Norman Rockwell, We Ain’t, and a Most Pragmatic Christmas


I actually thought that when the POMC’s male DNA contributor signed off his rights that I would be done with the snarky, vindictive antics that always seem to go down with “broken” families when children and holidays are involved.  Yeah, right.  I had no idea just how vindictive and snarky my granddaughter’s baby mama can get.  Far be it from her that her child’s dad just might want to spend time with his daughter on Christmas too, eh?

Of course she can’t know his plans, or work with him for a compromise acceptable to both sides- if she turns off her phone and ignores all his calls and texts, right?


I’m trying really hard to avoid the very natural Mother of the POMC tendency to unsheathe the claws and protect the Precious Cub at all costs.  After all, the POMC’s male DNA contributor was only good for his small contribution of biological material, and that’s the nicest thing I can say about the male DNA contributor.  I don’t want to think that my granddaughter’s mother is being spiteful and vindictive without cause…but…Steve-o actually does care about his little girl and actually is involved in her life (unlike his male DNA contributor) so I figure, what the hell’s her problem?  Lack of maturity, desire to get her own way, and the Opportunity to Make a Scene, are all things one does at age twelve to get attention, but when a 20 year old woman’s doing it, it just looks stupid and sad.


It’s a shame when they carry over into adulthood.

I can understand that mother’s desire to have one’s child all to herself.  I can understand the instinct to protect one’s child from psychos (my ex in-laws, for example) or even from the indifference of the other parent -should the other parent be apathetic and simply consign the offspring to the caprice of said psycho in-laws, but Steve-o is anything but indifferent, and I might be wired a bit differently than most, but I’m not a psycho.  Yet.

I think what was truly at work here was a vindictive, spoiled brat trying to inflict pain on someone who didn’t go along with her fantasy.


Guess what happens when you let your kid have everything he/she wants!

Now if I had known I would have spent most of Christmas Day between trying to calm down my son, traipsing in and out of Walgreen’s, Speedway and McDonald’s, and had I known Christmas dinner would have been a cheeseburger and McNuggets (thankfully they did not forget the hot mustard sauce or I probably would have lost what little bit of sanity I thought I had left,) I’d have stayed home with Tipsy McNumbnuts and saved the gasoline.


I normally don’t eat this kind of stuff but when it’s all there is other than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and beef jerky, I guess- any port in a storm.

We were supposed to leave for my sister’s house at 12 noon.  It was 3 PM before we were able to pick up the Precious One’s offspring and get going.  Other than the insanely (stupid) late start, the day was lovely for the kids.  Lots and lots of presents and toys and candy and food.

ugly scarf

It was a more dismal picture for the adults. Mom somehow got it in her head that I and my illustrious siblings would just love, love, love these fugly scarves that some lady who lives next to the retirement home makes in her spare time.  So we had to pretend that we were going to just adore the fugly scarf that (to me) looks like something Lucy mutilated, shredded, and then crapped out.  But Mom doesn’t know any better.  One year she got Jerry these:

slipper socks

With nice, slick vinyl soles!

Mom’s intentions are always good.  She doesn’t see anything malicious or funny or even dimly inappropriate in stuff like this.  So it’s best to just play along.  Why hurt her feelings by telling her Jerry’s going to break his neck wandering around shitfaced wearing extra-slick soled slippers, or that if I wore that scarf in public people might think I started believing it fashionable to run around wearing trash bags and roadkill?

At least Mom doesn’t have any friends who know how to make those creepy doll-head faux fur Kleenex box holders.  Grandma eventually got tired of making them and moved on to more sensible kitsch, such as crocheted afghans and toaster cozies.

doll head kleenex holder

She’d twerk- if she had a butt, that is.

Victorian Ephemera, Patent Medicine and Today’s Mollycoddled Offspring


Here’s a Victorian-era product that probably wouldn’t go over too well today.  Except maybe to NAMBLA members.

I know that knee pads are available for kids today – as well as shin guards, mouth guards and bike helmets- but these I think were designed more to preserve expensive clothing rather than to prevent injury.  One need only examine some Victorian-era playthings to understand that safety wasn’t first. Or fifth.  From the looks of some of that stuff, safety couldn’t have really been considered at all.

I can only imagine the geek factor involved for kids whose mothers required them to wear these, but then again, boys of the Victorian era typically wore those awful little man-capris with knee high socks.  Knee protectors couldn’t make that dreadful fashion too much worse.

rocks and a mace

Screw the pellet gun- let’s just give them rocks and a mace!

Granted, Steve-o had toys, ranging from the innocuous to the deadly.  He had Legos, Thomas the Tank Engine, Power Rangers, those annoying little finger skateboards, a BB gun (I’m still picking BBs out of the walls) and a Zippo (not to be confused with a flashlight.)

He had the latest video games, and a lot of other electronic toys too, but I didn’t want him to simply sit on his ass and watch as it grew huge, so I did allow skateboarding and in-line skating, which were responsible for both times he broke his right arm, once at age 6 and then again at age 11.   I should have stopped at the BMX bike, but even the BMX bike proved quasi-deadly.  Some little ass-pilot at his school decided to jam the rear wheel so the bike wouldn’t move when he went to take off on it. Unfortunately the little ass-pilot behind the engineering of that prank didn’t have much understanding of physics.  Steve-o went to take off on the BMX and as the rear wheel was jammed all 160# of his 14 year old body went over the handlebars and landed square on his mouth- blasting his two front teeth to smithereens, though by some miracle of God sparing his skull.

$3800 (that insurance didn’t cover,) three root canals, and two crowns later, Steve-o was redeemed from a lifetime of Billy-Bob mouth.  I was redeemed from $3800.  I guess the love of money is the root of all evil.  The only thing is, I’ve never been able to hang on to money long enough to fall in love with it, so I’ve not gotten to test the theory.

cat wash

Wrong on many levels, but still cute.

Patent medicines have always fascinated me.  They would have been awesome if they actually worked.  One of my favorites is the wash-the-fat-away soap.  If only one could scrub away the bingo wings and thunder thighs.

wash away fat

Wash away the lard- and eliminate the ravages of time.  What’s in this shit?  Acid?  Flesh eating worms?

Even better are the adjectives used in patent medicine ads to describe overweight people- “corpulent,” “stout,” “too much flesh,” and just plain “fat. “

fat people

Hey!  You!  Lard Ass!  Try this shizzle.  It’ll CURE your fatness!  Or should I say “corpulency” and “stoutness?”

Maybe the fat reducing ideas of the Victorian era were more effective than the potions and fads we try today, but then I would wager there were fewer fat people back then because everything one ate or drank had a good probability of giving one Montezuma’s revenge.  You got to crap your way thin whether you wanted to or not.

constipation wretched

Then again…

Perhaps if you lived on salt pork and corn cobs, constipation may just be an issue.  I have to say that using a bird (presumably that’s a crow) to hawk (pun intended) a constipation remedy is brilliant.  None of nature’s creatures craps more often or in more quantity for its size than birds.  The subliminal is right here: Take these pills and you’ll shit like a bird!

I’m Not Running the Train, Which is Fine With Me, and Crap-n-Go

I’m not sure who wrote this little piece of poetry, but the railroad analogy is fitting.

When I was about three years old, Dad had a friend who was into amateur photography.  Given that this was 1972 (long, long before the days of digital photography) and having any kind of pictures taken was expensive, Dad jumped on the chance to take me and my sisters to this guy’s house to have our pictures taken.  Joy and rapture.

I don’t remember a whole lot about it other than having to wear a purple polyester pantsuit that was hotter than hell and itched something fierce and even worse, matched the ones my sisters were wearing.  Grandma had made these pantsuits.  They were ghastly according to today’s standards, but would have been fashionable in 1972.  They would have been a lot more comfortable had they been made of a breathable fabric, but sorry about my luck. To make it even less comfortable, we also had to wear these little black patent mary janes (with slick plastic soles, not rubber soles, of course) with itchy white lace socks.   I ended up with a nasty heat rash from wearing this ensemble, I do remember that.

Anyway, the guy with the high faluting camera also had another high faluting toy out in his yard for his own kids- an electric train on tracks that kids could ride on.  We were poor kids, and whatever good toys we had access to were immediately commandeered by my sadistic oldest sister.  I got toys after she and my other sister and usually the dog too, had destroyed them.  I had never seen any kids’ toy as cool as that train, ever.


I wasn’t getting off the train without a fight.

My sisters were more worried about chasing down and beating up the two boys who lived there, which meant I had the train all to my own happy self.  Since I was none too thrilled about a.) wearing this horrifically hot and itchy pantsuit in the middle of August,  b.) having my picture taken, c.) having to be around both strange people and my sisters, I decided to stay on the train.  That was fun- and there was a bit of a breeze.  Suffice to say that Mom and Dad both had their hands full with peeling my sisters off those poor boys, so I got a good bit of time on the train.  So much so that the guy took quite a few pics of me on the train. ( Edit: I finally found one of the train pics from 1972 and scanned it^ It took me until June 26, 2020 to do it though.)  Even at four years old I was awkward and geeky and nearsighted as well as horribly dressed. It was the ’70’s after all.  I think I am permanently allergic to polyester after that.  I break out in heat rash just thinking about it.

That was the last time I technically got to run the train.  That’s fine with me.  It was fun while it lasted.

It could be worse.  Perhaps this is a creative way of selling a colonoscopy.  $999 would be a discount.

I have to wonder why sweepstakes and drawings are usually for something nobody really needs anyway.  Money, that’s cool, or even the $5000 Target gift card that I keep doing the surveys to get a chance to win.  But who really wants a lot of the crap that’s given away?

Coffee mugs are useful, but I’ve used the same one at home for 30 years.

Here’s some interesting marketing.  Looks like this guy’s selling an item that most people wouldn’t want to touch even if it has been soaked in Clorox for a month.

I live in the Midwest, where those of us who are into things like hot pink rubber fists tend to be a bit more discreet about it, so I don’t see ads like this every day.  It is a bit disturbing that a few of the phone number tags are missing, meaning that at least a few people entertained the idea of inquiring on this item.  I can just imagine an inquiring caller’s conversation regarding this lovely artifact:

“Hi, I’m Bruce, and I’d like to know more about your fabulous rubber fist!”

“Oh, yes, it’s just super!  But I have three others just like it and I really don’t need a fourth, you know. I only have so much room.”

Which brings me back to the movie, Borat.  The guys inquiring on the fist might have amputee friends back home. “I’ll find you a new arm in America!”

At least I didn’t actively encourage my son to eat whilst sitting on the john. I wouldn’t put it past him, but I didn’t encourage it either.

I had to get a laugh out of this- a woman parking her twins on kiddy potties in the middle of a McD’s or other fast food joint somewhere in Utah.  I am not the squeamish type, and the seats in most fast food joints are probably just as germy as the kiddy potties to begin with, but having your kids sit on the crapper pretty much in the nude, dropping a deuce through lunch is a bit much.   This is all the more motivation for me to do what I normally do on the rare occasion I dine of fast food.  I normally eat in the relative quiet and cleanliness of my own car.

The only time I go into a fast food joint is if I’m traveling and have to use the ladies’ as well as score some chow.  I am not a huge fan of public bathrooms, but if you gotta go, any crapper with a door will do.  Guys have the advantage here because most of them can keep a two-liter drink bottle for the purposes of whizzing on the go (make your own trucker bomb) but that’s just not practical for chicks.   I am not going to drop my drawers along the side of the Interstate to whiz for some jackwagon to take pics and plaster them all over creation.  I will concede that the public restroom is only one notch above the public fitting room (and I do NOT try on clothes in public fitting rooms ever) as far as creep factor, but sometimes necessity rules.  I don’t see myself going to adult diapers any time soon.

Far be it from me to judge another’s fetish but the “adult baby” fetish is just plain gross.  This dude looks like he should be on one of those sex offender/predator lists, no?