🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Lawrence Pfaff Sr. Sucks 🚓
Engagement Talk 🌯
From what I know of Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. of Belmont, NY, he was kind of a douche.
The 81-year-old man died on June 27. I never met him. Never even heard of him. Until I read his obit. And about that obit? Wooo-weeeee buddy.
If you missed the clue that the blue text is a link, now you know so go click it. Pfaff’s obit was evidently placed by one of his children. Now, I’ve said in the past that I hate the rampant dishonesty in obituaries. No one ever anywhere was loved by everyone who knew him unless he was taken directly from his mother’s womb and put in an isolation cell seeing no other people until he died. And doing that would be mean.
No such problems for Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. His obituary is filled with such nuggets as …
“He passed away on June 27, 2022, living a long life, much longer than he deserved.”
“He is survived by his three children, no four, Oops, five children.”
“His love was abundant when it came to himself, but for his children it was limited.”
And that’s just from the first paragraph!
Other notable gems include …
“Lawrence, Sr.’s hobbies included abusing his first wife and children.”
“Lawrence, Sr. did spend over 20 years in the NYPD, but even his time in service was negligent at best. Because of his alcohol addiction, his Commanding Officer took away his gun and badge, replacing them with a broom until he could get his act together.”
Now, to be fair, the obit does credit Senior with getting his shit together … to a degree, and even then it sneaks in a great backhand slap.
“Lawrence, Sr. did claim to be clean and sober for over thirty years, but never worked any of the twelve steps, including the eighth and ninth steps with his children, making amends.”
It mercifully ends with this zinger:
“Lawrence, Sr. can be remembered for being a father to many, and a dad to none.”
Which is exactly why I’m in the process of writing my own damn obit, and if it isn’t run precisely as I write it I expect one of you to come visit me on the Other Side and let me know so I can haunt the crap out of Wifey Poo.
When a new dad first holds his child, the future unfolds in front of him. At least, it did for me the first time I held Boys The Elder & Younger. All of a sudden, my arms were filled by this tiny little boy who was depending on me not to screw him up too bad before he could make decisions for himself. In that moment, I could see so many major milestones the two of us would experience together — from his first words to his first time behind the wheel of a car to when he himself would hold his child in his arms.
Then, real life takes over and fatherhood because a very now thing. My boys have been generally easy to raise — certainly easier than some of the nightmare scenarios that land a parent in a Dateline interview or starting out sentences with things such as, “Your honor …” But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy to be a dad. It hasn’t been. Not even close.
The daily ups and downs of a child’s life — not to mention the daily ups and downs of a dad’s life — do a great job keeping us focused on the here and now, and those moments of having your kid’s entire life flowing out before you disappear for a good long time.
BTE is now 20 and well on his way to being a successful adult. I’d like to take some credit for that, and he’d probably be generous enough to give me some of it — though, if we’re being fair, Wifey Poo and BTE himself deserve the solid majority of it. Seeing him on the verge of adulthood and on such solid footing has given me some space to sit back and future-gaze a bit.
Last night as dinner ended, the Core Four were going through our daily thank-yous. BTE and BTY don’t know this, but I started that entire tradition because BTE had fallen into a stage of being a tad unappreciative of all the blessings that surrounded him everyday, many of which were being provided by a mother whose work was to homeschool him and shepherd him to and from all the amazing experiences he was allowed to have because of it. So we started saying one thing we were thankful for each day at the dinner table, and whether because of that or not, BTE soon put that phase behind him.
Now, BTY is steadfast in keeping the tradition alive. With BTE back home for the summer while he interns at a business literally two minutes from my office, Core Four family dinners have become a thing again, and when it was BTE’s turn to give his thankful, he brought up his girlfriend, Div.
Div is awesome, and the two of them are awesome together. We joke about how, if the two of them ever broke up, we’re keeping Div, but the reality is, I highly doubt they are going to break up. They’ll have been together three years together in October and have survived both a pandemic that pushed them apart early in their relationship and a year apart when BTE went off to school and Div completed a year of community college before heading to Mizzou as well. The two of them remind me so much of the early years of me and Wifey Poo it’s scary.
BTE says he knows Div is The One. And yesterday after saying how thankful he was that Div is so awesome, he brought up the topic of getting engaged. Talk about a moment that makes a dad smile.
Wifey Poo and I became engaged in September of our senior year and were married the March after graduation. Some said we were too young, but I knew she was The One. Our life together hasn’t always been easy, but it has been exceedingly good and created many positive things for this world — BTE and BTY chief among them.
Now, BTE unknowingly is starting to form a similar timetable in the back of his mind. Hearing him talk about getting engaged and being married left me feeling extremely blessed to be his father. He’s a good kid. Many dads like to brag on their kids. It’s easy for me to do that with both my boys while simultaneously saying that so much of what I have to brag about is because of their own hard work and innate goodness, not anything that I did to make them that way.
The two of them still have some time to go before anything like engagement happens. Yet if there’s a top reason I want to stick around for the next few years or so, seeing what happens with BTE and Div just might be it.
A few quick-hitters:
- I wore a new pair of shoes to work for the first time in forever yesterday. I tend to wear any pair of shoes until it’s falling apart, and the previous pair of black dress shoes were no exception. The new ones marked the first time I bought dress shoes through a website and not a shoe store. They fit perfectly.
- I’ve been in training the past day-and-a-half at work, with one more day to come. My new company sells a ton of different products, and this training aims to get me and a new sales manager up to speed on all of them. It’s kind of like trying to take a sip from a firehose, but I’ll get there. In the past, I’ve learned how to market everything from electricity to benefits to life-changing pediatric surgery and real estate. HVAC products are the first tangible, on-the-shelf thing I’ll be marketing, but I’ve got this.
- As part of that training, I’ve learned how absolutely disgusting the ice machine in restaurants get without good water filtration. Restaurants with high yeast environments (think Subway or your local brew pub) have it worst. You guys … I’ve seen some stuff … photos of unclean ice machines … that are gonna keep me up at night — and away from Subway.
- Speaking of keeping me up at night … I woke up at 3:58 a.m. today and couldn’t get back to sleep. What the actual fuck, people?
- BTY has tryouts for a new Little League team today. After the hell that boy went through because of an idiot coach with his last team, well, that kid deserves something good to come from this. His attitude about it, in the face of that moron’s stupidity, has been spectacular. “Something good is going to come from something bad,” he said.
- Social media detox is going well. I’ve pretty much been on Facebook only to post links to these silly missives. I don’t really miss it.
- I haven’t been feeling “right” for a few days. Feeling this way freaks me out because I spent nearly a year feeling not-right with Longhaul COVID, which was sometimes impossible to explain to those who cared to wonder what was going on with me. Wifey Poo says its likely just physical manifestations of the grief I’m feeling over my grandmother’s death last week. She’s probably right.
- I ordered a championship trophy for The Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League I started with family and friends this year. Actually, it’s not a trophy. It’s a title belt, similar to professional wrestling title belts. It’ll be a traveling championship, meaning the winner gets to keep it until a new champion is crowned. BTE is leading the league right now. I’m in fourth and within striking distance. I want that belt.
- Amazon Prime Day did a great job of showing me all the stuff I didn’t know I needed. I was able to find great deals on some stuff for Wifey Poo’s coming birthday and managed to spend the money The Judester gave me for my own pending celebration of another successful trip around the sun.
- I read with disgust the coverage of the hearing on the Jan. 6 rebellion. The fact that 49% of Republicans still would choose Trump over any other possible GOP presidential candidate in 2024 shows me how far I’ve moved away from that party and, in reading the list of possible candidates, have broken said party is. When your political system is putting forward doofuses like Biden, Hillary, Sanders, Trump and now maybe Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, well, I’d put forward that your political system is broken. And I very much agree with the former Oath Keepers stooge who warns that another Trump candidacy has the very real possibility of leading to further violence and a possible Civil War. Pop the popcorn, y’all.
In Other Writing
🔻 What’s Below 🔻What shows our vulnerability 👨🏼🦳👨🏾🦳What step we’re currently on 🎈What the spark would be 💥 Ahhh, Dystopia, that imagined land where we watch zombies and Katniss and Mark Zuckerberg dance a creepy new form of the tango while asking ourselves, “If that’s what things are going to be like after The Fall,…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- As I said, I want to see what happens with Div and BTE.
- Jewel concert this Saturday!
- Five more concert before the end of the year!
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Anniversary Changes 💍Near Death Experience 💀Dreamcatcher Drama 😳 All relationships change over time. Friendships, parent-child, boss-employee, husband-wife … no matter the relationship, the only constant thing is change. My marriage has changed mightily since it began. When Wifey Poo and I said our vows on March 22, 1997, we were –…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Why The Blahs? 😷Anniversary Plans 💍Unpleasant Warnings 🐍 Feeling blah is complicated when you have my medical history. For many people, feeling blah as I’m feeling right now is a clear indication that some sort of illness or infection has invaded the body. But for me — and for many others…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dentist Visit 🦷Basketball Sucks 🏀Found Husband 👨 No one truly likes going to the dentist. I’ve had people push back on me when I’ve said this before, but when I lay out the following scenario, well, it’s pretty much checkmate: “You just had the most well-respected doctor in the world tell…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dumb Gubment 🦅Dawg Party 🐶Flying African ✈️ We as modern Muricans tend to just accept that it’s the gubment’s job to educate our children. Of course, when other countries that aren’t our friends do that, we call it “indoctrination,” but that’s a topic for another day. The topic for today is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Costly Mortality ☠️Crazies, Unite 🤪Defining ‘Appointment’ 🦷 I’m getting ready to die. Sounds ominous, right? Dramatic? Scary? It’s not. Oh yes, in a certain light, it’s depressing as hell. But what it really involved was a meeting with an attorney that Wifey Poo and I had yesterday to figure out exactly…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books and Stories 📚SVB Lessons 🏦Basketball Party 🏀 Holy crap, you guys! I actually finished something I wrote! In fact, I finished two somethings I wrote! As my regular readers (hey you three!) know, I’ve been stunk in a funk of starting to write books and short stories with gusto and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Podcast Appearance 🎙️The Birth Control Pill Story 🐶Good Tired 🥱 If you would have asked me a few years ago whether I could ever envision myself on a stage in the back room of a dive bar sharing a story about how my dog ate six months of birth control pills…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pee Mate 🚽Game Maker 🎲Dumb Muricans 🦅 I have been thinking about death a lot lately, not because I’m particularly eager for it to happen or because I’m particularly not eager for it to happen. I guess it’s because I’m a few months shy of my 49th birthday and please-for-the-love-of-God let…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading