Monday, April 26, 2010

Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

My wife is now 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant as of today which means we’re in full preparedness mode. I know this detailed information because of an awesome iPhone app for Men with pregnant wives.
The car seat is ready, the birthing kit is always with us, the midwife is on our cell phones speed dial, and I can boil water within 2 minutes.

I’m actually not sure what the point of hot water is anyway, but whatever, I’m prepared if the need should ever arise.

This part of the pregnancy that I remember the least with our daughter the first time around, as I was too busy worrying about my wife and the birthing part going well. This time I know what to expect and I'm fully prepared (I hope!) This whole pregnancy thing just amazes me to no end.

What amazes me even more is the weird and almost rude things people say to pregnant women in general. Not sure if they’re trying to be nice or sympathetic, but here’s a list of things heard that nobody should say:

Never tell a pregnant woman…
  • Are you pregnant?
  • You must have had a big lunch!
  • Whoa! You look like you’re going to bust at any minute.
  • Are you sure you’re not carrying twins/triplets?
  • Can I rub your belly for luck?
  • (Rub belly without asking)
  • Does your back hurt? Yeah, I woke up this morning and mine hurts too.
  • You waddle like a duck.
  • You’re all puffy just like the stay-puff marshmallow man.
  • I have dogs/cats so I know exactly what it’s like to be a new parent.
  • Did you hear about the woman that had a 30-pound baby last week?
  • You look normal from the back.
If you say any one of these then you deserve to get knocked over the head with a rolling pin.

What weird things have you heard?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Explaining Taxes to Kids

Today, “tax day”, has to be my absolute least favorite day of the year.

I’ve loathed taxes since the late 80’s when I was around 16 years old. That’s the time when I got my first minimum wage paycheck after working nearly two weeks straight one summer.
I still remember that mysterious sealed blank white envelope. I ran home, smelled it, tore the thing open in excitement, held the magical piece of paper in the air in the direction of the sun to see the beautiful watermark (“Official Document”) only to be completely traumatized at how much the government and something called “FICA” took out. The check was less than $17.

That was the first day I truly swore. Not for minutes, but for days. Nothing cheered me up, not even my newly acquired Depeche Mode 101 CD.

Then being the good kid that I was, I listened to my great-grandmother (she lived through the great depression) and opened a savings account getting a paltry .002% interest rate. Honestly I think I had a better chance earning more by planting pennies in the ground and praying for rain on a leap year.
Given the unfortunate circumstances, I still somehow happened to earn something like $5 that year. And then months later I got something called a 1099 telling me that I was subject to taxes on the $5 bucks that I earned. That’s the year I started lending money to kids on the playground and charging a 30% interest with a pre-payment penalty "off-the-books." I didn’t ask for that life, taxes made me do it.

Yes, my contempt for taxes started early.

Please don’t try to tell me why taxes are good because you’ll be wrong. I’ve heard just about every reason why taxes are a respectable thing, “how are we going to pay for the sun?” “Taxes! That’s how!”
Honestly, at this point. I really don’t care. Ask me that when I’m all pale and begging, “I need sun! I need sun!” Maybe I’ll care then, but right now if I were on Facebook for real, I would be no fan of the IRS.

If I ever do get the opportunity to start my own country (the one with a planned KFC franchise on it) the first thing I would order, besides a double-down, is not to tax everything in the world. I would be a fair dictator and just tax the things I’m not fond of, like, Kevin Costner movies and Justin Bieber.

Tonight, while writing a check to pay even more taxes my daughter asked me, “Daddy? Why are you crying?” I replied, “Because if I don’t pay even more taxes, these really bad people called ‘the IRS’ will send me to Guantanamo Bay.”

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

If Age Doesn’t Kill Me, This Will...

There’s just nothing that beats going into work and getting a surprise KFC lunch buffet birthday party by my co-workers.

And knowing the Kentucky Fried traditionalist that I am, none of this “grilled chicken” business was even on the table. Yes, these people know me well. Nothing but the Colonel's own invention's of extra-crispy, original, popcorn chicken (in little theater popcorn buckets), and a birthday candle planted in mash potatoes on top of a bucket of chicken - just the way they still celebrate birthdays in Kentucky and maybe central Ohio.
What more you say can a guy ask for?

How about the best birthday gift ever created:

KFC Double Down

2 original recipe fillets, swiss and pepper jack cheese, Colonel’s sauce , and (mouth-watering about now)…. Bacon!

I wouldn’t wait in line for an iPad, but I’m sure going to be waiting outside KFC Monday for this piece of heaven.
And then the rest of the year I'll be on a diet of just grapefruit, lettuce, and rocks just so I can eat another Double-Down next year.