Sunday Salad

Posted on May 29, 2011


Our 7-year-old, The Fonz, told my wife with a sigh, “I’m not as cute as I used to be.”  My wife assured him he was still very cute.  He nodded to acknowledge the compliment, then sighed again, “But still not as cute as I used to be.”  He seems awfully young to begin worrying about losing his looks.  I assured him all boys had to transition from cute if they wanted to achieve handsomeness, but unfortunately, this transition period often comes at the cost of a few awkward looking or even ugly years.  My pep talk didn’t seem to help.


Three interesting facts about me:

1. I have a talent for mentioning my talents.

2. Some people can’t take a compliment.  One of the greatest things about me is my ability to take a compliment from me.

3. One thing I’m really good at is never bragging. I’m probably the best at never bragging of anybody I know.


Our 9-year-old, The Sequel, reads too much.  On the weekends he sometimes reads eight hours a day.  Last Saturday I forced him to watch TV for an hour before he was allowed to read anymore.  When I returned a half hour later he seemed anxious.  I quizzed him on the plot of the TV show, but his answers were vague.  I pulled the couch apart and found a book he was hiding.  Very disappointing.

He’s finally at a reading level where I can recommend some of my favorites.  I recently handed him The Great Gatsby when he was going to bed and when I woke up the next morning he was finished.  Yes I was impressed, but it’s important for parents to maintain an aura of superiority, so instead of complimenting him I criticized the two grammatical errors I found in his essay on the symbolism of the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.


Bad news for those of you cheering for my TV-watching robot, Philo T-2000: His head fell off this week.

Some suspect foul play.  More level heads suspect one of my kids bumped into him during the night since he’s been set up in their room and blocking the closet for almost a month, and his head wasn’t attached to his body as much as balanced on his shoulders.  Some people who I am married to and who are not robot experts have been predicting the possibility of a head-falling-off incident for many weeks.  I personally suspect he self-destructed while watching reruns of According to Jim.  I’m not sure of the exact episode, but I have it narrowed down to the 150 episodes when Jim forgets to do something that his wife told him was important.


I wrote a one act play being performed here in Shanghai next week.  I needed a pipe as a prop for one of the characters and while making the purchase, the salesman offered to throw in a bag of the long white items in the picture below.

I had no idea what they were and asked why a pipe smoker would need one.  He answered, “For cleaning your pipe.”

Question: What do you use for cleaning a pipe?

Answer: Pipe cleaners.

It never occurred to me that pipe cleaners were used for cleaning these kinds of pipes.  Kudos to the pipe cleaner industry for capturing the crafts market with such success that I never considered people might actually use them for cleaning pipes.


Make sure and vote in this week’s caption contest.  See the finalists here.


If I had a dime for every dollar I ever borrowed, I’d be able to pay back 10% of the money I owe people.

Posted in: Columns