too close to his fingers, burned himself, and dropped the match.  Right on a nice bit of dead stuff.  I don’t remember how fast the hill caught fire.  I do remember running up to the house yelling for my mom and her friend that my bro had set the field on fire, laughing hysterically the entire time.  I was USELESS when it came to helping put the fire out.  I could not stop laughing.  On the plus side, my fire started right up and burned beautifully.

In the end the fire was fairly quickly put out and no one was hurt.  I guess that’s a positive end to the story.  Except that it’s not the end.  You would think that my brother would have gotten into trouble for setting fire to a field, right?  Wrong.  I got in trouble.  For being useless.  For laughing at my brother thinking he would get himself into trouble (finally).  For not helping to put out the fire.  I think I was grounded for a week, and had my fire chit taken away from me.  Not that it was at all useful being a piece of paper.  Actually, I probably would have set fire to it at some point, so it was probably wise of my mom to take it from me…

In Which a Hamburger Jumps

1 Jun

When I was 17 and my brother was 14 we took our last family vacation.  We went down to Disney World during April vacation.  Since this was our last family vacation we went all out:  We stayed at the new Wilderness Lodge, a striking building reminiscent of the great camps of theAdirondacksand thePacific Northwest.  We got park hopper passes so we could visit whatever park we wanted to, whenever they were open.  We had an awesome time together as a family, and my brother and I on our own.  Since we were old enough to do things on our own, we often took off to hit up some of the better rides and attractions that my folks didn’t want to go on, or were too scared to go on (Ha like my mom is scared of anything.  She survived raising the two of us for goodness sake).

Now for a little background:

My brother is the smartest person I know.  He is absolutely brilliant.  He is also extremely stupid.  Or rather he was extremely stupid.  I don’t know how someone so smart could have no common sense what-so-ever.  NONE. N.O.N.E.  He is also very forgetful.  Remembering birthdays, phone numbers, little things like that completely elude him.  When he was younger he always managed to spill something while eating.  Usually he would spill on himself, though sometimes others we the victims of “friendly fire”.

 Back to Disney:

As I said, we went all out.  This included our meals both in the park(s), and at various resorts.  We of course had breakfast at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort.  We had dinner inGermanyone night.  We ate at the Whispering Canyon Café in the Wilderness Lodge (all you can eat BBQ, yes please!).  At each location my brother spilled something, dropped something, or knocked something into his lap.  Our last full day, my brother had one clean shirt left out of the 12 or so he brought for our 7 day trip.  We were eating that night at the Grand Floridian, a place we had never dreamed we would ever step foot into, never mind eat at.  As we sat down mom told my bro not to spill, drop, or otherwise stain his shirt as it was the last clean shirt he had.  I know if I was told that, I would have to look at it as a challenge to stain my shirt, cause that’s the kind of person I am…  My brother on the other hand is not such a person.  “Mom I didn’t do it.  I promise you!  The hamburger just jumped from my plate onto my shirt.  I didn’t do it, honest!”  “He’s right mom, the hamburger jumped (See, I’m not such a bad big brother, now am I?).”  “Boys!!!!”  “What?”  “We didn’t do it!  The hamburger jumped, honest!”  One $20 Disney t-shirt later….

Let’s here you family vacation tales.  Comment below!

The funny things we say and do

17 May

The following are just some of the funny short stories and sayings from my family:

“Do… Do I poop on the law?”  – The Boy when told that it was the law that he be completely potty trained by age 4 (yes, he’s a late bloomer).

“Damn it!  Damn it!  Damn it!”  – The Girl when she was 2 or 3 and told to put 6 or so stuffed animals onto her bed.  She instead tossed them from her room adding a “Damn it!” to each throw.

“I didn’t want an Ian.  I wanted a Court-a-knee!”  – Me, age 3, when we brought my brother home from the hospital.

“You bought WHAT!”  – Usually Mom.  Occasionally The Wife.  Never from me, or my dad, unless directed at a purchase my dad had foolishly made.

“I’ll just light one more match.  Then I’ll stop.”  – My brother, to be featured in an upcoming blog post entitled, “Playing with Fire.  Part 2”.

“Mom will never find out.”  – Either me or my brother.  She always does….

“BOYS!!!”  – Mom.  See, I told you she always finds out.

“No dad!  Not the knife!  Not the Knife!”  – See yesterdays post

“Mom, we’re play fighting.  We really do love each other!”  – Usually me, as I was beating the crap out of my brother.

“Yeah, you can make it.  No problem.”  – Usually me encouraging my brother to do something stupid.

When my brother was little, he had a terrible temper.  I swear I saw his eyes go blood red on many occasions.  On one of our ski trips, he wasn’t having a great day.  He had fallen and his boot had come off, he had been kicked off the bunny hill for being awesome, etc.  My dad was filming most of these things.  So my dad, being his oh so supportive self, decides to poke the bear.  He taunts my brother about his day, about his falls, etc all while filming my bro.  Funny thing about bears, they poke back.  I think we all almost wet ourselves when my brother grabbed his ski pole and jabbed my dad in the gut.  Watching my dad double over, then fall in the snow was hilarious.  We should have sent it into “America’s Funniest Home Videos”.  We would have won for sure.

Let’s here some of your family’s crazy stories, quotes, and/or sayings.  Leave a comment below:

Playing with Fire: part 1

10 May

Ah fire.  Giver of warmth, charred hotdogs, and toasted marshmallows.  Fire has always been a problem for my family.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying that we’re pyromaniacs, yet fire has been the prominent figure in many of our stories.  I would like to share one such story with you.

When I was in JR High, I loved to set things on fire, build camp fires, experiment with fire, etc.  I think this stems from a failed attempt at being a Boy Scout.  I did manage to get my fire chit when I was a Boy Scout.  It was pouring and our leader told us he’d give us our chits if we could keep a fire going.  One partially ruined London Fog raincoat later…..

This story, however, is about paper airplanes, balloons, and a bit of my hair.  Yes, I did set a bit of my hair on fire while burning a balloon.  Lighting a balloon on fire is pretty cool.  Because it’s rubber, it flames for just a second (dripping molten hot lava-rubber all over you), then is out.  Unfortunately, the air inside the balloon sometimes makes the flame pop, which is how I set a bit of my hair on fire…

What?  Where do the airplanes come in?  Well, right about here I guess.  As I said earlier, I loved to set stuff on fire.  Somehow I got this great idea that setting paper airplanes on fire and throwing them out my window would be cool.  Nothing like seeing a flaming jet hurl from an open window to the grass below (please remember that this was WAY before 9/11 and I was young and VERY stupid).  Eventually, my brother joined in (yes this one was all on me).  Every now and again, we’d accidentally set the grass on fire.  Just a little bit.  I wonder if my parents figured out what we were doing when we would go careening down the stairs and rush out the front door to put out a little grass fire….  Regardless, we kept this up until moms friend came over.  Remember yesterday how I told you she was the one who spotted all the toys all over the yard?  Yeah.  She nailed us again.  I think the conversation went something like: “What are the boys doing?”

“What do you mean?”

“There are bits of fire coming from the upstairs window.”


Ah crap…  Caught again….

 I can’t remember what our punishment was, but I’d bet it was a doosy.  This was probably one of the many times my brother and I had to stand in opposite corners with our arms out straight without touching the walls.  I’d bet this stunt got us 10 minutes, plus a grounding, plus a surrender of all fire starting materials we might have possessed.  I will say that I never played with fire again.  My brother on the other hand….

The Cleanest Room Mom has EVER seen!

9 May

Growing up my bedroom was on the second floor of our house. It was also our play room. My brother and I had a huge collection of Lego’s, Matchbox cars, and GI Joes. We usually left my room a mess because, how were we going to find what we were playing with if we don’t leave it right where we were last playing with it? My mom (a neatnick) hated my room. She hated that we would leave everything lying around willy-nilly. We had bins for the Legos, yet they spent most of their time in huge elaborate displays of cities, towns, space stations, etc.

Now that I’ve set the background, I’ll tell you how my brother and I made this tornado touched room into a spotless beauty in less than thirty minutes. “Clean your room!!!!!” Mom yelled from the bottom of the stairs. “Fine. (sigh)” we yelled back. Quickly we picked up the piles of loose Legos scattered across the floor, leaving behind our city, space station, and shipyard, of course. So, Legos are put away, now what? “I don’t wanna clean anymore.” “We have to, mom will KILL us if it’s not done.” “Hey…. I’ve got a great idea!” I can’t remember which one of us thought it would be a great idea to toss all our toys out the window (I think it was my brother), but we did it. We tossed EVERYTHING. Cars, GI Joes, toy safe and stuffed animals, right out the window. Mom was AMAZED we got the room cleaned in just half an hour. She was sure we’d pull one of our usual stunts: “Mom, we’re play-cleaning. We’re cleaning as we play! Honest!” “We’ll do it later!”


My mom’s friend either couldn’t remember which house was ours, refused to park in our driveway, or hated my brother and me. She always drove past our house to turn around in the neighbor’s driveway to park on the street. She and my mom are talking over coffee, or something and she brings up the mess in the grass on the side of the house. She wonders if we’re having a yard sale. Mom goes BALLISTIC (see the Colander Incident for another such episode)! Of course my little bro blames the idea on me, and I of course do my best to pin it on him.

The Aftermath

Of course we cleaned up our mess, and worked twice as hard as if we had originally just picked up our stuff. I don’t know how we thought we’d get away with it. It’s not like the lawn wasn’t going to need to be mowed, or the stuff was just going to disappear, or little elves were going to pick it all up and put it away. I guess I just consider myself lucky that we weren’t killed for that one. Of course it’s lucky we are alive at all since this is one of our tamer stunts…