fuzzy, black dogs

fuzzy, black dogs
All three of my fuzzy, black dogs -- Bob, Ace and Lilly.

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Monday, March 23, 2015

To Pirate, or not to Pirate...

have a 17 year-old son. Funny thing about 17 year-olds is that they typically aren't known as stellar conversationalists! While my son can be a very well spoken young man, he is no exception.

"Hey Dad," he said to me one morning. "If you were a pirate, what would your pirate name be? What would be the name of your ship? What animal would you have? What appendage would you lose and how would you replace it?"

Being the awesome father I am, I indulged his 17 year-old nuttiness. That's where I went wrong.

My original pirate name was simply Arrrrrrr! After he pointed out that I would be called Captain Constipation, I changed my name to Captain Blackheart because I felt it sounded intimidating.

While I don't remember my ship's name, I do remember my pirate animal being a parrot that would say, "Blackheart's gonna kill ya dead! Squawk!"

After some ridicule from the 17 year-old contingency in my household, I changed my pirate animal to a lemur. A really creepy lemur with big, haunting eyes.

We started talking at length about our crews. My crew, I pointed out to him, would be a deadly force of confident pirates since I would teach them to read, write and fend for themselves out in the world! I explained that originally, pirates were probably at-risk youth who needed to make a way for themselves. I would provide them that way.

The appendage I would choose to lose would be a pinky. Why? Simply because my guns would have to be custom made and no one who had pinkies would be able to accurately shoot them. If someone got my guns, I would have a good chance of survival!

"What the heck, dad," my son said, laughing. "You would be Captain Constipation! Your ship's name would be the Redundancy! Your pirate animal is nocturnal! You're getting specialty guns knowing you're going to lose them in battle and be shot at! And, worst of all, you're an outreach program for wayward youth!

"Then what? Are you going to get them matching t-shirts? Going to have bonding campfire moments with them?"

After his not-so-brief laughter, he proceeded to tell me what a horrible pirate I would be.

"By the way, dad," he said. "I'm out of gas. Can I have $20?"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Car Dream -- Denied!

"Oh, honey, look," I exclaimed excitedly to my wife in the car. "It's a little red VW Rabbit convertible! There's no tags on it... Hmmm... I wonder if it's for sale?!"

"Doesn't matter if it is," she responded cooly. "They wouldn't sell it to you. They can't."

I paused a moment. I pondered her words, wondering what she meant. Obviously, I wouldn't be purchasing any car over $20 any time soon, but that was beside the point.

"I hear your gears grinding," she continued. Wives are amazing that way. "You can quit thinking about it. I've put you on the list. It's called the National Registry of People with Stupid Addictions."

She explained to me that some people have real addictions, such as gambling, alcohol, drugs, and other substances that people invariably overuse. Then there are people, like me, she said, who have stupid addictions, like Volkswagens.

"So I've added your name to the NRPSA (I've given it an acronym for simplicity sake). It's distributed widely and no one will sell you a VW. You have bad luck with them so you need to get over your love affair with them. They're just cars, honey!"

Just cars?! While I may not be the manliest man in the world, I do love cars! Especially VW's! Such blasphemy!

Maybe she was referring the the VW Dasher deisel my family once owned. According to my mother, that car spent more time in the shop than it did on the road. Or maybe the Jetta. The Jetta leaked every time it rained and eight mechanics couldn't figure out the where, why or how it leaked. It was eco-friendly, though. I actually had a plant growing from the back floormat.

While those were before her time, she personally became acquainted with the Scirocco I owned. I loved that car. She hated it. It had a tendency to shake when it idled, but only a little bit. There were derogatory comments made about our newborn, my car and shaken baby syndrome, so I got rid of it.

Then there was the VW Beetle. I paid $300 for that 1970 vehicle in 2004. It had a few problems, like standard size doors on a Super Beetle body. There were some mix and matched engine parts. The brakes sometimes worked. And, as my father once noticed, you could see the road go past by simply looking down. Silliness!

Of course, I convinced my wife I needed a Cabrio when my Volvo was totalled. You know, the convertible top opened and closed just like it should on that car. I sure liked opening and closing the top on that car. It was fun.

Regardless, I'm questioning this NRPSA thing. Of course I trust my wife, but I'm tempted to Google it anyway. That couldn't possibly be real, could it?