Possible NFL Expansion Teams (According to My Wife)

The NFL isn’t really an expansion league, but my wife has a few ideas for new team names in case it ever decides to grow. During the Monday Night Football game she came up with this list:

  • Idaho Potatoes
  • Oregon Explorers
  • Utah Missionaries
  • Nevada Slot Machines
  • Delaware Rest Stops
  • Vermont Covered Bridges
  • New Hampshire Freeloaders
  • Connecticut Commuters
  • New Jersey Landfills
  • Tennessee Blues
  • Georgia Onmyminds
  • Detroit Condemned

I’d love to see the logos of these teams. Any artists out there?

My Wife is a Cougar

Sorry to disappoint, she’s not a “cougar” in the traditional sense.

Picture her as a literal cougar, sitting atop a precipice stalking her prey. Crouched, her legs are like springs, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Her eyes dart from side to side, her tail twitches in anticipation. And then… when her prey stumbles momentarily, her eyes widen, claws retract, and she leaps in for the kill…

Her prey? Any funny story I’m attempting to tell at a cocktail party or social gathering.

And just like a real cougar would, my wife will meticulously stalk a funny story from a hidden vantage point. She will wait for me to stumble in my recantation of the events, and then suddenly… she pounces! My funny story is unsuspecting, and puts up limited resistance to the surprise attack. Inevitably, my wife will snap the story’s neck, and haul the carcass up a tree to gorge on its entrails. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

You see, there are stories I enjoy telling in a group setting that my wife has heard a million times before. And whenever I find myself dispensing mirth in front of a new audience, my wife cannot resist gleefully cross-examining my testimony. She hangs on every word, just hoping, salivating, for a mistake that she can joyfully correct in front of a large audience.

Conversely, when my wife begins to tell a story I have heard before, I simply tune out. Although, to be perfectly honest, I generally tune out most of her first-run, original stories as well.

Not my wife though. Once a crowd has shifted their collective attention to me, she dutifully strives to prevent any embellishments in my storytelling. Unsatisfied with her role as the ombudsman of my narrative, she unfailingly decides that my solo act should really morph into a duet. A husband and wife storytelling duet! The irony, is that for many of my stories, my wife wasn’t there to witness the events firsthand to begin with anyway. Yet somehow, she knows the events of that particular night better than I do. And once she forcibly anoints herself the “co-storyteller” of one of my stories, it is only a matter of time before we are arguing with each other in front of our audience.

I look around, surveying the awkward discomfort of our friends. Nobody wants to make eye contact. I realize the story has been mortally wounded. If anything, I wish I had a blunt instrument nearby to put it out of its misery.

Thankfully, as is often the case, I am my own blunt instrument. As there is no way to win a fight with a hungry cougar, the best course of action is to withdraw. Remember to back away slowly and puff out your jacket or other loose clothing to appear bigger in stature. At a minimum, pop your collar and turn your pockets inside out. Never turn your back to the animal! Banging sticks or dinner plates together can also help provide a distraction for your escape. If possible, tossing a plate of hors d’oeuvres (especially baked brie) on the floor may cause the cougar to divert the attack elsewhere. Following these steps will insure you can live to tell another story someday… And sadly, this is how every cocktail party concludes for Mr. and Mrs. Centaur.

Uh oh. Did you hear that? My wife’s ears just perked up at the sound of me typing this post. Her nostrils flare, as she gathers in the scent of her prey. Be forewarned, I guarantee she will soon begin refuting irrelevant details of this post in the comment section below…

Having a Zillionairette

I can still remember it vividly… It was flat-out unwatchable, perhaps the most pitiful display of high school athletics I’d ever witnessed. At the time, I was a sophomore in college, attending my sister’s high school softball game as a gesture of support.

At the conclusion of the game, my sister ran over to where my family was sitting.

My sister: “Did you see my four home runs!?!”

Me: “Yes I did. Well, actually, you had four singles. Because there were multiple fielding and throwing errors committed by the defense, you were able to score on each hit. Just so you know, those aren’t considered “home runs”. Technically, you had four singles and the defense committed eleven errors while you ran the bases. That’s how it should be scored.”

My sister: “Whatever, you’re just jealous.”

Me: “I can assure you that I am not.”

My Dad (glaring at me): “No, those were some great hits Sweetheart. All of them were home runs.”

And so it goes. Mercifully, that was the last girls’ softball game I ever attended.

As we left the ballpark, I thought of my parents, willfully sitting in the stands watching every single game. My dad wasn’t reading a newspaper during the game. He wasn’t sipping from a flask either. Instead, he had a pencil and a little piece of paper and was keeping track of all my sister’s at-bats. He legitimately cared about what was going on in the field. I simply couldn’t wrap my head around that.

I have a feeling that is about to change. While this episode happened almost ten years ago, I found myself thinking about it again this week. You see, we found out on Tuesday that the bun currently roasting in my wife’s oven is a female bun. In other words, we’re having a little girl.

I started this post with the story about high school softball for a reason. I’m slowly finding out that the prospect of having a girl makes you think about things like this. It’s weird, to say the least. This is on top of the usual worries dads face, you know, about having to one day threaten a high school boy with physical violence, having to put off retirement for another year to pay for a wedding, and having to deal with a son-in-law that spends an inexorable amount of time playing video games and dressing up like Star Wars characters.

I’m not looking forward to any of these things, but they are in my immediate future. I’m starting to think that this is how my Dad was able to enjoy himself at softball games. Instead of putting asterisks next to the “home runs” being hit, he was simply happy to spend time with his daughter and put off worrying about things like the possibility of a future prom date pulling into his driveway with a windowless van. Ah, fatherhood…

With that said, here are a few answers to some FAQs:

A girl, huh?
Yes indeed.

How do you feel about that?
I’m warming up to the idea. On the one hand, it will be an entirely new experience from having a boy. I’m sure I will gain a lot of new perspective on life in general in this process. And, I think gray hair can be a dignified look on a man.

Any ideas for a name yet?
Actually, “Prudence” has a nice ring to it.

Truthfully, I haven’t given it much thought. Because we are having a girl, it likely means I won’t be able to revive the effort to name our child “Lando Calrissian Ring.”

How is your wife doing?
Excellent question. As soon as she’s done insulating the crawl space, I’ll ask her.

When is the due date?
March 17th. I’m banking that the hospital will be serving green beers in the cafeteria.

How is little Charlie taking the news?
As you would expect, Charlie is taking it like a man.

C’mon… Did you pull off a snipe?
I won’t lie, it actually took me two shots this time. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I didn’t properly account for wind direction or the humidity. Sometimes, in the murkiness of battle, miscalculations can occur. However, I made sure to track the flight path of the first round, and adjusted accordingly on my next shot. As you might expect, my second shot went dead-center through the ovum. Mission Accomplished, time for extraction.

Insect Strength

“With great power comes great responsibility…”

Someday, I can envision a lecture with my son beginning with those words.

Like the dad from TeenWolf, I will one day be forced to council my teenage son on how to manage his superpowers. I’ll tell him that it’s ok to use these powers to excel at sports, provided he doesn’t become a ball-hog. I will say that it’s ok for him to maybe get even with a bully, as long as he doesn’t cripple the guy or something. And it’s ok to impress a girl with your powers, but just make sure she loves the real you. Finally, I will tell him to maintain his dignity, and to not be seen “surfing” or doing handstands on top of a buddy’s minivan around town. Hopefully he’ll get the message.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about since I discovered my one-year old son possesses superhuman strength.

The other day, he grabbed onto a heavy chair in our kitchen. He pulled it away from the counter, and pushed it across the floor with ease. This chair happens to be twice as tall as he is, and easily weighs twice his body weight. And then it dawned on me. There is no way I could perform a comparable feat, pushing around an object over twelve feet tall and weighing close to 400 pounds.

This is just one example. He routinely pushes, lifts, pulls and topples items around the house that are gigantic relative to his size. And being a baby, he doesn’t know that he shouldn’t be able to manhandle these items. He quite literally doesn’t know his own strength.

And I hypothesize that, as he gets older, he’ll only get stronger. Whereas now he can manipulate items twice his body weight, in a few years it will be five or six or even ten times his body weight. He’ll have full-on insect strength.

Now, as far as superpowers are concerned, insect strength is a good one to have, as it lends itself well to superhero pseudonyms. While comic book characters have already claimed the best names, there are still lots of options out there. For instance, he could craft an appropriate costume and go by the name “Locust-Man” and bring forth the ultimate famine… on crime.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as crime fighting is years in the future. My biggest concern will be his formative years. While I initially looked at his gifts with great excitement, figuring that I will no longer have to watch “World’s Strongest Man” competitions on ESPN to witness feats of strength, I now realize the difficulties I will encounter in raising this boy.

At only one year of age, he is already physically stronger than my wife, and routinely overpowers her during bath time or diaper changes. I used to laugh at these spectacles at first, but now I have sobered up to the fact that my days as an authority figure are numbered.

If I attempt to take a toy away from him, will he instead rip my arm out of the socket? The first time I tell him to clean his room, will he hoist the family car over his head and heave it at me?

Despite these fears, I am committed to raising my son in a house of discipline. Ideally, with the right counseling, I can teach Charlie to use his gifts for the betterment of mankind, and not the pursuit of evil. I just need to find some type of Cryptonite to help maintain discipline, as I don’t think he’ll respond well to being grounded.

Teaching A Baby To Talk

My son is a year old and he has already learned a handful of words. Clearly, his favorite word is “Dada”, as he uses it to interchangeably express ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ and ‘happy new year’ and about 25 other things. For my son, “Dada” basically functions like the word “Aloha” for native Hawaiians.

Anyway, while the words “Dada” and “Mama” certainly make his parents proud, I worry about how far these words will actually take him in life. For instance, I certainly doubt the word “Dada” will impress anyone in a job interview. So, I’ve decided to start teaching him some of my favorite words that will assist him in all facets of life…

Words to use in a job interview:


Words to use in an office meeting:
Spreadsheet (use it as a verb, as in “Let me spreadsheet the proposal and get back to you.”)

Words to use when making a deal:


Words to express dissatisfaction (I have many of these):
Perfect (once he has mastered the use of sarcasm)
Finally (once he has mastered the use of sarcasm)
UN-acceptable (Please note, I know that “unbelievable” and “unacceptable” are not spelled with multiple capital letters or hyphens. I’m trying to illustrate how they should be pronounced.)

Words to describe someone untrustworthy:

Words to use to charm a lady:

And there are dozens of other words that I’ll be introducing shortly. I’ve told Charlie many times that having these words as part of his vocabulary will be the catalyst to spearheading a veritable conduit to the pinnacle of success in life. Charlie agrees fully, as he always responds with an enthusiastic “Dada!” at the end of my sermon…. which, I’m pretty sure is his word for expressing approval.