Tag Archives: death

Dude (Wishes He Didn’t Have To) Review: Paul Blart: Mall Cop

My brain hurts. The other day, we decided to go to the movies. My wife, known to me as She Who Gets To See The Good Movies, took our youngest little dude to see some inoffensive kid-fluff. My two older little dudes begged, pleaded, demanded, and begged some more to be taken to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop, starring and written by Kevin James.

That’s two hours of my life I will never get back. When I’m lying on my deathbed reviewing my life, I’ll probably be cursing my two oldest sons for making me waste those two hours. I could have been doing something fun and worthwhile, like, maybe, root canal surgery.

I’m going to paraphrase from my favorite penguin here: Bad plot. Bad special effects. Bad acting. Bad script. Bad costumes. So bad that it created a black hole of badness that sucks all that is good within itself and crushes it within its gravity well of badness. Well, it wasn’t that bad. But Lord, it wasn’t good.

I think you get the point.

About halfway through, I started closing my eyes to block out the pain, humming softly (not too softly, considering I was all alone in one of the back rows) to escape the insipid dialogue and occasionally punching myself in the nose to remind me that it could, maybe, get worse. And then it did. How, you ask, could something that bad get worse? Easy. It just kept on going. And going. The joke was worn down to powder, leavened with concrete, mixed with water, poured under the foundation of an outhouse and then dynamited and still the movie kept going back to the same, stupid joke: Mall cops aren’t very competent. Wheeee! Wasn’t that fun? Answer: No.

The worse, however, came after the movie ended. I grabbed some used napkins I’d found wadded up under the seats and staunched the blood flowing from my eyes, ears and nose and stumbled to the exit, picking up my two big little dudes on the way out. When I’d regained the power of speech, I mumbled to them, “So, how’d you like it?” fully expecting the same sort of excrutiating pain I’d gone through.

“It was great!”


And then they started repeating some of the lines they’d just heard in the movie. I had to step away least I began losing my control over my urge to commit violence about their heads and shoulders. I know frontal lobes of teenagers’ brains don’t develop until they’re in their 20s, but I’d exposed them to enough of the good stuff that I thought they’d be able to recognize this movie for the pile of excrement that it was. Apparently I was wrong.

I still have much work to do. I’m starting here. Do not go see this movie. Do not rent this movie. If the movie ever shows up on your television screen and you’re too ill to work the remote control, just go ahead and choke yourself into unconsciousness. It will be easier that way.

This movie gets zero dudes. I’d give it a negative number, but I’m not sure that’s allowed.

— Richard

Share on Facebook

Another Rat Deserts The Ship Of Life

This is getting ridiculous. Time to break out the shovel and start searching the backyard for another burial plot. The Angel of Pet Death is making another visit to our house. I’m thinking of giving the Angel of Pet Death frequent flyer miles, because of all the times its cast its long, dark shadow over our lives.

This time the victim is Ratty, who is, as you might have guessed, a rat. We picked him up through no fault of our own. Well, maybe a little. See, in first grade, my youngest little dude took his first rat (Bush) with him to class because his friends didn’t believe he really had a rat as a pet. One of the little girls in his class really loved the rat and kept after her parents to buy her one. Eventually, they did. At the end of summer, they decided to move to California and they weren’t taking the rat with them. They asked my youngest little dude if he wanted the rat. Which, of course, he did.

And so we have two rats living up in the little dude’s room: Jet and Ratty. Jet is the replacement rat for Bush. Well, the other day, we noticed Ratty wasn’t walking really well at all. He’s pretty old for a rat, about three years old, so we thought it was just age. Unfortunately, no. For the last day or so, he’s been having these intermittent “freak outs” where he spasms around. Not a lot of fun. I called the vet and she recommended we just keep giving the rat love and trying to help him eat and drink, but to prepare for the end.

The hardest part is that my youngest little dude has become very attached to Ratty. It’s a difficult concept to get across to a nine-year-old, that sometimes we have to let go and let bad things happen. It’s yet another bonding moment, sure, but I’m getting really tired of hauling out that shovel.

Although, on the plus side, the area where we bury the ex-pets is growing some great grass and other plants thanks to all the fertilizer.

Was that a bit crass? Sorry.

— Richard

Share on Facebook

Backyard Burial

The Angel of Pet Death has hit my house so often, I’m afraid I’m going to have to apply for a zoning change so my backyard can double as a cemetery. I cannot tell you the number of animals we’ve buried back there. No, really. I literally can’t tell you the number, but that’s because I lost track of the number of fish we’ve had at around thirteen. It seems as if every animal we bring into the house lasts a couple of months and then brings down the curtain and joins the choir invisible.

We’ve had to bury fish, hermit crabs, birds, rats, lizards by the ton, a snake and — on one memorable occasion — a swarm of fireflies. (Yeah, that was a very strange summer.) Our death touch with reptiles got so horrible, we eventually bought a cat for our oldest little dude so he’d have something a little hardier and resistant to death in all its myriad forms. So, of course, a couple of days after we brought the cat home we learned it had been exposed to feline leukemia and had a fifty-fifty shot at dying. Turns out we got lucky and the cat is still with us. So far it’s only mammals that tend to survive for long in our household. And every time we had to dig up another plot of ground it was traumatic as heck for the little dude that had owned the previously alive pet.

You haven’t really experienced the joy of life until you’ve just finished breaking roots and digging up frozen ground to stand sweating next to a bawling 8-year-old and try to find a few good things to say about a rat you’re about to bury. And, yes, that was oddly specific. Why do you ask?

However, even with all the trauma and hullaballoo that goes along with a visit from the Angel of Pet Death, I still wouldn’t have deprived my little dudes of owning the smaller pets. They learn responsiblity by caring for them, tenderness by making sure to be gentle and a bit about how death works. Plus, as an added bonus, they got to learn that even a small ribbon snake can really stretch out its mouth and body to swallow a fish wider than it is. Now that was cool.

— Richard

Share on Facebook