Spring officially starts once you’ve mowed over your hibachi

Tall grass and hibachi The official start of spring is almost here. I know this because I received a Sears catalogue depicting what appears to be an all-American family taking time off from its busy modeling schedule to cook hamburgers on a brand new stainless steel grill large enough to accommodate an entire side of bull elk. As you would expect, children were in the yard squirting each other with water toys and running barefoot over a perfectly manicured lawn which, judging from the size of the family dog, must be self-cleaning.

Mom was nearby, well oiled and laying on a lawn chair in her bathing suit, still recovering from her recent Victoria’s Secret lingerie shoot in the Bahamas.

Around the Hickson household, spring starts out a little differently. I was reminded of this yesterday as I stood in our back yard, waist-deep in weeds, swatting at a mosquito with a rusty spatula and trying to remember the last time I saw our hibachi. Each year, I promise myself I won’t begin the spring by embarrassing our entire family.

And each year, a search and rescue team finds me whimpering somewhere in our back yard, surrounded by weeds, laying in a fetal position next to our lawn mower. Continue reading

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Insuring your buttocks could require a big premium

Buttocks appraisor Being that Jennifer Lopez was reportedly able to insure her buttocks for a million dollars, and British food critic Egon Ronay had his taste buds insured for $400,000, I couldn’t help but wonder how much I could get for my legs.

After filling out the necessary paperwork and submitting a photo, it turns out my legs have a combined net worth of just over $68.50.

That’s according to Lloyd’s of London, which assured me its appraisal was pretty much the going rate for hairy-legged,40-something, non-celebrities. As you can imagine, I was absolutely shocked by the insurance company’s appraisal of my legs’ value, and immediately responded by firing back a letter telling them — in no uncertain terms — to sign me up before they changed their mind.

That’s right. For just $100 a month, I have the security of knowing that in the event of an accident, my legs — just like our vehicles and home — will be assessed by an experienced claims adjustor and immediately declared a total loss.

No matter how minimal the damage. Continue reading

My apologies in advance for being a dork

Yep, that's me. With a big Wiener-mobile. Being a dork...

Yep, that’s me. With a big Wiener-mobile. Being a dork…

This photo really has nothing to do with this post, other than to provide documentation that, yes — I am a dork. I say this because, thanks to several followers, I was alerted to the fact that my last five or six posts never appeared in any tagged categories in the general “freshly pressed” pages available to everyone. After doing some research, I discovered that my dorkness had indeed extended beyond my personal being and into the settings of my blog’s “publish” settings. That said, I want to thank everyone for their encouragement to get things like “My Review of a Book That Doesn’t Actually Exist,” “Spring Starts Once You’ve Mowed Over Your Hibachi,” and a few others out to the general WordPress population. So when you begin to see a series of repeats in your mail boxes, rest assured it’s not because I’m losing my mind.

Ok, that could be part of it too, but mostly it’s because I’m a dork.

Need help deciding on a vasectomy? Don’t ask a man

Hammer and eggs There’s a scene in the movie “Jaws” where the Mayor of Amity Island explains how yelling the word “BARRACUDA” won’t get much reaction on a crowded beach. “But if you yell ‘SHARK’ you’ll have a panic on your hands…”

Keeping that in mind, you’ll have some idea of the reaction you get from most men if you change “shark” to “vasectomy.” This was the first word out of my radio this morning. And yes, it caught my attention. Apparently, March is the busiest month for vasectomies — and tomorrow is the busiest day of the year for this procedure.

Maybe it’s a result of March Madness compromises reached between husbands and wives, or a subconscious tribute to the start of baseball season. Whatever the reason, when I had mine 10 years ago, it was also in March. The decision had nothing to do with basketball or baseball, and everything to do with weeks of campaigning from my ex-wife.

Because she had a degree in social work, my ex-wife was trained on how to approach sensitive subject matter. That’s why I was allowed to discover, with no pressure from her whatsoever, that my new place mat at the dinner table was actually a medical brochure titled:

So, You Want To Have a Vasectomy?

True, we had talked about this subject before. Continue reading

On our newsroom door…

Our actual door Our newsroom has a door. But that’s not the point of this post. Over the years, this door has become more than just a way in or out, or something that occasionally gets “stuck” with our editor on the other side. It has also become a Mecca of sorts. A place where journalists since the 1970s have taped, glued and pasted headlines that are either badly written, clever or misspelled.

It is a beacon, really, harkening us into the jagged rocks.

Since I can’t afford to fly all of you here to see it, and because there are still many of you who did not receive the Mexican mocha I sent after my 100th post, I have nixed the idea of detaching the door and sending it to each of you to see for yourselves. Therefore, starting today, I’ll be coming to your homes or places of employment to show you my Door of Shame, Blame and Brilliance favorites. It will be just like having me standing there with my door. Except, you know — I’ll be doing it from here. Continue reading

Laughing at cows can be harmful, especially while playing bingo

Cow Patty bingo As you probably know, national “Be Kind to Animals Week” is almost here. And just when Florida was beginning to re-gain a small measure of respectability by working hard to draw absolutely no attention to itself, it is once again in the national spotlight.

I’m talking, of course, about the controversy surrounding Cow-Patty Bingo.

For those who might not be familiar with this activity for reasons of sanity, we’ll just take a moment to cover the basics.

First, you need a cow.

Second, you need a REALLY BIG bingo card.

OK, not really. But you really do need a cow, preferably one that has just eaten a lot of fiber — like, say, a 55-gallon drum of granola. Next, you need a large field or yard (such as a neighbor’s) that can be divided into numbered grids. Once you have the cow and the grid, it’s time to start selling squares. This requires finding people who think that poop is entertaining. If you know anyone who watched Jersey Shore, that would probably be a good place to start. Continue reading

Parents: Lung capacity is key when choosing inflatable toy

(Note: Judging from the response to last week’s launch of “Flashback Sundays,” I think we’re on to something! Or at least many of you were on something at the time. In either case, with spring break on the way, here’s another post from the early archives, back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was the tagline for a fashion blogger…)

Inflated whale We live less than 15 minutes from our favorite lake. The problem is, it also happens to be everyone else’s favorite lake, which means in order to get a spot within the vicinity of actual water, you have to be there when the gates open at noon and participate in something similar to the Oklahoma Land Rush. It’s not uncommon to see small children strapped to inflatable toys and tossed ahead of the crowd in order to claim prime territory.

As a parent, it’s not a gamble I’m willing to take with my child. Especially since, as a general rule, it only counts if your child is in an upright position once they skid to a stop.

The good news is that once the initial pandemonium is over, things generally settle into a state of peaceful co-existence as, one by one, parents begin passing out while blowing up inflatable toys. Sadly, the evolutionary process has not been able to keep up with the growing demand for larger and larger inflatable animals. Unless you are a pearl diver by trade, chances are your lung capacity is nowhere near what it needs to be in order to fully inflate your child’s favorite water toy. Continue reading

Spring officially starts once you’ve mowed over your hibachi

Tall grass and hibachi The official start of spring is almost here. I know this because I received a Sears catalogue depicting what appears to be an all-American family taking time off from its busy modeling schedule to cook hamburgers on a brand new stainless steel grill large enough to accommodate an entire side of bull elk. As you would expect, children were in the yard squirting each other with water toys and running barefoot over a perfectly manicured lawn which, judging from the size of the family dog, must be self-cleaning.

Mom was nearby, well oiled and laying on a lawn chair in her bathing suit, still recovering from her recent Victoria’s Secret lingerie shoot in the Bahamas.

Around the Hickson household, spring starts out a little differently. I was reminded of this yesterday as I stood in our back yard, waist-deep in weeds, swatting at a mosquito with a rusty spatula and trying to remember the last time I saw our hibachi. Each year, I promise myself I won’t begin the spring by embarrassing our entire family.

And each year, a search and rescue team finds me whimpering somewhere in our back yard, surrounded by weeds, laying in a fetal position next to our lawn mower. Continue reading

Don’t worry: tougher tax laws still let you depreciate your ostrich

IRS and ostrich It used to be that when the IRS discovered you’ve been claiming a child who is actually a 50-pound Labrador retriever named “Billy,” everyone would have a good laugh. Not any more. The Treasury Department says it will be cracking down on “aggressive tax deductions” filed by U.S. taxpayers in order to keep the federal government from being bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars — money that could otherwise be spent on important federal programs, such as the Government Shutdown Caribbean Getaway Fund.

As a service to our readers, several of whom are actual U.S. taxpayers, we thought we’d contact some of the brightest minds in tax law in order to clarify what we can still get away with. Unfortunately, everyone was too busy working on the Osbourne family’s latest tax returns to help us so, as responsible members of the news media, we were left with only one option:

Forget taxes and talk about The Bachelor!

Just kidding. We rolled up our sleeves. Got on the Internet. Made phone calls. And eventually came up with some real-life tax claims you should NOT make unless you want to end up in jail, or worse, on the computer screen of a humor columnist trying to meet a deadline. Continue reading

My review of a ‘Twilight’ book that doesn’t actually exist

Eclipsed Sunset cover So let’s say you’re a HUGE Twilight fan. And let’s further say you’re looking for a good book for summer when suddenly, and without warning… BAM! you stumble across a review about the new Twilight book YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WAS BEING RELEASED?!? How could this HAPPEN?!? Who is RESPONSIBLE?! Why was there nothing in my Twilight Fan Club email?!

That was the catalyst for my “review” of Eclipsed Sunset, the latest book in the Twilight series which, as it so happens, doesn’t actually exist. My friend Sara, who is the editor and a contributor at Gliterary Girl, posted it this morning at 8 a.m. London time.

Didn’t you hear the screaming?

Unlike this post, there was no such introduction.

This could be fun… Continue reading