Breaking Water

My wife is pregnant, and in a few months, her water will break. I’ve been made aware of this. As I tend to fear what I don’t understand, let me say that I am terrified right now.

Let’s start with the choice of terminology. Her “water” is going to “break”. First off, how do you “break” water? Is breaking water like breaking wind, only infinitely messier?

And why are we tiptoeing here? Her “water” is going to “break,” huh? Ok. Will her “spatula” do the “limbo”? Is her “curling iron” going to “operate a bulldozer”? Why are we combining nonsensical nouns and verbs together to totally mystify the birthing process?

Sadly, I think I know the answer. I’m afraid that the term “water” is a euphemism. Let’s be real here. I’m sure whatever comes out will be maybe 70% water, but what about the other 30%? My wife isn’t a camel. It’s not like she’s been storing a supply of water in her hump these last six months.

And how much “water” are we talking about here? A glass? A gallon? How involved will the cleanup process be? Will this simply involve a roll of Brawny or will I have to bust out the wet/dry vac from the garage? Should I look into renting a Hazmat suit?

It just seems like it could be a tremendous mess. And normally, tremendous messes are my wife’s department. But once the water breaks, that’s it. It’s time to go to the hospital. What about the huge mess on the floor? Who’s responsible for that? Since she’s the one who actually made the mess, it seems logical for it to be her responsibility to clean it up.

Unfortunately, she’ll be going into labor. How convenient. So what do I do? Rush her to the hospital, or start cleaning a massive stain before it sets? We’ve got some nice furnishings around our house that I would hate to see ruined by “water” damage. Our carpet still looks new. We’ve got some leather upholstery in the basement. I guess I should plan ahead and start covering all our furniture with tarps just in case.

Needless to say, I’m really hoping she saves me the hassle and just breaks water at the office.

The Spanking Table

It’s typical for a baby nursery to have a changing table, which is a specially designated piece of furniture stocked with all the items needed to change a soiled baby. It’s a practical idea, and our nursery will definitely have one. When the baby needs to be changed, chaos won’t ensue. My wife will know right where to go.

But what happens when the child needs to be disciplined? What do we do? Where do we go? Where are all the necessary supplies? While we fumble around with the answers, our child would be going undisciplined in the meantime. And seeing as how I intend to run a house of discipline, this is frankly unacceptable. And thus was born the Spanking Table.

Hear me out. Put down the phone. There’s no need to call child protective services. I’m not going to spank an infant… unless I catch him smoking or stealing. The Spanking Table is merely a prototype at this point anyway. But don’t worry, by the time my son is ready for corporal punishment, the Spanking Table will be fully operational.

And I intend to use it. Spanking builds character. And I want my son to have lots of character.

So what separates a Spanking Table from an ordinary piece of plywood on top of two sawhorses? At this point, very little. However, here are some features I’ll be adding in the next production phase:

1. The Wooden Spoon Holder: Self-explanatory.

2. The Spare Belt: In the event that I’m not wearing a belt, there will always be a spare attached to the Spanking Table.

3. Cupholder: Child-rearing can leave you rather parched.

4. Docking Station for IPod: Take your music with you! Never miss your favorite song, even while spanking your child!

Finally, please understand, the Spanking Table is a humane device. By increasing spanking efficiency, it will minimize the length and stress of frequent corporal punishment. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you parent.

Valentine’s Day Excuses

Good one. You forgot to get a Valentine’s Day gift for your wife or girlfriend. I’ve been there myself. The good news is you can survive this. Just don’t panic. And whatever you do, don’t use one of the excuses below:

1. “I thought we were saving money right now?”
The classic excuse. Unfortunately, this isn’t your call. Your wife dictates when you are saving money, usually by vetoing the purchase of new golf clubs or an Xbox 360. Women can be quite frugal in this regard. Sadly, this option doesn’t exempt you from getting her a gift. If anything, since you’re intent on saving money, she’ll question why you didn’t get her a 30-year savings bond for Valentine’s Day.

2. “I thought Valentine’s Day didn’t apply once you were actually married.”
It does seem kind of pointless. I guarantee there are some newlywed men out there are nodding in agreement on this one. Unfortunately, they will learn this lesson the hard way.

3. “You know, they double the price of flowers on Valentine’s Day.”
Look, I’m willing to be gouged at Chevron, because gas is useful. Same with Comcast, because cable TV is a necessity. But I refuse to be gouged at the florist. It’s a matter of principle.

4. “I thought you wanted to just have a quiet dinner alone, just the two of us.”
Of course, we all know she means a quiet dinner in a crowded restaurant.

5. “You know I don’t want to be spotted shopping at Hallmark.”
If there’s one thing your wife is not concerned with, it’s preserving your street cred.

6. “Aren’t you too old for stuffed animals anyway?”
I strongly advise against using this one. Also, don’t suggest that she’s too fat to receive candy or too homely for lingerie. If nothing else, steer clear of this excuse simply to avoid having to remove something sharp and pointy from your eye socket.

7. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget. I’ve got a big surprise planned for this weekend!
Let the web of lies begin! Use this option only as a last resort. This excuse will buy you some time, at the expense of significantly higher expectations. Normally I’d say you couldn’t live up to them. On the other hand, if you’re seriously consulting this list, chances are her standards are already pretty low.

Good luck gentlemen. And Happy Valentine’s Day Jnet.

Hustle Points

I like to keep track of life by keeping mental notes of how many “hustle points” I might get in a day. Allow me to explain myself.

In high school I used to play basketball. Throughout a season the coach and assistants kept track of an individual’s points scored, assists, rebounds, and hustle points. A hustle point meant either you laid out for a ball into the stands, dove onto the ground for a loose ball, or just generally worked your butt off on the court. At the end of the season an awards banquet was held for the team. I remember the first time I was introduced to this concept. Back in 1988, my brother won the hustle award for the season. To say the least, I was impressed. I have never won the hustle award. But I’m still keeping track.

Let’s say I have a rehearsal at 1 pm. I decide to leave 10 minutes earlier due to construction on the trains. As I figured, the subway was all messed up and it took me a little longer than usual. But I showed up right on time. I call that a hustle point.

Even simple planning of routes throughout the city is hustling in my world. Every once in a while the police set up random roadblocks. Usually they’re looking for drunk drivers, but I don’t like talking to cops anytime I don’t have to. One time I saw the trap ahead and quickly turned right so I’d miss the roadblock. Hustling.

Okay I have lost many hustle points in my day. I do admit, one time The Captive Lion called me and said he was ready to play Halo 2. I was unable to because I had forgot to charge my new Logitech wireless headset. That was not hustling.

And without a doubt I know who’s getting hustled right now…you. Unless you stopped reading about 2 paragraphs ago. I’m not really a writer, but I get to pretend. Now that’s hustling.

My Precious


I am a hideous, wretched creature.

My skin is scaly. My eyes are beady. And as I type this, I’m wearing only a filthy, soiled loincloth.

In other words, I’m like every other owner of an Xbox 360. My wife found one over a month ago, and I did what anyone would do: I subsequently took my treasure to the dankest cave I could find to covet it in isolation.

This is known as the “Gollum Phase” of 360 ownership. Once you have a 360, you really don’t need friends, family, hygiene, or natural light. And unless you’re willing to completely dissociate from civilization, you could be asked to let someone else have a turn with your precious console.

It’s a pitiful existence. I subsist on insects and the flesh of people I bite trying to play with my 360. I’ve abandoned walking for skulking. And I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve actually gotten pastier.

Sometimes I can’t help but think of my former self. People could generally tolerate my company. I had better posture. And my hair was far less stringy. My wife bought me a 360 thinking it would earn her some positive publicity on this site for once. Instead, well, she created a monster. Literally.

My wife is taking this all in stride, as with any of my annoying habits, she’s hoping it’s just a phase.

Thanks to Hepworth for another outstanding graphic.