Feb 26, 2007

Vanishing act

The scene: Afternoon at Longer Elementary School.
The situation: Emmett had to go to the bathroom.
The action: He asked permission.
The result: Ms. Brill granted it.
What happened next: In the bathroom, Emmett remembered that he was due at cello lesson.
So: He went (bathroomically speaking).
Then: He went (straight to cello lesson).
After which: Emmett was called to the office.
Who was there: Ms. Brill.
Emmett explained: Where he went!

The moral of the story: Emmett, Ya Goof!

Feb 23, 2007

Generosity. With holes?

Some Dunkin Donuts appeared at work on Wednesday. At the end of the day, there were still three in the box. At the end of my day, the box was in my van.

But I forgot to bring it in, and I didn't discover that until Thursday afternoon. But hey, temperatures are freezing these days. So they were preserved, right.

In the evening, I was on my way to pick up Emmett from a rehearsal at the Junior High play (of the Elementary play—confusing, I know) and passed the YMCA. Something possessed me—kindness? whimsy? need of a blogging topic?—to stop and offer the doughnuts to my friend who works the front desk, Sam(antha).

"Want some free doughnuts, Sammy?"

"From where?"

"From work," I said. "I got them today." By today, of course, I meant yesterday. But I made up for that with a forthcoming comment. "They're not exactly super-fresh, but hey."

"Well, uh, thanks."

I have to imagine that the doughnuts made their way between the jaws of the teenage boys hanging around in the lobby. They had made their interest known when they spotted my orange-and-maroon offering with exclamations of "Oooooooh."

But say that Sam did munch one. And it was stale.

Do I net out positive because of the surprise? Or net negative because I had (sort of) presented her with pastries on the slippery slope to being trash?

How do I get myself into these situations, anyway?

Keith, Ya Goof!

Feb 20, 2007

The doctor won't see you now

Janet and the boys likes to sleep in when they can. Yesterday, Presidents' Day, was a perfect opportunity for that—no school and the Library was closed—EXCEPT the boys had doctors' appointments at 8:30. So they all got up by 7:30 and were out the door by 8:00.

My phone rang at 9:45. It was Ethan.

"How did the doctor appointments go?" I said.

"They're not until next Monday."

Ooooooh, bummer. Thankfully, it wasn't me who put the appointment in the calendar.

Janet, Ya Goof!

Feb 14, 2007

1002 ways to goof up (continued)

580. Drive too fast on snow and slide as you brake.
579. Take one pair of shoes off because you've got to put on boots, but then absent-mindedly put the shoes back on.
578. Pick a fight with your spouse on Valentine's Day.
577. Absent-mindedly wear your best piece of red clothing on February 13.
576. Start a diet on Super Bowl Sunday.
575. Buy the wrong size ink cartridge.

Feb 12, 2007

Say it ain't soap.

Am I such a bad guy if one of the kids who sometimes comes over to our house on Sunday afternoon gets under my skin?

Well, sort of. He invites Emmett over a lot, which makes for quiet Sunday afternoons.

But you parents out there know how it is with some kids. They just make you—grrrrrrr. But when your kid is at his house a lot, ya gotta have him over some of the time. Keep a kind of balance.

Yesterday struck me as a good day to have this kid over, because we were all planning to go to a dog show in the next town over. That would eat up some time.

But not enough. We left the show about 2:00. The time to hand the kid back over—the golden horizon in my mind—was 2:30.

We used another 20 minutes on a visit to an elderly member of our church who lives around the corner from this kid.

10 minutes to freedom.

But we couldn't just—you know, wait in the kid's driveway. That finish wouldn't be nearly elegant enough. So I set a plan in motion.

"Let's zip over to the Super Sheetz," I said. "I have a car wash coming."

I was talking about the showcase Sheetz store on 17th Street in Altoona, complete with restaurant seating, coffee bar and car wash. I explained that the day before, I had paid for a car wash through the gas pump and received a receipt with a code. I hadn't used the code right then because there turned out to be a long line at the wash.

When we got to the wash, there was a line again. But I had to have the wash sometime. I got into the line. I instantly regretted it when I multiplied the number of cars by the time of an average car wash. But by then, there was another car behind us.

One hour later, we rolled out nice and clean. After spending more quality time with the kid. We turned him over at 3:45. And it was ... All. My. Fault.

Keith, Ya Goof!

Feb 9, 2007

Take my wife ... aside while I take this question.

Let me have the attention of all the veteran and skilled husbands out there. What would you say in a situation like this?

Our church fellowship hall was used for a Valentine's Day party last night. The guests were special-needs adults, friends of a member of our congregation, a beautiful young lady with Down Syndrome. I had a wonderful time with them through dinner and a craft project. I took a minute to call Janet, who was working late, to come join us. She did, arriving for the end of the craft-making, and then we all sat down for bingo.

Cheryl, one of the party guests, apparently thought that Janet was a handicapped guest who had come late, but she also heard someone say that she was my wife. Janet was at my side when Cheryl tugged on my sleeve and asked, "What's the matter with your wife?"

I came up with one of the following answers. See whether you like any. Or maybe they'll all simply make you say: "Keith, Ya Goof!"

What's the matter with your wife?

a. Oh, where do I start?
b. Lots of things. Same as me. We're a perfect match.
c. We don't know. We haven't gotten the test results back yet.
d. Absolutely nothing. It's really irritating.

Feb 6, 2007

Cel-loooo-oooo. Where are you?

Ethan had a cello lesson tonight at the high school. When I dropped him off, he said that he'd be done at 7:20.

It's one of those nights when I'm tired (insert whiny voice here) and the last thing I wanted to do was drive down to the high school. Twice. But such is parenting.

I was at the high school right at 7:20. I even made sure of it by rolling the minutes on the dashboard clock back from 21 to 20. (It was a minute fast, anyway. Really.)

Then I sat. And sat. Until 7:35.

When Ethan came out, he said that the instructor had simply gone over. Okay, fine. So I pulled out.

A little way down the road, Ethan said, "Wait. I forgot my watch inside."

So there went another three or four minutes. Okay, so we're only talking about a little bit of time. But I'm tired.

Ethan, Ya Goof!

Feb 3, 2007

1002 ways to goof up (continued)

598. Get picked off base.
597. Order a rocket from Acme Products when you're all too familiar with their history of malfunctions.
596. Pee on an electric fence.
595. Use your mom's best scarf to dress up a snowman.
594. Use your dad's best tie to dress up a snowman.
593. Apply the frosting before toasting your struedel.
592. Say "I can't believe it's not butter" every time you taste (guess what).
591. Shovel snow into a spot that someone has just cleared of snow.
590. Paddle on the same side of a canoe as a fellow canoer, so you end up going in circles.
589. Exit your workplace on a wintry day, only to find that you left your gloves inside your snow-covered car.
588. Rather than take a minute to scrape your windshield, drive hunched over peering through the tiny stretch of glass.
587. Use the last of the bulk bottled water in the office, but leave the big container for someone else to change.
586. Buy fund-raising sandwiches at work, then forget them in the office fridge until it's far too late.
585. When you've got to change your shoes, try to pull your pants off OVER the shoes. It never works! You're living a lie!
584. Scrape one side of the mouth of your garage.
583. Leave a video in the hot sun to melt.
582. Accidentally block the store aisle with your shopping cart.
581. Forget that you were going to wait for a store clerk checking to see if that shirt is still in stock in that color.

Double or nothing (times two)

Ethan and Emmett have these nifty new ... let's call 'em wheeled floor chairs ... made for video gamers and dorm living ... that came from Target. They're just the right height for our old dog Muffy, who wears diapers and is finding it harder and harder to jump up on (regular) living room furniture for his morning (and noon) (and evening) snoozes.

When Ethan was taking these pictures, Muffy made himself comfortable stretching across both chairs but chose the floor over a single chair. Gotta love Ethan's comment: "For Muffy, it's double or nothing."

But when I came into the living room to see for myself, I found another little goof snoozing on the chairs.

Feb 2, 2007

1002 ways to goof up (continued)

606. Leave the heat up before going to sleep, so you wake up in the middle of the night too warm.
605. Appear on American Idol when you really, really, really should not.
604. Leave a book outside overnight.
603. Accidentally tear a page in a borrowed book.
602. Put a Netflix return in the envelope upside down, so the barcode doesn't appear in the envelope slot like it should.
601. Leave the oven on.
600. Char a bagel half that turned out to be too thick for your toaster.
599. Enflame a marshmallow.

Feb 1, 2007

Sofa, so good. Sorta.

As I type this, the family is watching TV. Smallville. (As posted elsewhere.)

Ethan is sitting in a low, wheeled fold-up chair from his room. Same for Emmett. Janet is sitting on the rocking chair that's usually on the back porch. I'm sitting in a chair that's usually out in the front hall. All of the usual seating is gone. Today it went out the double-hung window onto the front porch. Tomorrow, I'm having some new glass put in the one sash.

Don't worry, it was all by plan. Well, except for the broken glass.

We're having new living room furniture delivered on Saturday. Our old couch and love seat went to the Youth Group at the Methodist Church down the street. Ethan's a regular there.

The old furniture was too big to get out the front door. It originally came in through the front window. That's how we got it back out. But in the process, I cracked the glass in one sash. I tapped the frame a little too hard with the hammer. So tomorrow, I make a visit to the fine people at Ameraglass.

Keith, Ya Goof.