Now back to the real post, take it away Mr. Mark A.:
It’s summer: the sun is shining, the lawn is pristine, you slept twelve hours last night, Mom has used Little Debbie as a pacifier…and its too early for your dad to start drinking.
Mom leaves to go to go grocery shopping–the pantry was plum-dry on Surge and Rice Krispies Treats Cereal.
Dad is alone. He looks at the pack of kids running rampant in the living room with mix of wonderment and panic. He needs to take action before things get out of control. “How can I get rid of them?” Dad says loud enough for the kids to hear.
Dad’s eyes widen as he remembers mom’s most recent purchase: Crocodile Mile.
That’s right. Who needs expensive 8-bit games, a Six Flags membership, or parental supervision when all you need is a ten foot stretch of lawn, a hose, and a glorified rain tarp?
“Brilliant,” Dad exclaims. “This’ll wear these little shits out, so I can watch Aresenio Hall in peace.” Dad pumps his right arm and grunts “ooo ooo ooo.”
Fast forward one hour.
The kids are content–giggling and breathing heavily from repeated runs down the the slippery slide. Dad is seated in a lawn chair, grinning contentedly. “This was a good idea,” he says.
But then…the first sign of trouble. The grass begins to disappear. Soon, muddy rut-paths develop on both sides of the blue plastic. Let’s not forget, the hose has been running for the last hour–it’s a mess out there. Not even the moshers at Woodstock 94′ saw worse mud pits.
Dad has a dilemma. On one side, he wants to say something, because the yard is devolving quickly; even Moses would have said “Why aren’t you stopping this?” However, if Dad stops the giggles, then he runs the risk of tears and the 900th sing-a-long viewing of “Be Our Guest” (“Dad, could you rewind it again?”). Dad decides to hold his tongue.
(Caption: Dad: “AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”)
Mom comes back from the grocery store and smiles with delight as she exits the car.
Mom: “Soooooo cute!”
Dad looks over and grumbles.
It gets worse. Turns out, like most yards, there are rocks. Tears start developing along the Crocodile Mile. The yellow inflatable board pops, forcing the kids to start sliding without it; bare skinned. The first cry is heard as one of the kids slides over a jagged stone and gets a scrape running up the entirety of their body.
Mom comes rushing over with the Bactin. The party is cancelled and within no time the house is again overrun with annoying, energetic kids–except now they’re muddy and bloody. “Great,” Dad says sarcastically.
Dad looks nervously at the liquor cabinet, but talks himself out of it. He gives a deep sigh, then walks over to the VCR. “Hey, if everyone sits down”–he cringes momentarily–“I’ll bring out some Nutty Bars and we’ll watch Beauty and the Beast.”
Outside, the scene is chaos; a post-war Serajevo. The yard is cratered and brown, the Crocodile Mile is a colorful garbage bag corpse, and your neighbors are wondering if the neighborhood will ever recover.
And did you help clean it up? Nope. That’s Dad’s job. What else does he have to do?
Sorry, Dad, I had fun.
Me again: Thanks Mark A. for an excellent post! Who could forget that song! It should have gone more like: “You run! You slide! You forgot about the giant gopher hole by the ramp… wrist broken.”
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