Getting Married vs. Being Married — Sept. 23, 2021

One of the interesting truths about this whole “living” thing is that we make so many important decisions before we know what the hell we’re doing.

For example, I chose my career path the same year I got my driver’s license. I had absolutely no concept of a mortgage and office politics and exactly how much Uncle Sam would be taking from each and every paycheck. I just knew I liked to tell stories.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

It sounds good. It’s also complete bullshit.

It didn’t take me long to realize that doing what I love wasn’t going to support the family I wanted to have and allow us to live the not-extravagant-but-not-extremely-frugal lifestyle we wanted to lead. I wanted to have a home of my own in a safe neighborhood, and we wanted to homeschool our kids and, yes, I really dug emerging technology like smart phones and home audio and the like. Telling stories for newspapers wasn’t going to allow that to happen, and had I known that when I was choosing a career, I would have taken a different road.

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the day I got down on one knee on a burgundy, silk handkerchief on the side of a dusty road in front of Roseman Covered Bridge in Winterset, Iowa, and asked Wifey Poo to marry me. We were 21-year-old seniors in college who loved each other deeply and had been together since the first month of freshman year, minus a few months during our sophomore year when I was kind of a butthole. (OK, more than “kind of.”)

I was thinking a lot about this as the day approached: What the hell does a 21-year-old know about 47? I would say that asking Wifey Poo to marry me was the biggest decision I’ve ever made and will ever make. Some might argue that the decision to create new life is the biggest, and that’s fair. Maybe they’re 1A and 1B. But I was thinking this week about how much I didn’t know when I took Wifey Poo’s trembling hand and slipped the engagement ring I’d worked the previous summer to pay for on her finger. I had no concept of what being married was like. I knew I wanted to get married, but “getting” and “being” are vastly different. Getting married is a moment in time, a wonderful party in which you’re surrounded by your friends and family and all the attention is on the happy couple and then you get to go away for a while and come home to a pile of presents.

Being married, on the other hand, is hearing a thud from the bathroom in the middle of the night and pushing open the door to find your fever-riddled spouse passed out on the floor with a pool of his vomit in the sink. Not a pretty picture, true, but it’s one Wifey Poo could have taken.

Being married is having your heretofore charmed life shattered with the words “Your baby most likely won’t live much past birth” and then standing by each other for four torturous months as the pregnancy continues until that eventuality happens.

Being married is saying things in the heat of the moment you never thought you’d say to that person into whose eyes you stared so lovingly at the moment you said “I will.”

Being married is about somehow retaining the individual freedom to grow and expand and evolve and change into the person God or destiny or the irresistible march of time would have you be while doing so in a way that keeps you walking side-by-side with another individual who is subject to the same forces.

I knew none of this 26 years ago today. None of this, and not only none of this but so much more.

So what does 21 know about 47? The reality is, not much. It’s why the statistics say that couples who get married young these days don’t make it more often than they do. Things happen and people change and there are so many more forces pulling people — not just couples — apart now than there were when Wifey Poo and I agreed we wanted to be married to each other.

Yet here we are.

I woke up this morning at 5:59 a.m. Next to me was this woman whom I met 29 Septembers ago in the basement of a dorm in the middle of Iowa. We make a cute couple lying in bed. I have a mask shooting air up my nose and she wears a mouth guard to keep her from snoring and recently has taken up wearing this foot contraption to help her plantar fasciitis. That’s not something you picture when you think about getting married.

I stood in the dim light of early morning and looked at her, how one foot was sticking out of the covers like I know she likes, even on the coldest mornings, how her hair was a tangle. I looked around the room. This is the 10th bedroom that has held our marital bed since we said our vows. Yes, we’ve moved around a bit.

I stumbled into the kitchen, made my coffee, sat down on the back deck in the cool morning air.

What does 21 know about 47? Not a whole helluva lot.

But here’s the thing: Knowing can be highly overrated. I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out, trying to decipher the whys and how-comes of topics most people don’t give a second thought. I want to know why we’re here and what’s the point of our existence and how I am supposed to find peace and joy and tranquility in a world that so often seams so not about those things. Some things truly are just unknowable.

And so had I known that the future Wifey Poo and I would have together would be pocked by such unimaginable grief as that caused by the sight of a tiny coffin holding the son you held in your arms so briefly being lowered into the ground, would I have asked her anyway? If I knew that our future involved me putting laborious burdens on her because of ailments of various organs and bones and muscles, would I have chosen to do that to someone whom I admired so greatly at the time I asked for her hand? Would it be cruel to say “yes” to those questions?

Twenty-one-year-old me had no clue what being married was like. Forty-seven-year-old me could write a book on the topic. The 26 years in between have have been so deliciously unexpected. And therein lies the beauty of being married vs. getting married. Everyone knows what a wedding looks like in our culture. No one knows what your marriage is going to look like. Many of us start out unknowingly trying to emulate our parents’ marriage — until we realize that the way they did things ain’t gonna work for us. That’s when the real fun begins. If I put you in a functional boat in the middle of an ocean, you might know how to get to shore. But if I put you in some contraption of which you have no familiarity? Good luck.

In some ways, Wifey Poo remains a mystery to me. In others, I know what she’s thinking before she even thinks it. Sometimes she surprises me. Sometimes she is completely predictable. Though we have both grown and changed over time — me far more so than her, I think we’d agree — there’s still that something that we saw in each other as she looked down at me on bended knee all those years ago that makes us know that — no matter the trial put in front of us, no matter the hurt, no matter the pain, no matter the stupid moments of the fellow human being we live with — the rest of this ride is one best and most beautifully taken together.


The Cost of a Kids’ Game

Boy The Younger’s baseball team got shellacked last night, 24-0. My little baby boy was on the mound for 14 of those runs in the first inning, a frame he did not complete. To be fair, about one of those runs was earned, but the number of errors only brought an early start to the time the other team took its foot off the gas pedal.

The team BTY was playing is called Premier Baseball Academy. As ball after ball after ball was finding their way into holes and gaps, I did some googling to learn a little bit about them. I also filled out a form to see exactly what it takes to earn a spot on their team.

By the time my boy was showering off the sweat and dirt, I had a response and a PowerPoint of unimaginable depth extolling the virtues of Premier Baseball Academy. Having seen their team play, they didn’t need to do much selling to prove the point that the kids who play for them are well trained and well coached. Nonetheless, I was shocked by three things.

  • The Premier Baseball Academy is obsessed with data and metrics. The PowerPoint had charts and graphs on things like “scaption strength” and “IR/ER symmetry,” their kids improvements in the 60-yard run, throwing velocity, bat speed and attack angle.
  • Premier Baseball Academy teams are filled with kids from parents who love them more than I love mine. Well, at least that’s the case if you measure this based on the size of the financial commitment a parent is willing to make to his child’s baseball career. I think I spent around a hundred bucks to sign BTY up for this fall season, and even that strikes me as a bit ridiculous. For the low, low price of TWO-THOUSAND-ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIFTY-DOLLARS (!!?!?!?!?) for SIX FREAKING MONTHS you too can put your talented-enough kid the Premier Baseball Academy 12U team. And what does that absurd sum get you? They helpfully spell it out:
    • A paid coach (Ours is the executive chef at a restaurant I’d like to try.)
    • Fall and summer tournaments
    • Fall and summer leagues
    • Practice fields
    • Hitting pass
    • Agility training
    • Blast Motion Bat Sensor, with subscription
    • Weighted bat training program
    • Mental training program. (Side note: WTF?!?)
    • Winter training
    • BTL lesson w/ current MLB affiliated athlete

The list goes on and on and on. Now, the good thing is that Premier Baseball Academy guarantees your kid will get to the Majors or at least a great Division 1 baseball program.

Or they don’t.

Which leads to No. 3.

3. For your investment, the best of the best end up going to obscure college baseball programs and have essentially the same shot at making the Majors as my kid. The PBA website has a section called “college committments,” which, besides being misspelled, shows which of its athletes are furthering their careers where.

Vanderbilt? Florida? Arkansas?

Or how about the mighty Greyhounds of Moberly Area Community College? The vaunted Lindenwood University squad? Or that pipeline-to-the-majors that is Champion Christian College.

In other words, for a $2,150 investment times about seven or eight years, you too can send your kid to a no-name college with no chance of him ever being able to pay you back from the earnings he doesn’t make in baseball.

Listen, I don’t want to get all “Back in my day,” on you, but back in my day, we signed up for the town’s Little League team and we played ball. We didn’t give a crap about attack angles and 60 time. Our coaches were our dads. Our teammates and opponents were our friends. And somehow, we put a pretty damn good product on the field game in, game out by the age we were expected to look like more than a bunch of doofuses out there. I’m sure The Parents spent something to have me play on those teams, but if you consider the fact that I played organized baseball from age 7 until my elbow exploded at age 16, they maybe shelled out $2,150 total on my baseball-related expenses. Go ahead and adjust for inflation. I’ll wait.

I understand that this is the way the game has gone and that it’s not just in youth baseball. But it’s sad. Sure, the kids who demolished our team last night played better than our kids. But they’re all still just kids, and the astronomical odds are that exactly zero members of either roster will be suiting up for any Major League affiliate, let alone an actual MLB ballclub.

So I ask: Are the kids really any better off because they know their scaption strength? Do they care? Because if they do, perhaps we should be steering them away from a career in baseball and toward a career in medicine.

Oh, and if you’re interested: The 12U team currently has one opening and is in urgent need of a pitcher.


The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.’

Erma Bombeck

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. Tomorrow is date night with Wifey Poo!
  2. You get to see fun things through my office window, like a guy climbing a really tall tree with a chainsaw. He was way up there and cut off some really big limbs. The tree’s. Not his.
  3. I’m making dinner tonight. Don’t want to leave the family hungry.

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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Helper Bags 🆘What’s In The Bag?🎒Mini Golf ⛳ I was raised to avoid the homeless. Avoid eye contact. Avoid conversation. And most definitely avoid giving them anything they asked for. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, which doesn’t make me feel any better. What was instilled in me as…

Marcus F’n King — Oct. 21, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books & Covers 🕮Seeking Balance ⚖️Weirdo🤪 We’re taught at an early age to not judge a book by its cover. If I remember correctly, that was impressed upon me sometime around the first grade. Yet to be honest, I don’t think it’s a lesson that ever really sunk in. I imagine…

Political Ads — Oct. 20, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Illegals or Guns? 🤦Scrolling Through Stupidity 🖱️Worst Nurse Ever 👩‍⚕️ If there’s anything I hate more than politics and politicians, it’s political advertising. Cutting the cable cord has lessened its intrusiveness in my life, yet it still manages to seep in. Case in point: I was watching the Padres-Phillies game last…

Chocolateman— Oct. 19, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Passion 🍫Sarcasm 😜Poop 💩 I appreciate people who are passionate about something. Well, except politics. Then I’d prefer it if you’d just keep your mouth shut. But if you’re super-interested in photography, goats, cooking, geocaching, quilting, etching … whatever … your enthusiasm feeds my soul. Which is part of the reason…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: Oct. 10-16 edition

Welcome to Issue No. 9 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I pledged to finish something I am a writer. If I’m going to be a…

Evolution — Oct. 17, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Monkey Crap 🐒BTY Day 👨‍👦Incomplete Stories 🖊️ If you’re of the belief that human beings evolved from apes, I’m not here to try to dissuade you. What I am here to say is that, if evolution is true, we sure have come a long way. I say this after a trip…

Basement Water — Oct. 15, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Personal Growth 🌱Mad Mom 😠Oh, Jeffrey 🧠 About a year ago, Arti The Wonder Therapist waited patiently for me to finish yet another of my amazing monologues detailing just how I felt about the various situations I was attempting to address in my life at the time and then calmly asked…

Death! Death! Death! — Oct. 14, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cue the Outrage 🔫Animal Extinction 🐆Eye Update 👀 Even back in the day when I considered myself a Republican (before the dark times … before the Trumpire), I never quite understood the death penalty. Perhaps it was because I looked around at the other nations that still killed people as punishment…

Corneal Complications — Oct. 13, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hello Darkness, My Old Friend 👀COVID Costs 🦠Jackass Jones Verdict👩‍⚖️ I’ve spent much of this week so far in forced darkness. After I wrote on Monday morning, my right eye started to get blurry. Then it got real blurry. Then it became utterly useless. In this, I have reprised my role…

Mattress Shopping — Oct. 10, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Awkward Shopping 🛏️Disingenuous Holiday 🗓️Help the Homeless 😔 If there’s a more awkward retail excursion than mattress shopping, I have yet to find it in my 48 years. Wifey Poo and I went to a high school gym to do exactly that on Sunday afternoon. The bed we’ve been sleeping in…

So Long, Cards — Oct. 9, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Playoff Disappointment ⚾Oh, Britney 📲Friendship Failure 😔 In the span of just more than 24 hours, I went from the excited expectation of being in Busch Stadium to watch the hometown St. Louis Cardinals eliminate the Philadelphia Phillies and advance to the next round of the playoffs to watching those Phillies…

Playoff Baseball — Oct. 6, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Baseball Gear-Grinders ⚾Sunrise Woes 🌄Heavy Pumpkins 🎃 There are a few baseball-related indignities in my home that, as the saying goes, grind my gears. The first is that there is a state championship trophy on the mantel above the fireplace in our Humble Country Home with a gold-plated baseball player, bat…

There Will Be Blood — Oct. 5, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Wound Treatment 🧂Phillies Bring Doom ⚾Meetings Suck 👎🏽 Apparently, I’ll take medical advice from waitresses and allow myself to receive medical treatment from busboys. This, I learned last night. I have a tendency to get hurt in really interesting ways. When I tell you that I once got a concussion…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: 9/26-10/2

Welcome to Issue No. 8 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I held an epic car concert If you were anywhere in the vicinity of my…

Place Your Bets — Oct. 3, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Football Picking God 🏈Fish Story 🐟Free Floating ☁️ A few months before Boy The Elder was born, I had about $100 set aside to buy Wifey Poo a gift that I intended to give her after she ushered our child into the world. It was the least I could do for,…

Sliced Bread — Sept. 30, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩New Route Home 🏎️Confirmed Weirdness 🤪Here’s Your Sign 🤦 I took a new route home from the western part of Missourah yesterday after doing the whole open-house thing for work in St. Joseph. Rather than shoot down to I-70 and traverse the state on that familiar road, I went across Hwy.…

Rental Tank — Sept. 29, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Woo-Woo vs. The Beast 🛻Dart Throwers 🎯My Job 📋 I am not used to driving a tank. My normal vehicle is Woo-Woo, AKA The Shitty Little Car, AKA a Nissan Versa. It’s practical. It gets great gas mileage. I hate it. Woo-Woo normally accelerates as quickly as a child asked to…

LinkedIn — Sept. 26, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Unwitting Guinea Pigs 🐹False Bragging 🦹‍♂️Put Me In, Coach 🚀 My regular readers (hey, you three!) know that I have a hatred for social media’s influence on society with an intensity rivaled only by the heat of a thousand suns. The latest bit of “Are you fucking kidding me?” comes from…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: 9/9-9/25

Welcome to Issue No. 7 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I reached out to a friend I have not been shy about sharing that I’ve…

iPhone Envy — Sept. 25, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩More Stupid Human Stuff 📱KC Trip ⚾Miserable Missourah 😠 Quick: Take a look around you. If you’re in a room with five other people, one of them thinks you’re financially struggling if you don’t have the latest iPhone. That’s according to a new survey following the release of the iPhone 14.…

Human Babies — Sept. 23, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Loser Species 👶Email Win 📧Dad Pride 👨‍👦‍👦 I’m pretty sure I’m not normal. Normal people respond to that statement with, “Oh, John, nobody’s normal,” which is just a sign for us non-normies that the person we’re talking to is normal. Yesterday, I was waiting for Wifey Poo to pick me up…

In It — Sept. 22, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Thoughts 🧠Marriage 💍Drunk Idiots 🧉 There’s this scene in the 2004 movie Garden State in which Sam (Natalie Portman) looks at Andrew (Zach Braff) and notices … … And yeah, that resonated with me then and resonates with me now. Ever since then, being “in it” has become a thing…

Remembering Sarah — Sept. 21, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Beautiful Skies ⛅Two Terms For 2022 ✌️ Back in our early days at Pound Ridge Elementary School, Sarah was the fastest girl runner in the class, which bought her some serious playground cred. There were only a few of us boys who could hang with Sarah in the 50-meter dash…

Small Ear Canal — Sept. 19, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ear Flushing👂Grunge God🎶Tech Guy📺 If you have to have a doctor tell you a body part or yours is small, I suppose one of the least offensive would be the ear canal. That’s what a doctor told me this morning, after I finally broke down and actually went to said doctor’s…

Sunday Randomness — Sept. 18, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Two, Four, Six, Eight👑Tips💰Book Buying📖 Some random thoughts from the week that was: Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

Nominee Day! — Sept. 16, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Toys in the Hall🪅Idiot Governors🗳️Flopping FedEx✈️ Last night in my hotel in Springfield, Missourah, I set out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies before going to bed. It’s not that I don’t know how to read a calendar or have any particular belief in a fat man in…

Springfields Aplenty — Sept. 15, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Which One?🗺️Leave Introverts Alone🤫Oxford Commas🤪 I’m on the road for work this week, in Springfield. Ahhh, but Springfield what? There currently are 35 populated places in the United States named Springfield, spread out over 25 states, including five in Wisconsin. In addition, there are 35 Springfield Townships, and Ohio owns 11…

F’n COVID — Sept. 13, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Surrounded 😷Wood Splitter 🌲Morons 🤪 I’ve had COVID. Twice. The first time fucked up my life for a year. I’m still not back to the me I was before it came into my home, and I’m pretty sure that now, nearly two years later, that’s not going to change. The second…

Change of Plans — Sept. 12, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sunday audible🤒Fantasy Failure 🏈Anal Chess♟️ Sunday was supposed to be a romantic day spent in a canoe with Wifey Poo, the two of us paddling leisurely down the Meramec River. Mother Nature was not in the mood to play wingman and decided to pick the one day in the midst of…

Why Run? — Sept. 11, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Finish Line Scene 🏃‍♂️Baseball’s Better ⚾M-I-Z! Z-O-UC-H! 🏈 I have never understood the modern-day purpose of running for the sake of running. Sure, I understand it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise and it’s a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, yet the desire to strap on…

Stephen King — Sept. 9, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Book Guy 📚Queen Stuff 👑Bernard Shaw 📺 I’ve decided I want to own a copy of every Stephen King book ever written. That’s about 75 books at the moment. I have a built-in bookcase in my mancave/home office. I don’t think it would hold all 75 in hardcover, but perhaps it…

Random Bullets — Sept. 8, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shrimp(s) 🍤Toilet Training 🚽Apple’s Long Game 🍏 A little bit of randomness for a Thursday. Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

Once Upon a Time — Sept. 7, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beginnings 📚School Start 🚌Real Baseball ⚾ I was thinking this morning on my drive to work how we rarely know when the significant times in our lives begin. So frequently, the most important things that happen to us start with nothing noteworthy. Of course, there are exceptions, the “love-at-first-sight” moments or…

Chainsaws & Ladders — Sept. 6, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fallin’ Thoughts 🤕Shinedown 🎸Sleepy 😴 The brain can be surprisingly efficient when the meatsack it’s attached to is in the middle of falling off a ladder while holding a revved-up chainsaw. This, I learned yesterday morning while attempting to saw a limb off a tree that was getting way too close…

Inside a Good Day — Sept. 5, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Overview📅Fantasy Football🏈Elite Bonding🤼‍♂️ Days that start with chainsaws and lighter fluid and end with four hours of really good professional wrestling are bound to be added to the “good” column for review when the scales are weighed at the end of a life. Yesterday was such a day for me. In…

Second Mothers — Sept. 3, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Funeral 😢Glimmers ☁️Meat 🥩 If you’re lucky, you’ve had a second mother. Whether your first mother was or is an amazing person who nurtured you and raised you among calm consistency or if she was lacking in certain maternal fundamentals, having a second mother is a blessing. Today, we were there…

Muricah the Crumbling — Sept. 2, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩We’re Dumber 👎OnlyFans Thrives 🍑Shinedown 🎵 Official statistics put the COVID death toll in the United States at 1.04 million, with another 713 deaths yesterday. More than 4,000 people are in the ICU right now suffering from what the former Moron-in-Chief called that one person coming from China and a situation…

Bratwurst Flap — August 31, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dethroned Queen 👑Gravy Wrestling 🤼‍♂️Dog Talk 🐕 Don’t fuck with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival board. That’s a message Abigail Brocwell is learning the hard way. Brocwell was expected to be inaugurated as the queen of the festival in the northern Ohio town earlier this month, but she was stripped of the…

Baseball Serendipity — August 30, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩3, Unassisted ⚾A Sad Day 📅Tracking Your Vagina 🌸 The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid…

Failure to Launch — August 29, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…

Hypnotized — August 26, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…

Outrage? — August 25, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…

Life Expectancy — August 24, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…

Mysterious Brain — August 23, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…

Homeschoolin’ — August 22, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!”An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the wake…

Mexican Pato O’Ward — August 21, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…

Pig Problem — August 19, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where…

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