Tag Archives: Good Times

Congratulations, Dude! And More From The Expo

Congratulations go out to our new favorite dude, Aaron C. He’s the lucky dude who won that fantastic WebMD baby prize pack.

You had to be at it to win it, but he was there and he did win. At the Baby Shower & Toddler Expo, Barry and I set up a nice little bowl (actually a former container for trail mix from Tarzhay) so people could drop their contact information and possibly win the great stuff.

WebMD is a very nice outfit, quite generous.

So, Aaron C.? We’re trying to reach you by e-mail so we can find a way to get you the prize package. If you know Aaron C., and, really, why wouldn’t you?, give him a pat on the back and a hearty smile, one that just barely hides the jealousy seething within as you contemplate the raw, appalling emotional wound festering inside you all because you decided to sit home last weekend.

And now for something. . . not so completely different.

Here’s a little something I wrote during the Expo. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. All events are fictional, and any resemblance to any person or group, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Barry is dancing again.

He’s dancing to Hell’s House Band. I’ll have nightmares about this for years to come. Those appalling puppet things, with their blank, dead eyes, moving in hitching, jerking spasms that only vaguely resemble human musculature. And Barry. His face contorted in some rictus, rather than a smile.

And he’s . . . moving. I can’t call it dancing, I just can’t. There’s something missing in this, some essential joy that has been driven out in his all-consuming desire to please his puppety masters.

This Expo has been so long. I’ve forgotten the warmth of the sun, and the feel of clean rain swirling down from storm-tossed clouds. The music just won’t stop and. . .


Oh, no.

My foot. It’s. . . It’s twitching. In rhythm. And Hell’s House Band is still playing.

I think it’s too late for me.

Run! Run! Save yourselves!

Ah, good times. Good times.

Wait, I hear you asking. You said the names were changed to protect the innocent and yet there’s Barry’s name up there, bold as brass. To which I answer, “Yes. And?”

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The First Day. . . Of The Last Year Of Middle School

by Richard

Today is that great day of mourning and celebration. It’s the first day of public school for the 2012-13 school year here in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district.

Which means it’s time for Hyper Lad to be headed off back to the land of academia, relearning to wake up before the crack of noon, and be more useful in the thinking department than a bucket of wet rocks.

It’s been a long summer and a lot of that brain has turned to mush. Time to start stirring it back into shape.

Actually, Hyper Lad is feeling pretty good about the last year of middle school. Unlike his two older brothers, he’s actually enjoyed his middle school experience. He’s made new friends and had good times, both in school and out of it.

It’s a big year for a couple of the young Jones dudes. Not only is Hyper Lad finishing up middle school, but Zippy the Monkey Boy is already into his second week of college at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. We dropped him off in his dorm last week and he almost ran us over in his hurry to get us out of the room, off campus and no longer hovering over him.

One minute we were in his room with him, the next there was only a Cheshire smile hanging in the air, rapidly dissolving. So far, he seems to be doing all right. He’s woken himself up in time for his 8 am classes and actually seems to be looking forward to seeing what the semester brings.

Let’s hope that positive attitude continues as the semester unrolls. Which means I’m going to have to keep up my positive attitude. And that’s not going to be as easy as it sounds.

Still. A new year means a new start for everyone. And that’s always something to which we can look forward.

Here’s to a new school year! New challenges! New friends! New homework!

Hm. I had you up until that last one, didn’t I?

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Christmas Eve

by Richard

I love Christmas Eve. Maybe even more than Christmas morning when I almost always get buried under a pile of crumpled up wrapping paper.

To me, Christmas Eve is special. It’s full of traditions, silly and obnoxious and wonderful traditions that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know a few families that like to travel on Christmas and spend their holidays seeing the sights, but I’m not like that.

I love being able to sit down with my family and share good times and laughs over a pot full of boiling oil or — in these more health-conscious days — boiling chicken broth and do that fondue. We’ve been doing fondue in our family for Christmas Eve since I was a young dude and we revived it for the young dudes in our house.

Now, even when we want to switch to something new and try a different dinner, we get shouted down — loudly — by Sarcasmo, Zippy the Monkey Boy and Hyper Lad. They love the fondue. A tradition passed down to another generation.

I also love reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by America’s greatest novelist — Dr. Seuss, and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Of course, by this time, I’m probably the only one who still loves reading those Christmas classics. I know Zippy the Monkey Boy — professional hater of just about everything — keeps up a vocal criticism all the way up until I pull out the book and start reading.

He’s vocally opposed before and after the story. During, however, I like to think he’s as spellbound as the rest of us while caught inside Dr. Seuss’s greatest creation. Of course, he could just be learning to sleep with his eyes open, but I’m going for the positive.

The best part, though, is after everyone has gone to bed. That’s when I get to have some quiet time, sitting in a chair, watching the lights blink on the Christmas tree and realizing all over again just what a great live I’ve been lucky enough to live. It’ll probably be a bit different this year as — with a busted wing — I’ll probably need a little help from a Jolly Old Elf in filling stockings, but even that will be fun.

Here’s to your Christmas traditions, dudes. If you celebrate, may you have a wonderful night and a great day tomorrow. If you don’t, I’m still hoping you have a great couple of days.

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