🧩 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 🧩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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
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 email@example.com. No. 5: I held an epic car concert If you were anywhere in the vicinity of my…Keep reading
🧩 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,…Keep reading
🧩 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.…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. No. 5: I reached out to a friend I have not been shy about sharing that I’ve…Keep reading
🧩 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.…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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.…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading