March 31st, 2010 by Richard
The other day, I found out why there might be so many arguments between little dudes and their parents. Apparently, when they say something it means something totally different from what we think it means.
Case in point. When we were at Wingate University to participate in the regional competition of the Odyssey of the Mind, our team had a great position on the large, grassy area to use as a base camp. We had plenty of sun and lots of room for the little dudes and dudettes to run around and have fun. The only issue was down in one side of the grassy area where there was a bit of a bog.
The ground was so saturated from recent rains that water was just leaking out of the ground, like a spring, in one area. It formed a great, muddy swamp that existed just under the surface of some grass-like plants, eventually finding its way to a creek fed by a drainage pipe. Now, when I say this was muddy, I’m not messing around.
Some older dudettes, walking from the gym to a different building, went skipping into the bog. They didn’t realize it wasn’t solid ground and ended up losing their shoes to the muck. One girl found hers. The other girl didn’t. They spent about 30 minutes feeling under the mud and basically turning themselves into walking swamp things looking for these shoes. No luck.
So, yeah. Of course, Speed Racer thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I was talking to some of the parents of our group when I found out about this difference in definitions.
Speed Racer came limping up to me, his right foot and leg (up past his knee) were soaking wet and had a nice, stinky layer of mud all over them.
I was appalled, especially considering he didn’t have a change of clothes, there was a chilly breeze and we still had more than three hours before we could leave.
He was smiling. And couldn’t wait to tell me what happened.
“I was smart, Dad,” he said.
“Um . . . What? What? What? What happened to your leg? I thought I told you to stay out of the mud.”
“Right. Exactly. That’s why I was smart.”
I couldn’t really process that so I fell back on the classics. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
He looked confused. “What?”
“Never mind. What happened?”
“Well, you told me to stay out of the mud and that’s what I was going to do, but I had to get to the other side — ”
“You couldn’t have walked around the mud? Your feet wouldn’t make it the, oh, 17 necessary steps?”
He looked at me like I was the idiot there. And, who knows, perhaps he was right.
“Anyway, Dad. I had to get across so I grabbed a long thin pipe but it didn’t work.”
I shook my head. “What didn’t work?”
He looked at me like I was the idiot there. Again. He gestured at his muddy golem leg.
“Well, I was going to use the pipe to get across the mud. That’s why I was smart. I tried to use the pipe to pole vault over the muddy bits. That was really smart. Only the pipe wasn’t strong enough and it broke and I landed in the mud and I got all muddy and it’s all right because it’s sunny and I’m going to let it dry and it’s not really a problem. Bye, Dad!”
And off he raced. I turned to the parents with whom I’d been talking. I could see my own expression — puzzled, confused — reflected from their faces.
“He did just say that was the smart bit, right?”
I shivered, wondering what, if he considered pole vaulting over the muddy bog instead of going around the smart bit, had he rejected as a dumb idea and did I really want to know.
No. No I did not.
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March 30th, 2010 by Richard
A belated birthday wish to my dad, the original dude in the family. Believe me, if you’d met the other men in my family, you’d know that the one thing you’d never call them (especially in their presence) would be dude.
Yesterday, my dad turned . Hard to believe.
I think he’s where I got the defective eyesight.
That is, when he looks in the mirror, he sees not someone who’s (mumbledy mumbledy mumbledy) nine, but someone who has a — mostly — full head of hair, no wrinkles and a body like a (very small and inconsequential) Greek god. Oddly enough, I think we share the same mirror.
I just wanted to take a few moments to wish him a happy birthday out here in the wide open.
And to apologize for the birthday card. All I can say in my own defense was that I really couldn’t help myself.
Happy birthday, dude.
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March 29th, 2010 by Richard
I’m going to keep reviewing these until at least one of you drops by the comments section to let me know that you actually bought a collection of the best comic book being published today. And, no, that’s not damning with faint praise. I love The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules. It pushes all my buttons. It’s got humor, mythology, humor, butt kicking and smart alekry up the wazzoo. In short, it’s incredible. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Oh, yeah. And this collection has the best sound effect ever committed to paper. Take a look.
Let me explain. For reasons too complicated to go into right now, the Incredible Hercules has to pose as his rival, the Mighty Thor (hence the title) and, this being a superhero comic, the two get into a fight. Now, Thor isn’t used to fighting bare chested. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem. But, see, Hercules isn’t above fighting dirty to win and is willing to give out a purple nurple (notice the sound effect “nurp” is, in fact, purple).
Being a serialized comic book, this could be a bit confusing, if it weren’t for the fact that The Incredible Hercules has the most inventive and fun recap pages ever speeding people up to brought. Basically, Herc has to impersonate Thor to stop an invasion of Earth by some particularly dire elves. Things do not go as planned and Thor has to impersonate Herc to stop the whole thing. Once again, things do not go as planned.
Thor, normally one of the most noble fair-fightingest of the Marvel universe takes well to playing the part of Hercules. Perhaps too well. And, of course, notice the sound effect which, if sounded out, will sound suspiciously like nut crack. Hmm. Wonder where they got the idea for that sound effect? (To get a better look at this and the next picture, make with the clicky to enlargen.) [What? That's a word, right?]
In the series, Herc has been accompanied by a young genius named Amadeus Cho, the seventh-smartest person on the planet. And someone who has even worse impulse control than the notoriously scatterbrained Hercules. In alternating issues, this collection follows Cho as he tries to find out what really happened when his parents were killed.
He’s looking for the man who planted the bomb, not so much for revenge, but to find out if his sister is really alive and, if so, where she is. When Cho finally does find the mastermind behind his personal tragedy, he’s confronted by an aged, bitter and more than slightly insane version of himself and forced into a no-win, life-or-death situation. His solution to the dilemma is uniquely his own.
Because this is a comic book, I wanted to say a little bit about the art. Reilly Brown on the epic Thorcules arc is absolutely fantastic. I mean, you get the expressions you’ve been hoping for when someone describes the action. While Rodney Buchemi doesn’t quite reach those heights on the Amadeus Cho sections, it still does a nice job of telling the story.
In all, I’ll give this book five (5) dudes out of five. It’s, sorry again, incredible. Go out and buy it now. Read it and laugh.
Otherwise. . . Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be you.
Or your underwear.
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