Saturday, March 26, 2016

Kid goo is just plain gross

There are many things about raising children no one tells you before you have kids.
You hear about how cute they are and the funny little things they say and do, but parents rarely tell non-parents about the train wreck raising children can be.
Yes they are cute. Yes they say and do funny little things and I wouldn’t trade being a father for the world, but there are certain aspects of parenting I could do without.
It seems little kids are always emitting some form of liquid, especially when they have a cold.
I first noticed it with my oldest son when he was a baby, and the bigger he got, the more goo he produced.
When he had a cold and crawled across the room, it looked like a giant snail had slinked through my house.
The upside was he was easy to find, just follow the trail of mucus.
The dogs enjoyed it too. There was always something to sniff, lick or roll in.
Junior would come crawling over put his arms in the air and say, “Up daddy, up.”
“No, slimy little dude, no.”
But of course I would pick him up and we would wrestle around for a little while. I would then have to burn the clothes I was wearing because they had been encased with so much kid goo they had become their own life form.
Because this was our first child, I was mildly horrified at the excretions coming out of such a cute little person.
OK, perhaps mildly is too gentle a word.
There were some diapers I had to beat with a stick to get into the trash can. The government was investigating my garbage bags for bio-chemical warfare agents.
Good thing George Dubya wasn’t around at the time, or marines would have landed in my driveway looking for WMDs, which in this case was Wicked Messy Diapers.
It was a good day when it came time for potty training.
Dr. James Dobson says it is important to make a big deal out of it when Junior goes on the potty.
So my wife and I would whoop and holler and dance around like drunken lunatics whenever Junior “made a stinky on the potty.”
He would laugh and feel quite proud of himself.
He was also encouraging to others. Like the time at a restaurant when he accompanied me to the washroom and let out a victory cry of, “Yay, daddy went pee in the potty.”
It is amazing how far a little kid’s voice can carry.
Just as Junior was starting to figure out the whole potty thing, we had another son and it was back to diapers, bio-chemical agents and other nasty stuff you usually see only in horror movies like The Blob.
But he too mastered the art of using the lavatory and there was much rejoicing in the House of Handschuh.
But we were not done yet. We had one more bundle of joy to get through the diaper stage. Fortunately the third and final instalment of our clan learned quickly and we were once again free of diaper changes.
But we were not free of cleaning up, not by a long shot.
One of the happiest days of my life was when the last of my children learned how to barf in a bucket.
One thing I have learned as a parent is how not to be grossed out (to a degree anyway.) It is still disgusting, but you build up a sort of immunity to it. The mind is an amazing thing that has the ability to block stuff out, which is a very good thing.
Many was the night when a kid would blow chunks in bed, on the stairs, in the hallway on route to the bathroom and once even on the dog.
The hound didn’t seem to mind or need any help getting cleaned up because by the time I got around to wiping the mutt down, the job had already been taken care of.
Dogs seemed to have mastered not getting grossed out. In fact, when it comes to the family hound the rule of thumb seems to be the grosser the better.
Man’s best friend is truly a disgusting creature.
But being grossed out is only a minor burden to bear for the rewards of being a dad.
And for all you non-parents out there, I would just like to say having kids is a wonderful experience. It truly is.
So go ahead and have children, lots and lots of them. They say and do the cutest things.

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The super rich have problems too

I'm sorry, I have been trying to feel sorry for them, but I just can't do it.
You know who the one per cent are, right? They are the richest people in the world, while we, the 99 per cent struggle to make ends meet.
I recently read a story that said the one per cent of the one per cent – the ultra wealthy – are sad because they feel isolated from the rest of the world because they are so rich.
One even compared his plight to that of prejudice faced by minorities.
Hmmm, there are children starving in every corner of the world and you want me to feel sorry for you because you have too much money?
I have a simple solution: give some of your money away. You can help some of the poorest people in the world, while reducing your wealth to fit in with the rest of the one per cent.
See if you can't scrape by with a paltry couple billion dollars instead of several billion.
Of course, we all know that will never happen, so I guess we will just have to hope they can survive their horrific ordeal of being ultra rich.
Speaking of horrific ordeals, a man died in a hospital in Buffalo, but not without putting up a valiant fight.
For two hours the man was breathing, moving his legs and attempting to hug loved ones who had gathered around his bed, but all the while two doctors were assuring the family the man had died some time ago. They even called the coroner to collect the body – twice – and both times the coroner said he was called too soon, but the doctors would not budge.
Finally, after much badgering by the family the doctors conducted yet another examination only to exclaim, “My God, he has a pulse!”
I am no doctor, but when I see someone breathing and moving around, I am pretty sure he has a pulse.
The man did die a short time later from a punctured lung caused when he was given CPR for the heart attack he suffered. Had he been treated sooner he likely would have lived.
Yes, the family is filing a lawsuit.
From the how-do-you-walk-and-talk-at-the-same-time file comes a really dumb driver.
Police pulled a man over in Oklahoma on suspicion of drunk driving. Police determined the man was not impaired and were going to send him on his way when he became confrontational and told police “If you think I am doing something wrong, then go ahead and search my truck.”
Which they did, finding a secret box in the engine compartment that hid 17 pounds of heroin.
The moral of the story is learn when to keep your big mouth shut. But this genius will have plenty of time to think about that while in a federal prison.
From the you-might-want-to-double-check file comes the story of a French woman who thought she had hit it big.
The unidentified woman thought she had won the lottery, sending her on a wild spending spree in celebration of the big win.
However, when her husband thought the lotto was taking too long to send them their hard-won money, he discovered the 'winning' ticket was off by one number.
This resulted in cheques bouncing all over the country and the wife sheepishly trying to explain the situation to police who arrested her for fraud.
She received a suspended sentence and had to pay back some $6,000 for the items she purchased.
And finally from the hell-hath-no-fury file, police in Romania claim a woman attempted to cut off her husband's naughty bits because he did not bring her flowers on International Woman's Day.
Gee, with such a caring, gentle wife how could he forget flowers?
While she never denied cutting her husband, the woman said it was because he was avoiding housework and came home drunk.

If they stay together, you can bet she will have a spotless house filled with flowers given to her by a very sober husband.

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I seem to have misplaced my brains

OK, this is just a little too strange to ignore.
A while back, the University of Texas in Austin reported 100 brains have gone missing.
That's about half of the university's collection of brains that were preserved in jars of formaldehyde and used for a variety of studies.
This opens up a whole universe of questions from who took them to why did they take them?
Why would anyone want one brain in a jar let alone 100?
I know people like to collect things – I have several old tools mounted on the wall of my man cave – but I have never thought I needed a brain collection.
What would you do with them? Put them on the mantle? Perhaps on the coffee table as a conversation piece – a conversation that I hope would include the recommendation to interact with a mental health professional.
But wait, that is not all.
The university is home to some of the greatest minds alive today, and this is what one of those great minds had to say about it:
We think somebody may have taken the brains, but we don't know at all for sure," psychology Professor Tim Schallert, co-curator of the collection said.
You think somebody may have taken the brains!
What do you mean, you think someone took the brains?
If no one took them, what the hell happened to them?
Did they some how come back to life and figure out how to get out on their own? If so, there are a lot of people in Ottawa who could use a method of bringing their brains to life.
Is this some weird horror movie coming to life: Night of the Bottled Brains, Attack of the Fermented Gray Matter, Charge of the Contained Craniums?
I am no detective, or a high-IQ professor type (or even a high IQ type in any capacity for that matter), but even I can figure out someone took the brains and I have never even been to Texas.
His co-curator, psychology Professor Lawrence Cormack suspected undergrad students may have liberated the brains from the facility for Halloween or other juvenile reasons.
Now that makes much more sense.
Of course, there is always the Frankenstein monster scenario where undergrads are regenerating their own creatures made of accumulated body parts and needed a brain to complete the set, but I highly doubt it.
Following an investigation, school officials determined it was youthful adventure by high-IQ, low common sense students who did it for a gag.
And yes, some of those students were displaying the brains in their dorm room as a conversation piece.
Here at Ima Laimo Dummo, we not only have a great fraternity, we have an awesome collection of jarred brains.”
To prevent further cranial misadventures, the remaining 100 brains were being moved to a different location in the hopes they will not wander away like the others.
OK, so we solved the mystery if the missing brains, but I have one more question: why did it take so long to notice?
You have 200 brains – which is a lot of brains – and 100 go missing, don't you think someone would have noticed sooner.
You would think around the 50-brain mark, one of the high IQ types would have looked at the menagerie and thought, “Hmmm, our brain collection seems a little light. I better take a look.”
Instead, a full 100 brains had to go missing before someone noticed and sounded the alarm.

But, at least the case is closed and we don't have to worry about a bunch of brains running amok – especially in Ottawa.

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

Saturday, March 5, 2016

I'll have the mucus-free diet please

So I saw this promotion for some sort of cleansing diet and one of the selling features was a claim to be mucus free.
Hmmm, I am no dietary genius, but I would assume anything mucus free is better than anything loaded with mucus.
If that diet is claiming to be mucus free, does that mean there is a diet out there that boasts its mucus content?
“Try the green gelatin diet aid, now with extra mucus. For those tough cases, try the new elephant mucus, all the way from Africa.”
I doubt it will be a big seller, but it could help people lose weight because after eating all that mucus who could possibly hold down any real food.
Even saying the word mucus is unpleasant and I seriously doubt the inventor of the mucus-laden diet had both oars in the water, or even in the boat, or even knew what an oar was.
How would you like to be the person who has to market this plan? It would be easier to sell a time share in Baghdad.
Last year, my wife went on a cleansing diet (a completely mucus free diet) that lasted a gruelling 21 days and was supposed to free the body of all toxins and bad stuff.
From what I could see, all it did was free the body from any real food.
My wife is an amazing person, but she can get a little grumpy when she is hungry, so I was somewhat nervous to hear about her foray into the realm of dieting.
She was actually in good spirits throughout and only tried to attack me with a claw hammer once. It was my own fault, actually. I made the mistake of being on the same continent she was.
I am kidding of course. She maintained a pleasant demeanor for the entire time of torture, which is a testimony to just how strong of a person she is.
If I went that long without any real food, all the cats in the neighbourhood would mysteriously disappear.
“No Mrs. Jones, I haven’t seen Fluffy. What am I eating? Um, chicken, that’s right, it’s chicken. It’s not Fluffy or anything.”
At first she had to cut out certain food groups, like dairy products, which wasn’t too bad because she doesn’t drink milk or anything so she survived the first couple of days with relative ease. (It was easy for me anyway, because all I had to do was sit back and watch.)
A few more days later she had to cut out meat. This one really hurt because my entire family is a clan of carnivores who jump on hamburgers like a pack of jackals on a three-legged Chihuahua.
Then, she could only eat fruit and veggies. She slowly had to give up more and more food groups until all she was allowed to do was suck nutrition out of the air like a plant.
Once the peak of the cleansing diet was reached, she could start to reintroduce food groups to her menu until she was back to chowing down with the rest of her clan.
I feared for any cattle within striking range the day she was allowed to eat beef again. Let’s just say dead animal was on the menu that night.
I have to admit I was very impressed that she endured for the entire three weeks. A good friend of ours agreed to go on the diet the same day and she lasted about six hours, which is still two hours longer than I would have made it.
My wife said she felt better after the diet and that I should try it.
I had a better plan.
“How about I just tell you how great you did and we both rejoice in your success over a pizza loaded with mechanically separated meat products?”
I never did attempt the diet.
In fact, I have never been on a diet in my life.
When I was a teen, I was as skinny as a rail and used to take all sorts of protein supplements in an effort to gain weight.
It was kind of like the anti-diet I suppose. Anything that might help me pack on a few pounds was fair game, but for several years I barely gained a pound.
I could literally eat as much of anything I wanted and not gain an ounce.
It was when I turned 35 that this dietary disaster came back to bite me on the, well you know.
It was like I woke up one day and, phooomp – I had an ever expanding portable food storage facility attached to my waist.
While I am hardly tubby, or built like an American – watch the news and see how many obese Yankees you can spot, it’s fun for the whole family – I could stand to lose a few pounds.
The battle of bulge is being waged and so far the bulge is holding its own.
While I have not jumped head first into a full-blown diet, I’ve got to admit I am trying to be a little more careful with what I eat.
But no matter what is on the dinner plate, I can guarantee it is all 100 per cent mucus free.

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh