A Blast From the Past, the White Death Arriveth, and Sick Humor

hair bear bunch lunch

It’s hard to believe they let us have metal lunch boxes in elementary school.

It was a far more innocent time, even though I can attest to the fact that a metal lunch box can and will draw blood if someone knocks you in the head with the corner of one of these things.  I had a Hair Bear Bunch lunch box for awhile. Those lunch boxes always came with a plastic Thermos that matched the box, too.  I think I had Holly Hobbie and Snoopy at one point, though I got new lunch boxes more often than other kids had to.  Lunch boxes didn’t survive more than a year or so for most kids, but mine never survived more than a few weeks.  I had a hard time keeping people from stealing and/or mutilating mine beyond recognition.

lunch boxes

Yes, the Dukes of Hazzard lunch box had a rebel flag on the Thermos.  Just think how that flag would fly in a kid’s lunch today!

I probably had a Dukes of Hazzard lunch box at one time.  Grandma usually had to find me new lunch boxes, and I ended up with whatever was left or on sale when mine got too badly distressed to use.  The worst one I ever ended up with was one with NFL Football on it.   It wasn’t easy to find a new lunch box in April, for example, so I had to take what Grandma could get.  Grandma bought me quite a few lunch boxes to keep me from getting in trouble at home.

In fourth and fifth grades the kids were allowed to go home for lunch (another thing that is unheard of today) if you lived close, and you got back to school in time to make the lunch recess bell.  That was better than eating with the heathens in the school cafeteria for a number of reasons, but I generally went home most days because I could just fix some soup and a sandwich or just forage about at home and eat in peace.  I didn’t mind forgoing lunch recess in order to have some peace and quiet.

High school was another culinary adventure.   During my freshman year I didn’t dare eat anything prepared at school, because the roaches had taken over the cafeteria. There was always a high risk of getting bug parts (or whole bugs) in your food.  The ovens and warmers were ancient as well, so you could get fries that were burnt on the outside and frozen on the inside, depending on where they were sitting on the racks.  Prepackaged food was generally safe as long as you could verify that the cellophane had not been violated, but during my freshman year most of my lunch money went toward my coverless it-would-be-porn-if-it-were-illustrated literature collection.


In my high school, the Twinkies were probably the safest item on the menu.

Today I don’t think they allow Twinkies (even though they have been resurrected) in school cafeterias, but that might depend on which school, and whether or not they have been brainwashed by the Michelle Obama campaign to spare the world from childhood obesity.  I wonder why there were fewer lard asses back in the day when you could load up on all the candy and soda your heart desired at lunch.  Maybe it was because you could only afford one pack of Twinkies versus a whole box.

One side of the argument for food freedom is if you make Twinkies and Ho-Hos and such into forbidden fruit, kids are just going to want more of them. From the middle-aged Mom view I agree that kids should eat a healthy lunch, but from my perspective in the early 1980s, I believed the four food groups were caffeine, nicotine, sugar and grease.  You can lead a child to broccoli, and you can warn against the dangers of processed foods, trans fats, refined sugar and corn syrup,  but sooner or later they have to decide for themselves that healthy eating is better.   Sometimes this realization takes a few years of a diet of Marlboros, coffee, Mickey D’s, Cheetos, and crème horns to get the point across.

This is another reason why: If I can’t be a good example, I might as well serve as a warning.


The White Death Arriveth-

And way too soon, may I add.  It won’t stay Arctic cold forever, but it was a bit annoying waking up to having the car encased in 1/2″ of ice.  Normally I don’t like to let the car sit and idle and waste gasoline, but the only way you’re getting that ice off the car is to pry your way in the driver’s door, start it up, turn the heat/defrost on full blast, and let it melt from the inside.  It would have taken me all morning to try to chip off all that ice.

I think it’s funny to see how many jackwagons forgot how to drive in snow and ice since March.  In the city there was next to nothing on the roads because they had been brined and cleared off all night- for about two inches of snow.  Then again, if it gets really bad, I have ABS and traction control and I just got new tires, so I am probably better prepared than many.

traction-control button

No, I am leaving it on, thanks!

Creative Parenting, Culture Shock, and a Wardrobe Malfunction

I didn’t think the yellow rose would bloom this year- but it’s doing pretty well.

Oh, where do I begin?  The past week and a half has been absolutely insane, especially with all the stuff going on with Dad.  I have been trying to distract myself from the medical mayhem as much as I can- partially because I’ve already spent way too much time in medical facilities and hospitals due to my own laundry lists of ailments, and partially because it’s really difficult to see him incapacitated in that way.  My sympathies to the people at the rehab center- especially if he gets pissed or starts feeling a little too frisky- but I am very thankful he’s doing well.  Of course, because of Dad’s illness and surgery, I have been spending a lot more time up north, which is always a bit disquieting even when everyone is healthy and things are hunky-dory.  Things move a lot slower in a small town, and that’s different enough, but there are more subtleties for the vigilant eye to observe .  I don’t think I’ve seen white landscapers since the late ’80s. 

I thought only Jerry after a six pack or more, (or Mexicans) could get these things to run.

Here’s a solid case against the sale of multi-colored duct tape, and a caution against painting green moustaches on lame mid 90s GM sedans. Acck.  And this piece of work was sitting in the hospital parking lot. 

Along with the slower pace of life, one encounters a few things in rural areas that aren’t nearly as common (or perhaps as easily overlooked.)   I’ve seen some unholy pieces of attempts at do it yourself automotive body work, though to be fair, it’s more typically trucks that are customized in this fashion. 

It’s really scary that there’s someone out there who thinks the “General Lee’s” color scheme looks cool on an old lawn mower.

It would, however, be cool to be able to jump over cop cars like that.

Worse than the vehicles “pimped” by denizens of the trailer park, are the denizens of the trailer park themselves.  I had to have viewed at least as many bad tats just in the Wal Mart alone (though I admit I did not have the courage to get pics) as one would expect to see during Bike Week at Sturgis

Uh, I know this is your sixth margarita, but your pants are falling off…

I used to be a binge drinker, so I really shouldn’t make fun of the shitfaced, ’cause I’ve been there myself.  I really couldn’t help myself on this pic, though.  I was able to take this one relatively safely because with my good friend, digital zoom,  I could stay conveniently out of view.  Suffice to say the take home lesson from this tragic pic (and I cropped it so nobody can see her face or guess who it is) that if you’re going to get shitfaced with your buds, please wear pants that are going to stay up.  I’d even say wear suspenders if you think you can operate them seven or eight Kamikazes into it.  One would think it would be rather breezy with one’s cheek hanging out of one’s pants, but alcohol can hamper one’s ability to keep one’s drawers up- and it can obscure the knowledge that one’s drawers are dangerously low to begin with.  I get to see it all the time at home.

Now I know what to do with Jerry the next time he’s passed out.  Get creative with a red Sharpie.  Sure it’s not technically parenting, but I do have to manage a 55 year old toddler.  I need to have a little more fun with it.

I’ve always been one to practice creative parenting.  I discovered a long time ago that there are ways to keep your private things private.  Boys find certain things to be inherently mysterious and disgusting at the same time.  Nobody’s going to be looking for an extra $20 in the Summer’s Eve box, for example. 

A box no man will willingly open.  Even if he thinks there might be yuppie food stamps inside.

I found a creative way to hide perishables also.  I am not a huge fan of chicken gizzards, although I can prepare them in such a fashion that they are somewhat edible.  Though Jerry will look down at and refuse to eat dishes I might consider as delicacies, such as cocktail shrimp, Jerry and his buddy Bob adore gizzards whenever I can get them.  While hiding things in the gizzard container is not effective at all in deterring Jerry from investigating the contents, Steve-o would always steer clear of this:


Even better if I fill those containers with cocktail shrimp.