🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Cornhole Crushing 🌽
Poison M&Ms ☠️
The first time I saw a commercial for the Volkswagen Tiguan, I thought it was a parody. As a marketing guy, I couldn’t fathom how an entire department of highly paid professionals could sit down at a table and decide the best name for a new vehicle was a mashup between a tiger and an iguana. Could there be two more differently related animals?
Now, I own one of these stupid things.
The search for a new car for Wifey Poo has accelerated over the past few months because of four factors:
- She hates the Shitty Little Nissan Versa (SLNV) she drives.
- We have saved up the money.
- There’s a check-engine light for a catalytic converter problem that we ain’t fixin’ and that would prevent the car from passing inspection in July 2024.
- My Favorite African (MFA) comes with a whole lotta shit.
The final straw was MFA’s arrival on Thursday. We met him at the airport and tried to load him, his wheelchair, his suitcase and his walker into the car along with Boy The Younger and realized something wasn’t gonna fit if anyone is in the front passenger seat. Thankfully, we’d driven to the airport separately.
We started looking at mid-sized SUVs in our price range, and the stupid Tiguan outlasted them all, giving Wifey Poo everything she needs to haul around those for whom she cares in style. It has so many things that the SLNV doesn’t, like actual acceleration. Wifey Poo’s gonna love it. It arrives a week from today.
But I refuse to call it a Tiguan.
I’ll call it a Tiger. I’ll sigh deeply and reluctantly call it an Iguana. But I ain’t calling the fucking thing a Tiguan.
When I first heard BTY’s baseball team was holding a cornhole fundraiser, I imagined it would be a little thing in which he and his teammates would assemble with their parents and throw some bags around.
The fundraiser was yesterday at Shamrock’s Pub & Grill in St. Peters, Missourah (side note: the name of this town bothers the shit out of me because it should be St. Peter or Sts. Peters or something like that, but certainly not St. Peters). It was a beautiful spring day with temperatures that climbed into the 70s and a brisk wind that kept things cool (and masked the fact that I was getting sunburn on my arm).
By the time we arrived (it takes awhile to load up and get anywhere with my family on a good day, and that was before we had an African with a walker, wagon, wheelchair, etc.), many players were already warming up, and I recognized none of them. Not only that, I noticed these folks were wearing shirts that had sponsorships all over them. Apparently, that’s a thing in the regional cornhole world.
It turns out that the local cornhole circuit is quite popular. Dudes (and a few women) look for tournaments, enter, and thoroughly (but politely) beat down anyone who foolishly thought like I did — that it would be a small team-only thing. In addition to personalized team shirts, these folks bring their own bags to throw.
Thankfully, I didn’t enter. With MFA to look after, Wifey Poo and I thought it would be unwise. But we entered Boy the Elder, Future Daughter-in-Law and BTY, who teamed up with his catcher.
BTE and FDIL were thoroughly crushed in their first match, 21-0. So were BTY and his catcher. The tournament guaranteed you six matches — four in the round robin phase and two in a double-elimination bracket.
Shockingly, both of my family teams played seven games. They each beat the same team, making ours not the worst in attendance.
Despite the massacres, it was a whole lot of fun. Good times with good family and associated others makes for a good day.
(Editor’s note: Welcome to Living Eulogies. All recollections are accurate in the author’s mind only. Apologies in advance to everyone who has different recollection of the same events. Send all complaints to Vanilla Ice. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.) The first indication I had that girls are complex came at the ripe old age of 6. I…Keep reading
All the family drama I’ve been trying to work my way through recently has left me in a very reflective state about my childhood. It’s hard to close the door on a relationship when it hasn’t been all bad. I wouldn’t say that even half of it has been bad. Maybe not even a quarter.
What I would say is that there has always … always … been an undercurrent of toxicity that I didn’t realize was toxic until I had enough time, distance and personal health improvement to see it as a game I didn’t want to play anymore.
But why shut the door on a relationship that had so much good to it? Because it did, indeed, have good.
The way I try to explain it is this: There’s a bowl of candy on the table. Let’s say M&Ms. An unknown percentage of those M&Ms are great M&Ms … the best you’ve ever had. But an unknown percentage may be deadly, painful poison. Do you eat the M&Ms? Do you allow your child to eat the M&Ms? What if you knew only 1 in every 100 M&Ms were poison?
What if you never knew when a good M&M would suddenly turn to poison once you selected it? What if that poison didn’t kill you but merely sickened you? Would you keep getting sick because the other M&Ms were good?
That’s the game I feel like I’ve been playing my whole life. I’ve had great M&M moments with my parents. Memorable times, great vacations, tremendous support — more so from my father with all three of those than my mother.
The problem is that the poison is always mixed in and always seems to rear its ugly head just when I would start to think, “Hey! Things are going to be good now!”
They’re not good. I don’t know that they ever have truly been good. They rarely have with my mother.
One has been outright abusive — physically and then verbally — and the other knew that and did nothing to stop it. Others have had it far, far, far worse than I did. But that doesn’t mean I look back on my own experiences and say, “Oh, that was OK.”
It wasn’t. It isn’t, and the only thing that could make it OK is if we actually talked about the things on both ends that are preventing us from having a good present and better future.
So when confronted with a response that told me clearly that nothing was going to change, that there was zero interest in having that conversation, I made the decision to switch from eating M&Ms to something different. Something safer. Something without the poison.
It’s not something I wanted to do. It’s something I felt like I had to do.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I would love to live long enough to see our idiot former president thrown in jail or die.
- Metallica, November 2023!
- Gotta be here when the Tiguan arrives.
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🧩 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 email@example.com. 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