Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Extra room

This post was written last week, before this story.

“Let’s try to get the emergency exit row.” John said over his shoulder as we stood in line waiting to board the Southwest flight.

I looked at my boarding pass for the tenth time to make sure it read, “group A”, which it did. Our group would be the first on the plane. I appreciated the fact that I printed our passes the day before. There were only ten other people in front of us. We had first dibs.

I asked the woman at the gate if the flight was expected to be crowded. She told me there were only a few open seats.

John and I made our way onto the plane and found the exit row open. John sat by the window and I sat in the aisle seat, the seat between us was empty.

John leaned over and said, “It would be great if no one sat here.” He patted the seat between us. Even though he goes to the gym daily, I guess he still needs the…um..extra room.

I laughed and told him I would make sure no one sat with us.

“How are you going to do that?” He asked.

I rubbed my eyes and cheeks so they appeared red and I started coughing. Every time someone from groups B and C came by and glanced towards the seat I coughed. I slouched a bit in my seat and did what I could to make myself look like a total sick loser.

The plane filled quickly. Every time, someone appraoched our section I coughed. I could see John snicker a bit. The last group of passengers boarded, and they were looking for any empty seat available. My throat was going hoarse from all the coughing that I could not keep up with the traffic of passengers.

A group of people reached our part of the plane, stuffing their bags in the overhead compartments. I mustered up one or two more coughs. John laughed again and said loudly over the hum of the engines, “We should just talk about your Herpes and genital warts.”

No one sat next to us. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello Potential Neighbor

I think it is perfectly okay, while looking at potential new houses, to knock on random doors in the neighborhood and ask the occupants if their neighborhood stinks ; especially if there is a water treatment facility nearby.

I did receive some funny looks but I got the answers I needed.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Brotherly Love

I was sitting across form my brother, LawnWhisperer, at a table, in a restaurant, in an airport, in another state. We had just finished our lunch and were waiting for our flight. We were discussing various topics form the past two days of travel when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was my wife, Lauren calling.

“It’s Lauren.” I said to LW. “ I need to answer this.”

I clicked the button on my phone and I answered. As I was talking to Lauren, LawnWhisperer whispered to me “What’s Lauren’s number?”

I smiled and wrote Lauren’s phone number on the back of the receipt. I figured LW was going to call Lauren on her other line and say something playful to the effect of “I am sitting with Bill in an airport and he is ignoring me to talk to you.” or something like that.

As I was listening to Lauren on the phone she asked me to wait a minute because she had another call. I looked across the table and smiled at LW. She clicked over and my phone went silent.

LW’s eyes widened in acknowledgment that she just answered his call. I chuckled at his playful smile. His smile then twisted into a sinister grin.

“Lauren.” LW said into his phone. “It's John. I just wanted to let you know that when you just called Bill right now, he rolled his eye and made a face of frustration. I don’t know what you just said, but he made a face at you. That is all. Bye.”

He hung up his phone and he started laughing hysterically. I listened to the silence on my phone waiting for Lauren to click over. The phone clicked back to me.

“What face did you just make?” Lauren questioned.

I just shook my head knowing that I could not explain as LW looked out onto the tarmac with a shit-eating grin.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I am a trend setter

In the middle of the night, this past Monday, I got up to go to the bathroom. On my way back to bed I tripped over my sneakers that were sitting next to my side of the bed. I fell back to sleep pretty quickly but ended up having very weird dreams about me standing on a runway at an airport with blinking lights flashing. I tossed and turned but the flashing lights in my dreams would not go away. I finally sat up to shake the dreams off. The flashing did not stop.

I looked over the side of the bed and noticed that my left sneaker, which I posted about here and here, would not stop flashing. The left light-up sneaker is finally working, but, now it won't stop.

Over the past few days people at work have noticed my light up sneakers. I told them all I am a trend setter which has kind of been validated by this article that appeared on MSN.

This reminds me a quote, I read somewhere, and now I will paraphrase it for you. "An Artist is never ahead of his time, it's just that everybody else is far behind."

Monday, May 21, 2007


Two of my favorite blog posts of all time are from Susie over at What Was I Thinking. These are the two posts here and here. I love her "therapist's" insight on the meaning of the children's artwork.

While I was helping my dad clean up some stuff from the basement I discovered a box filled with old artwork and school projects from my childhood. I am curious as to what these pictures say about me.

I drew nipples on my mom. And if you look closely I also drew a penis on her as well.

Some kind of deformed penguin.

This is a picture of my family. I found a few things about this funny. The first being that I drew Jimmy, the youngest, laying down because he was the baby. The second is that Kevin's head is not to scale with the rest of the family. If I drew it to scale I would have needed an extra sheet of paper. And the last is blown up below for you to review.
I must have told my mom what to write. Here it says that my brother Dennis is a Martian. I still belive he is some type of alien.
My mom wrote on this one "Me and Billy in a Submarine".
Here is a picture of me peeing in the shower.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Old Man

I need some opinions. This is kind of like "what would you do in my situation" type of survey.

I was driving from work to my parent's house, where I have been staying, to meet my brother the LawnWhisperer. The two of us were going away for business and he was driving us to the airport. I was running about 10 minutes late. I was driving down the street behind my parents' house and I purposely coasted through a stop sign as I was making a right turn. It was a three-way stop at a three-way intersection and there is no obstructed view of any of the corners. It is the perfect location for a "Hollywood stop."

I turned onto my parents' street and parked the car. LW was waiting for me in the driveway. As I was loading LW's car with my luggage a gold colored mini-van stopped next to us. The driver, an older man, yelled out his window to me. This is the conversation.

OM: Do you know you went right through that stop sign back there?
Bill: Yes. I kind of Hollywood stopped it. I'm sorry.
OM: (with real attitude) You know we stop for stop signs around here.
Bill: Huh?
OM: (Pointing to my license plate) I don't know how you do it in Florida but in Pennsylvania, we stop at stop signs.
Bill: Yeah Okay.
OM: (wagging his finger at me) You know I could report you.
Bill: Okay go ahead.
OM: (still wagging his finger) I should call the police.
Bill: (Totally ignoring the guy) Okay whatever. Thanks for your opinion.

The guy pulled away.

I looked at LW and I sort of shrugged my shoulders. His mouth was slightly open in disbelief. "I did blow right through the stop sign." I said.

"I can't believe this." LW said. "Why didn't you tell the guy to fuck off?"

"Well, I did go through the stop sign and besides he is one of Mom's neighbors."

"I am so disappointed in you." LW said while shaking his head. "If the guy was nice about you going through the sign that would be one thing, you know safety and all, but as soon as he said "I don't know how you do it in Florida' he crossed the asshole threshold and he was fair game for you to tell him to fuck himself."

"As soon as he started yelling I thought he was an asshole. The intersection was clear." I agreed with LW.

"Then why didn't you tell him to mind his own business. What does he think he is the local superhero."

LW and I talked about it the entire trip to the airport. LW thought I should have told the guy to stick it. He was very upset that I did not.

What would you have done?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rest Room Play by Play

I have posted many times about how Maxfield always chose bookstores as his favorite place to poop. That is no longer the case. Now that he is no longer in diapers, his new favorite “place” to go # 2, is in restaurants. The last two times we have been out to eat, Maxfield has announced to the table that “I aftoo go poopy”.

Maxfield using the toilet is always a gamble. Sometimes, when he announces he has to go, he has to GO RIGHT NOW, and I can barely get his pants off in time. Other times it is a 10 to 20 minute event which consists of him staring between his legs at his own reflection in the water while he grunts and groans.

A few weeks ago we were out with my parents in a small Italian place that was more of a take out joint with a few tables than it is an actual restaurant. The men’s room resembled a closet with a toilet that is probably used more by vagrants than actual customers. Needless to say it was not very clean.

When we entered the bathroom I had to make the split second decision to clean up a little and paper the seat or risk having an accident. Like I said, a gamble. I chose not to clean up, which was good because it was quick trip. Maxfield most likely picked up the Clap in that bathroom.

On Friday night, we took the kids to Ruby Tuesdays. We received our drinks and were waiting for our food when Max made his announcement. We entered the large tile covered, very clean bathroom and headed for the first stall. I got Max situated on the toilet and I closed the stall door behind me. His face reddened and I knew we would be there for a bit.

After a minute or two we could hear the bathroom door open. Max, as loud as he could, yelled, “HI.” He then proceeded to ask me questions at the same volume, his voice echoing off the tiles, “WHO IS THAT? IS THAT MAN PEEING? Oh, THAT’S THE TOILET FLUSHING.”

The door to the restroom opened again. “HI. HI. WHO IS THAT DADDY? IS THAT MAN GOING TO PEE OR POOP?”

A few minutes later we heard the door open again.

I heard a woman from outside the restroom door instruct her son to make sure he washed his hands when he was done, and that she would wait for the boy outside the door. The boy must of been 7 or 8 years old, old enough to go on his own but young enough that he needed his mother to wait for him. The stall door next to us opened and a pair of little feet appeared.


It became very quiet in the restroom as Max leaned over to see the boys feet and he listened intently to the sounds in the stall next to us. We heard the little boy pee. “HE IS PEEING.”

We could hear the plopping in the toilet next to us. “THE BOY IS POOPING. IS THAT A BIG POOPY OR A LITTLE POOPY?”

The boy stood up. Which Max announced, “HE IS WIPING HIS HEINIE, DADDY.”

The toilet next to us flushed. “HE FLUSHED THE TOILET DADDY. Bye Bye boy. Bye Bye Poopy.”

I felt so bad for that little boy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day


I am a middle child. Sure, LW claims that he is the middle child since he is the 5th of 9 kids, and that would make him dead middle as far as numbers go; but after a little math I realized that I am the middle child as far as age goes. The oldest is 5 years older than me and the youngest is 5 years younger than me, so I, too, am the middle child.

I am not writing this fact, on the blog, so that I can get sympathy or extra attention, I am writing this because I know the real truth.

Since, I am truly in the middle child, I have, over the years, witnessed something that I think you need to be made aware of. When I was in kindergarten Sharon, the oldest, was in 5th grade. She used to walk us, Dennis, Kevin , Dan, John and myself, to elementary school. When I was in 5th grade I was the one responsible for walking Pat, Mike and Jim to school.

What I am trying to say is that I was part of every one of your kids' (all nine of them) walking-to-school experience.

This is the real truth. Whenever one of the neighborhood kids would say, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." I, was the only one of your children that, would avoid stepping on cracks.

Happy Mother's Day.

I love you.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spanish Rooster

This morning, like most mornings, I was watching the Wiggles. The purple Wiggle told the red Wiggle that they were going to sing a song in Spanish. The Song they were going to sing was “Quack, Quack, Quack, Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

The song is, basically, about animal noises. They sang and I listened.

I do not speak or understand Spanish but I was shocked to hear the lyrics that sounded to me like “Quack quack quack, Ceek a deedle deedle dee.”

I was confused. "Ceek a deedle?" Do Spanish roosters sound different than other roosters? Spanish ducks make the same sound as, I guess, English ducks. So, why does the Spanish rooster sound so different?

I thought animal sounds, like Moo, Meow, Oink, Quack and, yes, Cock-a-doodle-doo, were all universal sounds.

Side note survey for those interested: As I contemplated the above post I realized that there are few different ways to make a dog sound. I usually use “Ruff, Ruff”. But there is also “woof woof”, “arf arf’ and I am sure a few others. What is your dog sound?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Beautiful Morning

I sat at the computer to read the morning news. My back was to my mom who was sipping her tea at the kitchen table. I was admiring the sunrise coming through the east window as she was watching the birdfeeders through the north facing windows. It was peaceful.

The sun was just peaking over the houses to the east, golden beams of light ricocheting off the dewed rooftops, piercing the gray of the morning. The aroma of coffee filled the kitchen and the soft cooing of mourning doves could be heard in the back yard. It was peaceful.

I sipped my coffee, contemplating the day ahead of me with a slight smile across my face, taking it all in, feeling happy to be alive. It was peaceful.

My mother broke the peaceful silence. She spoke in a steady whisper, "Oh. My. God. Look at those squirrels. On the branch of the dogwood, I think....I think they...are...doing it."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Juice Pouch

Capri Sun Juice pouches are a great invention. Kids love them. They are portable. They are small and can fit in most pockets or diaper bags. They are silver and filled with liquids that a kid cannot resist. They are like a flask for toddlers.

But there is a design flaw. The hole, where the straw gets inserted, is to close to the back of the package.

Every time I take the pointy straw and try and puncture the little plastic-hole-area, I always end up pushing the straw too far and it ends up piercing the other side of the pouch. When my kid squeezes the pouch, in an effort to get every last drop, the hole on the other side of the pouch becomes a mini geyser.

I guess that is why they have flavors called "Splash Cooler" and "Roarin Waters".

Monday, May 07, 2007

Enjoying the Spring

Happy Birthday Dad. Ask him what's in the cake and he would respond "Poop and Boogies."

Friday, May 04, 2007


I was sitting at my desk at work on Thursday when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Lauren calling. I thought that it was strange that she would be calling me at 10:15 AM when I knew she should be at a doctor’s appointment. I answered the phone.

“Bill, I need you to come down here right away.” She said, her voice slightly panicked.

My heart started racing. What was wrong? Did she already see the doctor and did she get bad news? She was talking pretty fast and I had a hard time hearing her. The signal on her cell phone was fading in and out.

“I don’t know what to do. I need your help.” She said.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“The doctor’s office moved to a new location, and when I pulled around the building I didn’t realize I had to park in a parking garage.”


“We never took the Turtle Top off the van.”

What we call the “Turtle Top”, is the big plastic Cargo Carrier we attached to the roof rack when we drove up from Florida 3 weeks ago. I was going to take it off and store it in my parent’s shed, but last week I demolished the shed ,so I left the cargo carrier on the van.

Lauren continued, “I had no problem pulling into the garage but as I keep driving, the Turtle Top keeps hitting the roof of the garage. It is so loud. People keep looking at me. I don’t think I will be able to get out of here. I am afraid that I may get stuck, or I may end up tearing the roof off the van. Every time it hits a beam it is so loud.”

I started laughing. I was relieved that she was okay. Lauren started laughing.

“Okay.” I said. “Where are you? I will come and take it off.”

She told me where I should go. “I just found a parking space, which I think it will be okay. It is between beams. I would take the thing off myself but I don’t know how.”

“Okay. Just go to the doctor and I will check with work to see if I can take an early lunch come down and take it off.”

I found the garage and her car and I made quick work of removing the cargo carrier and I placed it in the back of the van.

An hour later Lauren called to thank me. “You are my hero.” She said. “I was so afraid I was not going to get out of the garage. You should have seen the looks I was getting from everyone in the garage when I pulled in. It was so loud. I was embarrassed. Is every one at your office laughing us now?”

“Not everyone. Just the people I told. But you do realize I am going to blog about this, right?”

Thursday, May 03, 2007

For the record...

..I think it is perfectly okay, while looking for a new house, to ask the realtor if the seller's disclosure would divulge information about whether the house is haunted or not.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spit take

Lauren and I were settled in on the couch with Maxfield between us. Lauren was sipping a soda and Max was drinking water from a sippy cup. We were watching “the Dancing Show” before it was time to take Max to bed. Every so often Max would plead for a cookie or a treat which we refused. Max did not eat his dinner so he was cut off from anything else for the rest of the night.
Max watched his grandparents enjoy their evening snack of pudding and ice cream and he kept searching Lauren’s eyes to see if she would give in to his requests for something sweet. She and I repeatedly told him no.

At one point Max reached for Lauren’s cup to see what she was drinking and to see if he could have a taste. Lauren told him that he could not have any soda. Max asked for ice from Lauren’s cup. She told him no again.

After a few minutes, while Lauren’s eyes were on the TV, Max reached inside her cup that was resting on her lap. Lauren pulled the cup away.

“No Max. You cannot have any of my soda and don’t reach into my cup.” She said as she lifted the cup to her mouth and took a sip.

Max looked at her and held up his finger and with total innocence said, “No mommy, I was just wiping my boogies in there.”